Who Could Ask for More?
No place like home for long-time resident
When I look back to my childhood in Emmaus, my thoughts are filled with carefree days of riding my bike down uncongested roads, walking safely from Jefferson School to piano lessons (with a quick stop at Queen's Health Food Store for a bag of cheddar popcorn) and playing softball at the Emmaus Community Park.
Technically, we lived in Vera Cruz, the little 'country' part of Emmaus just south of town. However, Emmaus was our town … and has been home to me since I was 7 years old.
Life always was good in our community: fresh air, great friends, solid schools, and a "giant pickle" tree to light at Christmas on the downtown Triangle. Who could ask for more?
As I grew older, I wondered why my fellow Emmaus High School classmates were so eager to escape. They swore they'd never get stuck in Emmaus, nor would they return.
Don't get me wrong. I too had dreams of seeing other places and doing exciting things. But I never felt as strong of an urge to leave as most around me. This was home.
After graduating from Penn State University, I returned to my adopted hometown to begin my adult life. I lived a block from Turkey Hill, Rita's Italian Ice, Emmaus Laundromat and, of course, the railroad tracks. I was content, even with train whistles blowing at 2 a.m.
Then I met my husband, Brian, an Emmaus native. He and I share a passion for the West … the mountains, fresh pine air and low humidity. My wedding band even commands: "Go West". It was our dream! Yet, here we are "stuck" in Emmaus. Or, at least that's what my high school classmates would say.
"Why did you stay?" they ask. My response, "Why wouldn't we stay?" No matter how much my husband and I loved the idea of moving west, we just couldn't do it. We wanted to raise our family here, in the town that shaped us into who we are today. Our families are here. Our memories are here. We fell in love here.
This town has so much character: the beautiful Moravian Church, the Triangle with festivities throughout the year, the children's librarian everyone knows, the art-deco movie theater with the roar of passing trains as you watch the $3 matinee.
Whenever I drive back toward our house from the north end of town, I see South Mountain rise before me. Its beauty occasionally has brought tears to my eyes. I thought I had to move west to fulfill my passion for the mountains. Little did I know I could be so satisfied staying right here in Emmaus, raising my family at the base of South Mountain. Who could ask for more?