Where Am I?
I am a Skorniak, my ancestors are from Ireland, Germany, and Poland. My grandma will sometimes teach us how to say certain words in German. Whenever anyone sneezes she says ‘bless you’ in like seven different languages. It’s fun. Whenever I would visit my great grandma at the nursing home, she would talk to us in Polish. She would teach me basic words like dog, tree, and girl and would always laugh when I couldn’t say it right.
Throughout my seventeen years of life I feel like I’ve already been everywhere, but at the same time I feel like I still have yet to be anywhere. I’ve spent my life growing up in two different towns, thirty minutes away from each other. The settings of both towns were very different but yet still similar in a way.
St. Libory was where I lived first - a very small, boring town. In fact, it was so small and boring that we called it, along with everyone who lived there; the village of St. Liboring. We had a very small three bedroom house with a big fenced in backyard. All of us kids used to play all sorts of games in that backyard. That’s where we made some of the best and some of the worst memories together. I will never forget how the girls always seemed to compete for dad’s attention. We all wanted to show him that we were just as tough as him. I think that I won those competitions every time because I was never afraid to get my hands dirty. We have countless home videos of my dad and I working outside on the car or in a big bucket of fishing bait.
Another memory from that town was never having very far to walk to get to one of my friends’ house. The farthest one of my friends lived from me was a little less than a mile. We would always get together a couple of friends and play “Ghost in the Graveyard” at the local cemetery. I always loved playing this because I was an adrenaline junkie so playing in a cemetery at night time was really fun. Since we were all no younger than 10, we were content with almost anything. Just riding bikes around or playing in someone’s backyard was all that we needed to have tons of fun.
My parents were (and still are) the best parents a girl could ask for. They taught my siblings and me so many great lessons and morals that we will grow up and teach our own kids. One of those lessons is to respect authority. There would always be consequences whenever we disobeyed one of them. Although we didn’t have chores (thank the Lord), we still loved to help my mom with dishes and my dad in the yard. Sometimes after school I would get on my bike and ride over a block to visit my dad at work. All the guys there were like family to us and still are, literally (my dad’s brother in law and his two brothers). I always looked for something to do in the corn bins or in the big shed.
When we moved to Aurora, not much changed. I finished out 2nd grade in St. Libory and then started 3rd grade the next year at Aurora. I remember feeling excited to start at a new school and meet new friends but sad that I had to leave all of my friends in St. Libory. My first teacher at Aurora Public Schools was Mrs. Leech, a 3rd grade teacher. She was so nice and welcoming! I didn’t have a very tough time finding friends here because everyone was so friendly so I felt like I fit right in.
This town is still small enough to be classified as a “small town”. I love it because it seems like everyone knows everyone and all in all, it makes the community so much stronger. Everyone knows the cops in town and whether they’re nice and lenient when it comes to giving tickets or not. You can just say “the hill” and people know exactly what you’re saying.
I feel like the way that I was raised has really influenced they way I carry myself now. I don’t necessarily care what people think about me, but I care enough to carry on the Skorniak name with a good reputation. I love living in small towns. Whenever I go visit family in bigger cities I’m amazed at how easily they find their way around so easily. When I grow up, I want to raise my family in a town just like this.