Monday, June 13, 2011

you don't know what you got till it's gone

Last week I visited family and friends in Illinois. (I'll post the logistics in a another post) I am very glad that I left Southern Illinois after high school because for many reasons. I have learned that not all stop lights flash after 10pm. I have tasted foods from all over the globe and regularly eat at restaurants without a single fried item on the menu. I attended an amazing college, found a job I love, and met my wonderful husband. All in all, moving away was one of the best decisions I have made.

That said, there are many things I miss about small town life that I don't realize until I visit.
1. I don't know my neighbors. I live on a dead end street with 10-15 houses on it and I don't know the first names of more than my immediate next door neighbors. While we were in Illinois, we visited the lady who used to take care of me when I was little. She updated my dad on pretty much everyone who lived in his small hometown as well as the last three families who lived in the house we moved out of when I was 4.
2. Never meeting a stranger. In So. Il. chances are everyone you meet knows someone you are related to and even if they don't they're sure to call you hon and might even invite you over for supper if you talk long enough. Living in Georgia most people do have that famous "southern hospitality" but it's just not the same as that small town Southern Illinois friendliness.
3. Nature. When I got home Keith and I went out for ice cream and there was a rabbit in the yard of the house at the end of our street and Keith stopped to look at it. It was just an ordinary brown rabbit that I didn't give a second thought to but he was intrigued. It makes me a little sad that Jackson won't grow up surrounded by cows, horses, deer, rabbits, and the occasional pig or goat. He'll be able to visit some pretty neat petting farms, zoos, and aquariums but he will miss seeing these creatures in their natural, wild states.

One thing I don't miss but feel a little sad that Jackson won't experience: following a tractor down a regular street in the middle of the day.

While we were there we had a great time visiting old friends and family. Here are a few shots of our visits.

Meeting Mama's friends Melissa and Grace and their babies.

Lauren and Jackson really hit it off!

Mama's childhood babysitter's daughter and grandkids

Mama's childhood babysitter, Wanda

Nana and Aidan


  1. I always feel sort of the same way when we go home. I think it means that Jackson gets the best of both worlds though... the one he always lives in, and the one he can spend holidays and summers in. Or at least some of them. Sometimes I think about the silly little things we'll have to explain to our future children. Such as, some places only have ONE movie theater, and the show times are scattered! Or after 9, you just can't run out to the store, because it's closed! Imagine how bizzare these concepts would seem to our students who probably wont ever experience life in a small town!

  2. We loved seeing you guys, too, and even if you're not remorseful about leaving Southern Illinois, there are certainly folks here (like me) who miss you dearly and think of you often. :)