What brought you to live in your current town or city?
Seems like there are several reasons why we live where we do:
- a job
- location- skiers may choose a mountain town, while surfers may choose the beach town
- love the town we grew up in and stayed put
- moved to be closer to family
- good schools for the kiddos
- love the land outside of the town
- the hats
Whoa, wait a minute. The hats?
Believe it or not, the very first time I visited this rural Missouri town, I knew I loved it. My sister and I traveled several hours from our big town to photograph a high school graduation in this small town. At the end of the outdoor ceremony, the seniors threw their cowboy hats way up in the air at the same time. That was it, I was hooked.
After the photo shoot was over, we went back to our big town. Life adventures led me to living in other towns and even in some huge cities. But, I never forgot about the image of all those hats in the air.
Several years later, my husband and I were house hunting within about a 50 mile radius of that fateful, long gone, graduation photo assignment. Any guesses where we bought our very first home? You got it! The town with the hats.
Now, I guess that may seem like a silly reason to live somewhere, but to me, cowboy hats are symbols. Similar to farm trucks or barns, cowboy hats tend to represent farming, ranching, families, early risers, hard workers, an abundance of faith, and kind hearts.
I grew up in a small farming town and my family’s roots run deep in the Iowa farmland. Even though we don’t farm ourselves, farming is a big part of who I am.
I “fit” here. No one even thinks twice that I drive a pick up, because most of the gals around here drive one, too. I feel just fine wearing my coveralls into the grocery store on days the wind is bitter cold. I’ve worked in this town and volunteered in this town. We choose to raise our son here. We bank here, eat here, and shop here.
In fact, a couple days ago I heard about a family owned store in town that I’ve never been to, so yesterday I went to have a look. As soon as I parked, I almost felt my heart expand a little.
The building is old and quaint. You know that “homey” feeling you get when you visit an old friend’s house after you haven’t seen them in a while? It was like that. Welcome at a place I’d never even been.
After stepping in the door, I noticed it was a really nice home decor shop. I started to look around, when I heard the greeting from a kind gentleman behind the counter.
When I turned to look his way to answer, I nearly fell over. He was wearing a beautiful, black cowboy hat. In that moment, I knew we are exactly where we are meant to be, when those hats came full circle.