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Why It Is Almost Impossible to Live In One’s Hometown

26 Jul

I don’t know about your family, but mine has been in the same place for a long long time.  Let me explain.

Fremont & Clyde

Fremont and Clyde, where my kin resides.

I grew up in Fremont, Ohio.  Most of my family has been in Fremont and Clyde for at least 70 years.  See that map?  My entire immediate family including grandparents is pretty much in there.  My maternal grandmother grew up in Clyde and searched for Jessie Simmons’ tongue on the very farm I searched for it years later.  She married my grandfather, who was also living in Clyde.  My parents, aunts, and uncles all married people in the same vicinity.  And let’s be honest.  Everything is easier for them in terms of seeing loved ones If my grandparents need something, they have 4 kids and their spouses right there, plus some grandkids and cousins.  It’s easy to pick a place to have a family gathering because everyone is right there.

And up until my generation, everyone was still there.  My grandparents have 10 grandchildren.  Seven of them are still living in either Clyde or Fremont.  I am just south of Cleveland.  My cousin Heidi is right around Ashland.  I know we would love to be able to get back more often and see our family, but sometimes it just isn’t possible.

Getting off of work at 5, driving an hour and a half home puts me at 6:30, long enough to eat dinner, say hi, and head on out before the hour and a half drive back, so that I can go to bed at a decent hour.  I’d love to be able to drive 10 minutes down the road to have a cup of coffee with my mother.

There are advantages to this.  If you marry someone from your hometown, chances are you get to be close to both of your families.  That makes celebrating holidays with both much easier.  It makes planning the actual wedding easier.  It creates built-in babysitters that you don’t have to pay and grandparents get to see their grandkids.  I loved spending every weekend at my grandparents’ house.

But it’s hard to do that as a Gen Y kid.  We move away, go to college, graduate, feel guilty for not using our degrees, and live somewhere we can get a job.  During that process, most of us fall in love, either with someone from our hometown, someone in college, someone in grad school.  And eventually you have to choose.  Do you live closer to your parents?  Or your lovers?  You’re coming from different places, after all.  Will someone be upset?  What if you both can’t get a job in the same place?  What happens then?

It’s just all very weird.

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2 Comments

Posted by on July 26, 2011 in Domesticity, Fremont

 

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2 responses to “Why It Is Almost Impossible to Live In One’s Hometown

  1. Russ

    July 26, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    What obligation do we have to our parents? to our parents’ parents? I’ve always thought that our parents should wish us to go off and be our own people, no matter how far from the nest that is. However, over the course of the last couple years, my parents and grandparents have made me feel guilty any time I consider moving outside the borders of Ohio. I long to live in a warmer climate, but this instilled sense of duty to take care of my family will probably keep me here for awhile longer.

     
    • erica42285

      July 26, 2011 at 7:34 pm

      I don’t think we have an obligation. I want to be there. I think it’s nice to have family around to count on. And I think the majority of parents want us to be able to go out and pave our own way. But it is hard to know that your kids are super far away. I lived in North Carolina and because of my job and distance, I couldn’t make it home for my father’s heart attack, my uncle’s double kidney transplant, and it all would have been easier if I could have been there to help take care of everyone.

      I think it’s a change in our generation, too. We don’t see family the way generations before us saw family. I like the Little House on the Prairie type of family. The world today just kinda makes me sad.

      I do understand where you’re coming from, though. It makes sense.

       

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