I'm from a small town in East-Central Illinois and I am very proud of my town, but at the same time I could see where we could do with some improvements. But, I love home enough to admit that I wish the town would allow for improvements instead of basking in the glory days and allowing everything to crumble around us.

Home with your cornfields glowing in the late evening glow

Home with your rolling rows of soybeans shifting in the wind

Home with your smells of barbecue in the summer

Home with your sounds of late-night parties, Selena blasting down the block

Home is driving by someone you may not know but waving anyway because it's just impolite not to

Home is getting pulled over and having a casual conversation about the officer's kids while they ticket you

Home with your autumnal smells of chili and cornbread waiting when I come in from raking the jewel-toned leaves

Home is a visit to the grocery store where you run into your old teachers and they have that look of pride on your face as you tell them how well you are doing

Home is not being ashamed to tell people where you are from (or that you high school mascot is a cob of corn)

Home is where you are loved for who you are and not what you could give

Home is where you are comfortable

Home is a small town in a nowhere county in the Midwest

I love Hoopeston and I hope that it loves me back. I know that with all the travels and endeavors that life may bring, home is where I will always want to come back to, even if purely to replicate the feeling of a warm, ratty security blanket, even if no one really wants me here.