So far this year, we’ve looked at:
- How you organize for the new year in January
- What you eat in a week in February
- Your faves from high school/college in March (I didn’t do LL in March)
- How you plan/do date nights in April
This month, we are looking at: your hometown.
Of course, when someone asks where I’m from, I say Kansas City. It’s just easier than saying, “Lee’s Summit, a suburb of KC.” It’s just easier since I’m living in a completely different state than where I grew up. Also, I didn’t move to Lee’s Summit until I was thirteen, so I do consider both to be my “hometown.”
MISSOURI! Many (out of state) people think that Kansas City is in Kansas. While there is a KCK, it’s small and Kansas City is KCMO.
My dad was a Kansas City police officer for thirty years which meant he had to live in KC. So, my younger years were spent in KC in an area close to where he grew up.
Kansas City really does have so much to offer. There’s nothing better than Topsy’s popcorn or a butter roll from McLain’s. There are so many great BBQ restaurants in KC. While I’m not a huge BBQ fan, we always make a stop per Trav’s request and my kids love ribs!
Growing up, we’d often go to the Plaza for a hamburger and milkshake from Winsteads. We’d also visit Crown Center and the Plaza around the holidays to ice skate and see the Christmas lights.
I spent many summer days at Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun with cousins when they’d come to visit.
Of course, KC is a big sports town. There’s nobody more loyal than an KC Royals fan. We waited thirty years in between World Series wins and still showed up for our team through the years.
The same can be said for the Chiefs fans who cheered them on for fifty years in between Super Bowl wins.
We moved to LS at the end of my seventh grade year. My parents found a piece of land that was in KC but districted for Lee’s Summit schools. They built a house and we moved in the spring of 1993. I did struggle with the move more than my brother did because he was still in elementary school. I will be the first to admit (now) that I didn’t really give the move a chance. I really hated my 8th grade year, but I did find a great group of friends once I started high school.
When we moved to LS, it was just starting to boom. When you got off the highway, there were four way stops and a two lane road that took you to our house. Now there are stoplights, three high schools, hospitals, shopping and more.
The one high school in LS was the biggest in the state. I went to it for my freshman year and then the new high school was finished when I was a sophomore. That year, they let the seniors stay together at the old school, so it was just 9th-11th when my high school opened. Lee’s Summit had, and continues to have, a top notch public school system which was a selling point for my parents. There’s even a third high school now. I’m forever grateful for the education that I received. I made so many friends that I met thanks to band (yes, band!).
In the summers, we’d hang at neighborhood pools, get frozen custard at Custard’s Last Stand, have fun at the Homecoming parade in the fall, attend football and basketball games and more. There was a lake in my neighborhood as well as a bigger lake where a few friends lived. We hung out on the dock on many summer nights.
Once I gave it a chance and met the right group of friends, I really did enjoy growing up in Lee’s Summit.
I take my midwestern roots seriously. While I love Lexington, there have been many times I’ve held firm to values and beliefs on how I grew up and was raised when making decisions for my own kids.
I’m grateful that my kids are growing up with KC memories. Hayden cheers for the Royals and Chiefs. My kids know how great a cherry limeade is from Topsy’s popcorn and how magical the Plaza lights are at Christmastime.
“Home” is a relative term I guess. I feel at home when I’m at home, I guess because I’ve made it a point to make our house a home for my kids. But…I’m also at home when I’m in KC seeing family and creating memories for my kids there too.
One of my favorite country songs on the radio right now is Half of my Hometown. These lyrics always stand out to me:
Back roads raise us…
Highways take us…
Memories make us wanna go back…to our hometown.
I’ll be honest, never in a million years did I think I wouldn’t be raising my family where I grew up. I always joke that I moved to KY with Travis because I was “young, dumb, and in love.” Not to take anything away from him; I just mean that I don’t see my forty year old self making that same decision. When you are young, you can take chances like that. I didn’t have anything to lose.
…and sometimes you take a chance…and it pays off. Travis is the best, and we’ve created a really blessed life together.
I do miss “home” though.
Where did you grow up? What’s your best hometown memory? I’d love to know.
Thanks so much for reading!