Saturday, May 28, 2011

Small Town, I really do love you...

For weeks now, I have been avoiding tying up loose ends and packing my bags for the summer. I hate packing so so much. I always wait until the night before (I might need something beforehand!), and then I am overwhelmed about what to take. And that's if I am going away for the weekend. Trying to pack for an entire summer is a million times harder. How will I know what I need in July? Of course, since I will have my car for some storage, I am packing half of what I own knowing full well I will only use about a third of it. Oh well.

The past couple of days, I have been faced with the realization that these are my final days in Kirksville. After living here fifteen years, it seems strange and a little unreal. My entire life has been built here- school, college, church, work, friends, family-and I will miss it. I love traveling and city life, but the small town still appeals to me and holds a special place in my heart. I wanted this final post to honor the place where I grew up.

This is the sign that greeted me the first time I remember driving to Kirksville to visit my uncle and his family. I doubt it is the exact same sign that was there in 1996, but I can still remember hitting the top of the hill and being able to see down into Kirksville. Compared to where I lived at the time, Kirksville was a city! :)

  Growing up, if I could have lived at the library, I would have done it. My love for reading was intensified when I discovered the public library. Before that, I had only known a small school library where I used to live. Kirksville's public library was massive compared to the other one. I would check out a stack of ten to fifteen books (at least...I knew that max was 50), and I read them in a week if not sooner. I just walked down the aisles, looking for interesting books, first in the juvenile fiction then the adult fiction. I never tired of reading. By the time I was in junior high, I could read a three hundred page book in a day! This place will always be special to me, for giving me a way to enjoy one of my favorite past times.

There are so many streets like this, especially over by the schools.  I love driving down them, especially this time of year through the fall. It is just beautiful. This is on my friend's street, outside her house. I feel as if it could be straight from Anne of Green Gables and I want to name it something special. It's almost as if it were a modern Lover's Lane, the way the trees canopy overhead.

I spent four painstaking years within these "walls." Some moments were filled with frustration, tears, and an eagerness to leave, but I look back at it all with a deep appreciation for the growth that took place and the person I became over time. I especially loved the campus like this, full of green-ness and beautiful!

Kirksville is quite the storm magnet! While I have witnessed some horrible storms that end in tragedy, I love rain in Kirksville. I love the green trees against the bluish-gray sky. I know it probably looks similar in most other places, but I just love it here. I also love to watch the storm sweep across town, leaving part of it sunny while you can see the rain pouring on the other half.

This is the best I could for a picture of the high school. I actually love the school grounds. It is gorgeous, and when the trees are in bloom, I just sigh and feel so happy. (I feel like Phoebe would insert "What is it with you and nature?" here.) Aside from that, I absolutely loved subbing at the high school. I was so excited to spend my day there, getting to know fellow teachers and work in a classroom. I could be a sub for a long time and be quite content! :)

Last but not home. Nothing more needs to be said besides that. I love living here and will be sad to leave it. I am glad to have a few more weeks in it when I come home in August. But more on that later...
I'm sure I could have shared several more places than this, but it was these places I was thinking of today as I drove around town. As much as I've wanted to get away from Kirksville and live in the city, I must say, Small Town, I do love you.