I was born in the city of Chicago, and lived there for my first few years.
I don’t remember it very well, except the end, which was rather traumatic.
My mother got mugged on the street one day, and soon after my father packed up our house and moved us away from the city. He told me that he wanted a better life for his family, and the best place for us was in the same small town where he had grown up. I will always be grateful that Dad did that for us. It helped my mom emotionally recover from her attack, and it opened my eyes to how amazing small town life in Illinois can be. Outside of Chicago, the entirety of the state of Illinois is the type of place where you don’t have to lock your doors at night. This remote Illinois town was very small, but I could travel anywhere I wanted on my bike with no fear. Back then cannabis had not yet been legalized in Illinois, so my dad grew his own plants in the garage. He didn’t hide his cannabis use from me, instead choosing to explain that the laws of Illinois were wrong, because cannabis was a gift from God. Many years later the Illinois state government changed the laws, which made my father very happy. He never once visited a legal Illinois cannabis dispensary, he kept on growing his own plants until the day he died. Now that I am about to become a father I am considering moving back to that same small Illinois town.