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Amy Paegel

My heart lives in Tucson! Definitely. I was born and raised in Massachusetts, met my husband and had our son in Southern Calif (where I lived for almost 7 yrs), but my heart is here where we live now. Why?
1. Family. I have an aunt and uncle here, plus nearly 30 cousins of all ages (baby through 50s) and more arriving every year. They are a warm, close, loud and loving bunch!
2. The desert. I've been in love with our desert from the first time I laid eyes on it in 1989. I love the light. I love the dense jungle of vegetation. I love love love the way it smells, especially after a rain. I used to walk out of the airport (when I was a visitor) here and just inhale deeply.
3. I feel at home here. In some weird way, even many years before I came to live here, it felt deep down like home.
4. The community. It's a big enough city to have some city-life amenities, but small enough that you constantly run into people you know. The same story is on everyone's mind. And it's a caring place -- people readily chip in and help out when it's needed.
5. Its character. For a Western place, Tucson has plenty of history, new and old. It has charming places to visit, its own set of unique words, quirky customs and traditions that set it apart. Working on a scrapbook page about Tucson!

Deborah White

Tough question! I was born and raised in Lebanon, Ohio and that's where I live now. I guess I could say my SOUL lives in New Orleans - I just love everything about that place (except the seafood, I'm allergic), but my heart lives here in Lebanon:
1. Friends - I grew up here and I have so many friends whom have know for my entire life - I still talk to kids from my preschool class and I'm nearly 40!
2. Family - My family is here. As long as my brother and sister keep having children, it's going to be impossible for me to move away from my nieces and nephews. I keep thinking that I'll move away when the kids grow up, but they keep having more kids! I am also blessed to have oodles of cousins whom I see on a regular basis, along with aunts, uncles and of course, grandma!
3. Work - I have a great job here. I love the attorneys whom I work with and the fact that I can walk or ride my bike to work because I live less than a mile from my office.
4. Weather - Most years we have four beautiful, evenly spaced seasons where we get to appreciate all kinds of weather.
5. Community - when walking into the grocery, the kids' schools, the YMCA, etc., I always see familiar faces and know that there are people to count on and turn to with ANY kind of crisis that arises. It's nice to know your neighbors! I feel very safe here.
6. Location, Location, Location - we're in the middle of it all. Close to activities in Dayton and Cincinnati, lots of airport access, musuems, outdoor activities, etc. Feels like everything is just a road trip away! :)

Andrea Fisher

My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here
My heart's in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer,
A-chasing the wild deer, and following the roe-
My heart's in the Highlands, wherever I go
~ Robert Burns

Just a portion of a Burns poem I memorized for an assignment in Jr.High. We'd just spent the summer living in Scotland visiting family and touring the land. I loved the sea air of the coast living, but it was in the mountains of the Highlands where I truely felt at home, and where a part of my heart has always been.

Dad was keen on seeing the USA and showing us many places on our family vacations. Mountains were always "home" where ever they were...

1.It was the "smokey air" of the Smoky Mountains.
2.The first glimpse of the Rockies-Grand Tetons that took my breathe away and still holds a special place in my heart.
3. The Rockies outside my dorm room window in Ft. Collins, Co. and
4. Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills in South Dakota.

Where I live is quite different. Near a larger city but in a rural, mostly flat, small town, a place that I began to appreciate more with our March Photo Challenge (see www.journella.com for everyones pages!). And while I like it here, and I am content here, and the people I have around me are very special and I love them, "This world is not my home, I am just passing through" the next set of mountains I have my sights on are 'the Delectable Mountains' that John Bunyon wrote about in Pilgrim's Progress. For that is truly where my heart is.

Julie Miller-Oconnor

My heart lives in Missouri.
I was raised in St. Louis County close to the City of St. Louis. We could drive a few blocks as a child and see the Arch. I moved to Fenton, Missouri as a young adult for six years. It was a small town in Jefferson County when I lived there now it is a huge town with a great shopping mall called The Bluffs. After that my husband and I moved to Festus, Missouri. It is a town further south of St. Louis. We lived there 15 years. It too has grown since we left. Festus has good shopping, the hospital I work for and the Mississippi River. We then moved to Hillsboro, Missouri to live on a lake. There is not much in Hillsboro then or now (except it is the County Seat w/courthouse and jail).

My family is scattered across a few states. I love to travel, but it always feels great to come back home.

Things I like best about Missouri:
1. 4 seasons (normally)
2. The best tomatoes/peaches in Summer and apples in the Fall. Like to go pickin'
3. Lots of nature - nice parks, lakes and rivers.
4. The country is a short drive from the city.

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