By Holly Wise
The Cove Herald
The single-most difficult question for me to answer is, "Where are you from?" and as it turns out, it's one of the most popular questions people ask. It fits easily into every social situation I can think of. What should be an automatic reply instead comes stuttering off my lips and leaves the person opposite the punch bowl from me more confused than enlightened.
So you're dying to ask me, aren't you?
To put it simply, I'm from nowhere and everywhere.
The fact that I don't have a hometown used to bother me, but as I've traveled and lived in different places, it's become a part of me and I love the adventure. I was born in Illinois but claim Kentucky as my home state. I lived there for seven years, the longest stretch I've ever lived in one state.
I consider myself lucky to have experienced the pure rivers in Idaho, the Oregon rain, Tennessee humidity, the farmland of Illinois, the tablelands of Texas, New Mexico mountains and sunsets, the historical beauty of the Capitol and the frozen wonderland of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
I pity my friends in Kentucky who've never smelled the pungent aroma of never-falling rain in New Mexico and vice versa, my New Mexico friends who've never witnessed a sunset over Kentucky Lake - one of my favorite places on earth.
If I were to take you to where I grew up, we'd have to rent an RV and embark on a zigzag trip back and forth across the United States. We'd drive by an old farmhouse in a cornfield in Illinois where my little brother broke his arm. We'd visit houses in Minnesota that I helped roof and side. We'd visit a farmhouse in Indiana where I watched Chuck Norris for the first time. Our trip wouldn't be complete without a pit stop in Wisconsin to visit my first college, the site of my first job, where I bought my first car, and had my first crush. We'd visit Yellowstone National Park ,where I remember locking up food to keep it from bears.
I don't catalog milestones by who was dating whom in high school or what street we moved to in first grade. I remember by what state I lived in at the time.
One benefit to my nomadic lifestyle is the number of friends I have throughout the entire country. In a moment's notice, I could visit friends in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, various cities in Kentucky, Tennessee, various towns in New Mexico and Texas, Washington state, Washington, D.C,, Idaho, Atlanta, Ga., Indiana, Illinois and Alabama.
It should come as no surprise that returning to Central Texas was like coming home, thanks to family in the Hill Country. It has a familiarity to me that's unusual considering I'm the girl who's accepted jobs in cities I've never visited and of course didn't have housing arranged before I went.
Despite many, many days of 100-degree heat, stifling humidity and drivers who drive slowly in the left lane, I'm very glad to join you all in Central Texas and more specifically in Copperas Cove, Lampasas and Kempner.
I've found everyone to be gracious and welcoming in my first month-and-a-half here and I look forward to spending the next weeks, months and even years in your communities.
Holly Wise is editor of the Cove Herald. Contact her at email@example.com or (254) 501-7474. Follow her on Twitter at KDHcoveeditor.