I spent the last forty-eight hours in my hometown of Lefors, Texas. This unique oil field community is a place where time stands still and children roam the streets. Folks don't lock their doors at night. Families sit outside, visiting about the past and sipping on sweet iced tea. Stray dogs wander aimlessly, and the rutted dirt roads are always full of potholes. I spent the first 18 years of my life in in this little place, and each time I return nostalgia and a sense of gratitude wash over me. I'm lucky have grown up in this tired, old town.
Several years ago before Chris and I married, I wrote a blog titled Orange Hair and Sirens. For almost a decade after leaving Lefors, I often criticized and judged my hometown unfairly. At that stage of my life, I hadn't learned the important lesson about how it takes all kinds of kinds to make the world go round. Today I know the power of the phrase different, not less. Like Aesop's fable about the city mouse and country mouse, there are pros and cons of living in both locations. One is not better than another.
As we drove home Chris commented, "It's hard for me to picture you in this place." I feel the same way. It seems strange to think I fit here perfectly for over half my life. Human beings evolve. We adapt, change, and assimilate. Yet, somehow our childhood experiences stamp our DNA in lasting ways. I am the person I am today because I grew up in Lefors. It's where my story begins.