I’ve never been a small town girl. I’m attracted to city lights and colorful buildings and streets bustling with people. The countryside is peaceful, but it makes me restless—within a few days of visiting, my fingers start itching. But there’s one little town I may have to make an exception for: Fort Scott, Kansas.
Have you ever been somewhere that feels less like a place and more like a living being? It hasn’t happened to me often, but I felt it in Fort Scott, at my grandparents’ big red house. It was always so full of people, so full of chatter and laughter. Even when everyone filtered out, they seemed to leave behind an echo of noises, ringing softly in silent rooms. I swear that house knew every secret I’d ever whispered in darkened bedrooms when my cousins and I were supposed to be asleep. Maybe that’s why I always felt so strange when I was left alone there—the house had a presence bigger than any person I’d ever known.
I think everyone in my family has felt this way about it at some point. My family is so big, and we have all traveled in different directions—we have different aspirations and different religions; we live different lifestyles in different cities, different states, different countries. And yet the house was a common ground where we could all gather and just be together. Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to say goodbye.
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