Grow Where You’re Planted {Gratitude}

by Fawn Rechkemmer on November 7, 2013

Written by Sarah Kerner of Beauty School Dropout

Growing up in Chillicothe, I dreamed of moving to Colorado or northern California when I grew up.  I was looking for adventure, independence, and maybe just a tad less humidity in the summer!  But life happens, as it does, and in-state tuition, falling in love and marrying a guy from Independence, and the unappealing prospect of taking another state’s professional licensing exam, all convinced me at various points in my early adulthood that staying in Missouri was the right thing to do.

How do I reconcile my dreams of mountain or ocean adventures with living in various cities in Missouri for all of my 34 years?  I guess I have gained a little perspective as i’ve gotten older, because I am not disappointed in the least that I still live in Missouri, and probably will for the rest of my life.  I’ve traveled to all those places I wished I could live, back when I was a teenager yearning to break free from small-town life (where everyone knows your name and what you’re up to, whether you like it or not).  You know what?  They’re not so great.  Okay… that’s not true.  Spending a week in Colorado is pretty amazing during a sticky Missouri summer.  But every time I go on a trip, I am amazed at how happy I am to come home to Missouri.  With all of its faults, this is my place and these are my people.

I don’t live close enough to either my parents or my husband’s parents to have free babysitting (darn!), but there’s a lot to be said for not having to get on an airplane or drive all day and night to see relatives.  And it seems that no matter where I travel within the state, I can manage to share a meal or even score a free place to stay with a cousin or other relative.

I am thankful I live in Missouri because it keeps me connected with my extended family and our shared history that makes me who I am.

Sarah Kerner
Sarah Kerner is an attorney, mom to two boys, and United Methodist pastor’s wife.  (She does not play the organ.)  She is a life-long Missouri girl with a heart for hospitality and social justice.  Sarah enjoys cooking, running, knitting and embroidery, reading, and playing in the sprinkler.  Sarah blogs about food, family, fitness and faith at
Megan November 7, 2013 at 8:35 am

Hello! I feel like part of this could be written by me! My husband and I were both at a point in our lives where we could have easily moved (Colorado was our top choice) but didn’t. I’m now thankful we didn’t for many reasons. Missouri definitely has some god qualities!

Sarah November 7, 2013 at 9:16 pm

I’m glad that it worked out for you and your husband to stay where you felt at home. When you live in one place your whole life, it’s easy to take it for granted, but I definitely appreciate it more now that I’m an adult.

Pamela Hernandez November 7, 2013 at 9:35 am

I can say I had the same thoughts about leaving Missouri. Brian and I even considered a move to San Francisco 10 years ago. But we realized Missouri is home. We can travel the globe but family and our roots are still here.

Sarah November 7, 2013 at 9:13 pm

That’s right! And you aren’t kidding about traveling the globe, huh?!

Alessandra Ferguson November 7, 2013 at 2:55 pm

I am a California girl who never thought she would end up in Missouri, and when I did, I never thought I would be here this long. I have been here for five years and it seems like we will be staying for awhile. I must admit though, I am learning to love it!

Sarah November 7, 2013 at 9:12 pm

That’s awesome! I bet it’s pretty different from where you grew up but I’m glad to hear you’re learning to like it.

Tamara November 7, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Northern California and Colorado were both dreams of mine, when I was a kid in Jersey. I wanted big mountains and adventures. I still haven’t been to CO but I did live in San Francisco for a bit. Now I’m setting my roots down in New England, and not terribly far from my birth place. Family is everything to me, I suppose.

Sarah November 7, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Same here. I think it’s hard to understand how important family is when you’re a teenager yearning for independence, but at this point in my life I’m solidly in the “I wish I lived closer to mom and dad” camp.

Suzanne @WorkoutNirvana November 7, 2013 at 3:44 pm

There is no place like home, no matter where that place is. When I lived in Texas and California, I could never make it feel like home, no matter how I tried. And even though I live in beautiful Colorado now, none of my family will leave Texas to come here. It’s just not home to them :).

Sarah November 7, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Yep — I guess there’s a reason The Wizard of Oz is so popular — Dorothy knew what she was talking about!

Dana November 7, 2013 at 4:58 pm

I’ve lived in Maryland my whole life, and I’ve been to the California – but nowhere in between. I can’t imagine living anyplace else, but I would like to see more of the United States. Maybe I should start with Missouri?

Sarah November 7, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Missouri would welcome you with open arms! We’ve got the Arch, Kansas City BBQ, Midwest friendliness, beautiful lakes, and more! =)

Jenn Speer November 7, 2013 at 10:17 pm

I’m not living in Missouri any more and surprisingly Las Vegas is becoming my home, but Missouri will always be home. (I do love the dry heat, it may be in the hundreds, but it’s way better than the humidity.)

Sarah November 8, 2013 at 1:23 am

Could you tell from the essay that the humidity and I are not friends? I visited the desert for first time just a few years ago, and I just loved the cacti, the gorgeous sunsets, and the mountains, but I was really happy to see the green landscape of MO again when I got home.

Shana Norris November 7, 2013 at 10:23 pm

It’s funny, because I often struggle to name “great things” about Missouri but – especially at this point in my life – there is no place else I’d rather be.

My husband and I talk about going to England for a year when the kids are grown and gone. Who knows if we’ll actually do it.

Kansas City and St. Louis are both great cities, and I think the Ozarks are pretty lovely.

Sarah November 8, 2013 at 1:33 am

England sounds fun — but you better hurry before you start having grandkids or you won’t be able to stand being so far away from them! (If my mom burning up the highway between Chilli and Springfield is any indication, that is!). =)

Shira November 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm

It is all about perspective, and how wonderful that your visits to Colorado and elsewhere that engages your heart has helped reconnect you even morte strongly with Missouri!

Toni @runninglovingliving November 14, 2013 at 9:03 pm

It is always nice to be close to family, sometimes that is the reason to stay put!

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