Welcome to Wisconsin! The charming towns I grew up in and live in today...
This week I received an invitation.
An invitation from the Influence Network, to share about the place I grew up in and where we live today.
My heart skipped a beat to receive this invite. I am so, so excited to meet you all!!!
And, I love sharing about these towns that raised me and are so dear to my heart...
(I am new to this, so I hope I am doing this right!?)
Its funny how you don't appreciate where you come from, until after you are away.
In high school, I couldn't wait to see the country. I was thrilled to start exploring new territory on my own.
I moved to Minneapolis and fell in love. After that, I studied abroad in Florence Italy, then moved to Madison, Wisconsin and then...Los Angeles, California.
Eventually though, this bird flew back to it's nest.
I realized how special it was here...
I realized...there truly is, "No Place Like Home,"
(and if you read on...you will see that I mean that in more ways than one :)
Welcome to the place I was born and raised in...Oconomowoc, WI.
We call this area "The Lake Country." It seems you cannot go a few miles before hitting another lake.
This town has raised some INCREDIBLE people that I love dearly!
Its a place where growing up, what you did pretty much any night of the week was as simple and sweet as going to "walk the lake." It was what you did to see friends and enjoy Oconomowoc's beautiful surroundings.
My Other Favorite Part??
Oconomowoc also was the location where the very first screening of "The Wizard of Oz" debuted! The producers wanted to find an All-American small town as a test audience and since one of the "munchkins lived on a near-by lake, Oconomowoc was chosen.
The connection is dear to my heart because for a time, I worked for the motion picture company, Sony Pictures Entertainment, the studio lot that produced this timeless family favorite!
Also, I was lucky enough to play "Glinda The Good" in our High School production.
And on the 70th Anniversary, we screened this film on a 40' screen, downtown Oconomowoc in front of 7,000 people.
I was blessed with the honor of singing, to open the film.
Such a silly connection, but I have had great memories in this town over the years.
A few fun facts:
Oconomowoc was called the "New Port of the Midwest" because years ago, people came from all over to vacation here in the summer. Those that lived in Chicago traveled north to Oconomowoc to find a summer retreat,...a peaceful home away from home.
As a result, Oconomowoc is still home to many of the incredible mansions that were built to house it's affluent guests. Some of these homes and Hotels entertained Presidents and people like Mark Twain.
I certainly consider it a blessing to have lived here.
Our New Home
And finally, my husband and I have made a new home for ourselves,...just a few miles away. Another beach town that I am growing to love more each day.
Welcome to Pewaukee.
We have fallen in love with the people here as well and look forward to exploring more and more!
Thank you, Influence Network for this Invitation to share. It was so fun to count blessings and reminisce.
There truly is "No Place Like Home..."