Maybe it is all the changes in job/moving going on in my life right now. Maybe it's because my sister has been so focused on the Miss Tooele City pageant the last 4 weeks. Maybe it's been all my traveling. Maybe it's the conversations with an old friend recently. Maybe it's my recent obsession with this Zac Brown Band song (and how it reminds me of my parents every time I hear it.) I don't really know the reasons why, but lately have been thinking about my good ole hometown.
Growing up I always heard comments about wanting to "get out," how there was nothing to do, about how "small town" it felt. I always wondered if there was something wrong with me because I never really felt like that. It didn't bother me that the only place to shop was (is) Walmart. It didn't bother me that the main source of entertainment on Friday night was the football/basketball game at the high school. It didn't bother me that no one knew where Tooele was or how to say it. None of it bothered me.
The more I have grown up and matured the more I have started to appreciate the legacy that has been left for me in this small town. (Yes, I know Tooele really isn't that small any more, but in my mind I still see the it with a dirt road for 1000 north and when you hit Koevene's you were out of town.) I kind of love being able to say that both my parents were born and raised here. My grandma graduated from Tooele High. I am pretty sure 80% of the town had my grandpa as a teacher at the jr. high. Most people in Tooele know my dad as the one that drives the fire truck around town. The kids in town stop and get chocolate from my mom in her classroom at the high school or have had her as a sub at some point. My siblings and I all have a stuffed animal white buffalo, earned through some achievement in high school. Every member of my family owns some sort of royal purple attire and we wear it proudly.
I had never really thought about where I would end up living with my future family, but the more I think about it the more I would love for it to be right where I grew up. Where my kids can play "Annie Over" at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Where they can sit on the curb and eat a popsicle every day during the summer. Where they can play baseball on the same fields their grandpa and uncle played. Where they can get up early during the summer and listen to the marching band march all over town practicing for the parade. Where they can hear the story and meet the people behind Parker's Park and the brick with our family name on it. Where they can listen to the stories of Grandma and Grandpa hanging out in front of Tate's Mortuary on Friday nights (because that's apparently what the cool kids did in the early 80's). Where they can listen to mom tell stories of hanging out in the Macey's parking lot (because that's apparently what the cool kids did in the early 2000's). Where they can fish in the same reservoir my grandpa took me fishing. Where they can hike and have picnic's up Settlement Canyon. Where they can ride the wheelers up to the copper pit overlook. Where they can watch the homecoming parade every fall as a kid and be in the parade as a teen. Where they can light the "T" before graduation.
That's the dream, but if it never happens, if I don't "stay until I die," I will always be able to say that my heart will always be "forever and forever in Tooele."