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Some starting to return home

It has been engrained in us that once our kids go away to college, they probably aren’t coming back. There is more glitz and glitter in other places … New York, Chicago and LA come to mind. There are jobs in other places. It is a big country and young people want to see it. There are a lot of reasons that they move away.

Yet, I think things are changing a bit. Our daughter and her family have moved back. It looks like one of our sons may be coming. Vanity might argue that it is the magnetism of Mom and Dad causing it. But I am inclined to think it is the area, the community, the friends made, the schools to attend and the homes to have which may be more the reason.

One thing that has definitely changed in employment today is the power of being online. More and more millennials want to work from home. The Internet makes that possible. Corporations traditionally had offices where everyone showed up for their 9 to 5 shift. However, today’s youth want workplace flexibility and if you don’t have it, they will move to a company that does. One of our friends’ children is coming home and will practice law from here though the offices of her firm are located elsewhere.

There are some occupations, of course, where you have to be there. For example, you can’t assemble engines (think Cummins) staying at home. On the other hand, if you are in information technology or a manufacturing support role… then maybe you can work at least partially from home.

If there is any weakness in “kids coming home,” it might be in social networking. Our rural county is more geared to young families who have children in school. The young, single adult may have a more difficult time finding friends and colleagues with a common interest. That is an issue in all small towns.

But, even then, I think that our children who have moved on to the bigger cities, are finding out that the place they grew up in isn’t so bad. Housing is affordable, there are no traffic jams on the highways, the streets are generally safe, the schools are good, you can get to know your neighbors and there is a local paper that will print your Letter to the Editor!

This may all seem mundane, but I think there is a yearning to be a part of a community where you feel connected. You can do that around here.

Back in the “olden days,” many families were multi-generational. I doubt we will ever get back to that. However, there is something to be said about the old living with the young. There is a sharing of life and experience that is healthy.

The bottom line, I guess, is that we live in a community that people want to call “home.” That is a good thing and we should encourage and celebrate it.

Ronald Kidder is a Stow resident.

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