There is something to be said about growing up in a small, country town. For one, I can seriously relate to all the songs ever written about small towns. Friday night activities included local high school football games or parties in random cul-de-sacs in new neighborhood developments. (Seriously.) Athletics was all we had to pass time after school, and boyfriends were passed around like gossip between middle school girls. (Again, seriously.) One of the best things about growing up in a small town is the closeness that naturally develops between classmates (especially when there is just one high school in the town). We all know each other. We have all known each other for years. Most of us grew up together (I'm talkin' the "I knew you in pre-school" deal). And no matter who you spent your time with in high school, you couldn't help but to develop some sort of relationship with each and every person you interacted with. (Be it positive or negative.) I remember going off to college and being surprised by the feelings that instantly flooded my heart when I unexpectedly ran into someone from home. There is a bond that develops between people who call the same place "home." It is undeniable... and to be surprised with that spark of familiarity is such a pleasant experience.
Since beginning my career as a professional photographer, I have had the awesome opportunity to photograph many of my old classmates and their spouses and children (many thanks to Facebook!). I love running into people I haven't seen in years and hearing about how different their lives are now. Learning the career paths that the wild neighborhood kids decided to take never fails to surprise me. Giving and receiving hugs from peers that I used to spend my summers with always makes my heart skip a beat.
I love that I get to experience those things. I love that I am a small town girl.
Last week my brother and I drove through our old neighborhood and passed the house we grew up in. Being in the area inspired me to get out and capture those scenes that make my heart skip a beat. So this weekend I spent some time capturing scenes that take me back home. Here are a few of my favorites:
This week, I am grateful that I was raised in a small town. I am a proud country girl. :)