Saturday, March 20, 2010

Blogtrotting: Burbs Style

Sending a little shout-out to my new friends via the Blogtrotting Blog! Yo! Thanks to Cara, my bloggy-buddy who tolerated my tagalonging* at BlogHer '09, I am this week's spotlight or highlight or whatever she likes to call the posts that are being put at the top for the moment. Check out her blog is what I'm saying, ok?

I DIGRESS! I do that a lot.

It's a common trait of mine. My apologies for the above and for any digressions which will most likely occur below. Because, well... it happens.

Plainfield, Illinois. Yup. That's where we live. I've been feebly hiding our location for a while. But now it's out, so commence with the stalking. I'm not worried cuz we have a gun.*

So, we live in Plainfield. What a fun name, eh? Couldn't get any more exciting than a plain field. Especially one that is renowned for the deadly tornado that hit in 1990. Folks round these parts are still talking about that one. In fact, when we first told our friends and family that we were moving here, we were met with the general response of "Not TORNADO TOWN?!? Are you serious?" I vividly recall that storm. It was during the days before I was to start high school. My sisters and I were home in the town nearby. We got to watch our brand new, heavy duty patio furniture FLY across the lawn. I was highly intelligent back then and decided to go out there and rescue it. Yeah... I went out into the high winds of a tornado to rescue patio furniture. Ahhh, teenagers...

ANYway. Due to the tornado, money was invested in cleaning up the town and fixing the problems that the storm brought. New schools, parks and storefronts brought interest and a housing boom to the town and Plainfield is now BEAUTIFUL. Here's a link to some gorgeous photos taken by other people of my town.
I've found tons of historical information on Plainfield in preparation for this post. Stuff like the old Electric Park in the early 1900's which drew vacationing Chicagoans away from the city in the summertime. I learned that North Central College (in nearby Naperville, which my own sister attended) was first located in Plainfield (it was formerly called Plainfield College. Fancy that!). So, like most towns, I discovered that my own has a rich and full history.

Civil War Reenactment at nearby Dollinger Farm, Minooka, IL.

Interesting though that may be, it is a bit dull, isn't it? Instead, I'd like to tell you about Plainfield TODAY. What Plainfield currently means to me and my family is a place that just feels like home. We have been met with more kindness and friendship than ignorance or cruelty. We have found ourselves surrounded by people of all colors and religions despite what the previous census of this formerly small, Midwestern town shows. Our children have opportunities to explore everything from archery and fencing to soccer and ballet. Plainfield's close proximity to Chicago (about 40 minutes South, all interstate travel) makes it possible for my children to experience all that Chicago and its other surrounding suburbs have available. The museums, stadiums and concert halls are all within an easy driving distance without being directly on top of us.
During a neighborhood party full of free games and food!

But my favorite parts of Plainfield are located just outside our front door... Our neighbors. Patrick and I have made many friends within our neighborhood. Friends who are willing to come to my home in the middle of the night when I need to run a child to the emergency room. Friends who call ME to watch THEIR children when they need to go to the emergency room to deliver their next baby! Friends that will remain within our family's history and timelines. And those people are what make Plainfield more than just where we live. They make it HOME. My children are being raised in this town and will consider it their home for all of their adult lives. No matter where they move, this town will be used as their frame of reference when someone asks, "So, where are you from?"

I hope they're always proud to answer with "Plainfield".

* Not really. But we do have ninja swords.**

** No joke. And I know how to use 'em.
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