by Baylee Heitschmidt
Missing my family was something I knew was going to happen, no doubt in my mind. I knew I would miss my mom’s sound advice, my dad’s ability to have knowledge on everything, and my brother’s witty humor. I knew I would miss my grandparents and the support system who had raised me since I was a baby. I went home once and got quality time with my mom. My parents came to see me two weekends ago. Where my family was, had always been home to me, but something was missing. I found out what that was this weekend.
For the first time this weekend, I got to drive into Hutchinson. I passed the new “Welcome to Hutchinson Sign” and a relief of fresh air came over me. That’s what I had been missing. Though my address does not show me as a Hutchinson citizen, this was home. This was familiarity. These were the streets I knew.
I drove by the park that I broke my arm at three days before I started kindergarten. The soccer fields where I ran endless miles. Bogey’s, where I ordered more large orders of cheesy fries than I am even comfortable admitting to. The Applebee’s, the go-to place when it was late at night, you were starving, and wanted some wings. The round-a-bout that I went around way too many times with my friends trying to make ourselves dizzy. The K-mart parking lot that we sat in and waited for guys in big trucks to come so we could mess with them. The football stadium that I spent late nights in, in some costume, cheering on boys who will be my best friends for life. The streets that I drove with my best friends when boys or coaches were being mean. The golf course we took thousands of pictures on in expensive and shiny dresses. The bike trails we rode when we were too young to have cars and needed to get places. The doors at Hutch High that we knew we could sneak out of to get away for lunch. The houses of my best friends that became my second homes. Although there were times that I thought there was ‘nothing to do’, we seemed to find an adventure every night.
I could pay for my college tuition if I had a dollar every time I heard someone say they wanted to “Get out of Hutch.” I always thought it annoyed me because everyone always said it and never actually did it. It is so much more than that. That’s my town. That’s where I learned how to read, write, and be a successful person. Home is where you became who you are. I’m sure I will be able to drive into Manhattan one day and feel at home. I’m sure it will carry the same memories for me after awhile.
But for right now in my life, I crave Roy’s BBQ, Allie’s Deli, and a coffee from the Metro.
If you’re going to complain about the town that built you, take a step back and recognize who it made you today.