Many people believe a hometown is where you currently live. I have always believed otherwise. Although I was born in Flensburg, Germany and have recently moved from Shawnee, Kansas to Elkridge, Maryland, I firmly believe my hometown is still and will always be Sierra Vista, Arizona. Although I’ve moved to places that were near big cities, such as Kansas City, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland, I have not been able to shake the small town Sierra Vista homesickness, I endure during the school year. Fortunately, I am still able to visit my hometown of Sierra Vista every summer, because my mom and step dad still reside there. Even though I only lived there for eight years, Sierra Vista has always been the special place I call my hometown.
Many of my friends and family don’t understand how Sierra Vista is such a great place. Most think it’s because the family I have there, but it’s way more than that. They don’t understand the heart warming significance of the encompassing mountains, green and lush during the raging thunderstorms of the monsoon season; dried to ashes during the spring and summer; and snow capped for no more than three days at a time during the months of winter. They don’t realize how the never ending view of the Arizona desert makes me happy with awe. They don’t understand how I love the suppressing heat as every year it gets hotter and hotter (we had all 100 plus degree days last summer), drying up old lakes and ponds, where my childhood memories of fishing took place; while having the fire hazard at Highly Severe everyday, forcing me to drink like a camel in the Sahara. To top everything off, Sierra Vista nestled sweetly in the middle of this beautiful mountain desert landscape.
To me Sierra Vista is more than what most people see. Where most people just see a small town in the middle of nowhere attempting to develop, I see a beautiful little city where great memories took place. Sierra Vista was where I got 7th place on my first official cross country race ever, and 12th at the 3rd annual Cochise County Youth Classic race. It was were my wonderful 6th birthday party took place at the local Peter Piper Pizza, and where I read all sorts of books to meet the requirements of the local Hastings’ summer book club. It was were I willingly got up super early on Saturday’s to go down to the Flea Market, and find cheap trinkets that only a child would want. It was where every year, my family and I would gather in the park on the fourth of July to yet again see the worst display of a fireworks show ever, but still come back year after year to see it again and laugh about it all the way home. This is my hometown Sierra Vista.
Although there have been many changes in Sierra Vista, my outlook of it hasn’t changed. It is still wonderful. Today in Sierra Vista, we have a marvelous indoor wave pool called The Cove, where I enjoy Tsunami nights during the summer. The Sierra Vista Mall was built, and although there isn’t much to it, it is still a popular asset to the town. Many, many, many new housing developments are being built, the majority of them having special paths for runners and bicycles. Currently, everyone is getting excited for the new Best Buy that will be built right next to the mall. In addition, the fourth of July show is beginning to improve year after year. Isn’t Sierra Vista great or what?
Although I been to and moved to many gorgeous places, I can’t seem to get Sierra Vista out of me. No matter where I am, I always have a tugging feeling in my heart that I want to be in Sierra Vista. It will be a wonderful reunion when I return to live there for a few years after graduation. I’ve gotten so used to just visiting Sierra Vista every year, that next year will be a big surprise when I don’t get back on an airplane to leave. I think it will be wonderful to attend either Cochise College in Sierra Vista or take an hour commute every day to the University of Arizona.
Sierra Vista has always been the heart of my childhood and the longing of my adolescence. I am a small town girl lost in a big city, counting down the days until I go home. Those days are becoming less and less as graduation becomes closer. Next year, I will have a one-way flight from Baltimore, Maryland to Phoenix, Arizona. Then a three hour drive to my hometown, Sierra Vista. Home is where you make it, but a hometown is where your heart makes it.