March 14, 2011

a (totally sentimental) peek into my past.

I love where I'm from, I really do.

For one thing, it's always been home--a rare and special circumstance I'd never found unusual until I went to college and realized that most people have moved a time or two. Not me, though--same house, same bedroom, same friends since daycare. Rarer still is the fact that my dad was born and raised here too, that my siblings and I attended the same high school that he did. Being a Glenbard West Hilltopper was a birthright (or something.)

But Glen Ellyn is just that kind of place--that small sort of town where people leave and then return, oftentimes marrying someone who grew up in the neighborhood. There's a unique sense of community here, a close-knit friendliness that's hard to describe. You think of your neighbors as family. You run into your kindergarten teacher at the grocery store, your sixth grade teacher at the doctor's office, and your high school English teacher twice a year when you set up coffee dates. You know the owners of all the downtown shops, the regulars at all the restaurants, and you most likely went to school with your plumber, your realtor, a handful of cops, and the mailman.

And, well, you wouldn't have it any other way.

Here, a glimpse into my corner of town, starting with the view at the end of my street:
The bench that holds more memories than I can count, with my high school (yep, it's a castle) and the football field sitting just across the lake:
My winding street, beside the grassy parkway--our Capture The Flag site in grade school, our make-shift soccer field in junior high, our favorite setting for heart-to-hearts in high school:
The only pop of color to last through the winter--berries from the Magic Berry Tree my neighbor once told me had special powers... (Truth is, I still like to believe him):
Our favorite (leaning) tree to climb, where that same neighbor scaled all the way to the top--and where both of our dads had to bring ladders in order to get him back down:
And last but not least, home--with the little house number that always reminded me of The Sound of Music, and forever made me think that Julie Andrews would show up to become my au pair someday:
*Read more sappy posts about Glen Ellyn here, here, and here.

I'm curious: Where do you call home?
Do you love it? Hate it? Why?

(Photos: My Flickr)


Holly said... [Reply to comment]

Glen ellyn is beautiful!! :) I live in Wheaton, and it's great to think that even being as close to chicago as they are, you can still get the small-town feel of some of the suburbs :) Glen ellyn, i think, especially gives off that 'traditionally super cute' vibe with all of the small shops, classic buildings- basically everything you've said! :) Thanks for posting!

Nicole Marie said... [Reply to comment]

i call 2 places home. san francisco and my parents in orange county. obviously i love them both.

Ana* said... [Reply to comment]

I lived in the Caribbean for a long time but never stayed in a city for more than 3 years, so I don't feel like I have any roots in a specific city over there.

I have lived in RI for the past 8 years. Here's where I transited from a teen into an adult, where I had my first kiss, first boyfriend, and made friendships who I consider family. I guess RI is where my home will always be even though I am from the Caribbean

Jennifer Rod said... [Reply to comment]

These pictures are amazing! I live in Miami and this kind of quiet feel, with nice trees and cool breeze dont happen often. I love the area, so calm. But I will say Miami has it awesome areas. I particularly love getting away to the beach to catch the sunrise or to a lake side to listen to my thoughts or put them to rest. You should visit some time :)

If you check out this post, you can see my favorite beach to hang out in the early morning...


Ariel said... [Reply to comment]

It looks so beautiful! I have lived in the same place forever, too. My dad built our home in Ca and both of my parents grew up in the area as well. I moved across the country to go to school, but there really is nothing like the feeling of going home. It's amazing.
Lovely blog post!
~Ariel at

Rachael said... [Reply to comment]

Aww, that's great that you have a place to call home, whenever you go back to it!
That's really lucky!
I moved a few times when I was young. I only remember moving from CA, back to VA. I moved to VA when I was...well, it was before 4th grade. I'm bad with numbers okay?! And I've lived there for most of my life! I'm not living there now, but it is the place I consider where I'm 'from'. And I was born in VA, so I am FROM here! It's alright. I don't want to live there now, but when I was young, it was fine. I guess I didn't really think much about the actual place growing up. It was just where I live. That's why I'm glad though, being an actual grown up where I can choose where to live. Even though at this moment I have no idea where I want to choose!

Melisande said... [Reply to comment]

what a beautiful post. sounds like you come from an amazing town. i call several places home, but growing up in the same house and town sounds really cool.

kirstyb said... [Reply to comment]

lovely post xxx

~Abby~ said... [Reply to comment]

Your town is sooo cute. A lot of small towns are trashy, but yours is absolutely gorgeous.♥ & quaint. I'd live there anyday!


Talán valahol. Egyszer. said... [Reply to comment]

Hi, Dear!

I've been reading your blog for quite a while now, but i'm not sure if i left a comment ever. But I felt like posting one know - just today i've been watching some photos of my hometown. It's the kind of little town like the one you described. Since October, I've been home only once, for Christmas-New Year, and did not miss really much ever since. But watching these photos, it made me a little bit homesick. I would really want to spend a few spring-days there (since spring is my favourite, and when it 'snows' in our garden with all those apple-tree-petals, it's jut unbelievably beautiful).

In case you are interested: (on the 6th photo you can see a very little orange spot - a man standing. That's the place i call home - the house I grew up in).

Take care, and all the best!


Esther said... [Reply to comment]

Love your pics!

stephany said... [Reply to comment]

Loving your writing! my place is in illinois too, just a little outside chicago, south suburbs, i tend to have a love/hate relationship with my hometown and i think everybody does at some point.

CMae said... [Reply to comment]

I'm totally new to your blog (as if you couldn't guess as to why I am commenting this far back on your posts lol that's because I have really enjoyed reading your posts I just had to scroll back!) I am from Illinois! I grew up in Batavia, and moved to Elgin to finish HS. I loved every second about growing up in Illinois and I Miss my "home" often~ Your posts make me smile. You write beautifully, and I think it's AMAZING that you know Emily Giffin! I bought her first book when it came out YEARS ago, on a whim and am so happy she is such a smash today!