Where Did You Grow Up?

We’ve finally moved. Four times in the past year. Six times in the past three years. But we are finally living in the place that we hope we will call home for years and years to come. It is a beautiful old New England home, with rumors of a basement used for the underground railroad and some rooms with six foot ceilings (which work just fine for this New Englander!) and drafty floorboards and quirky closets and a view of the town green and the steeple of a Congregational church.

Marilee is only two. She won’t have any memories of Lawrenceville. I suspect Penny’s and William’s memories will be pretty vague if they exist at all. This place will be the one that they call home. It will be the one that shapes them, through the weather and customs and attitudes.

It’s a little known fact (though I would think my name is a tipoff) that I too grew up in a small town of 5,000 people. But the town I grew up in was Edenton, North Carolina, and although it was a long time ago–we moved when I was ten–I know that place and its people shaped me as a person, as a Christian, and as a writer.

I was recently interviewed for a lovely blog (actually it is a tumblr but I am not tech-savy enough to really know the difference) about all things Southern. The blog is called Just a Pinch of South, and exists for anyone who lives elsewhere but has lived in or loved the South. So if you want to learn a little bit about how Edenton, NC shaped me (and see a pretty cute photo of me with my parents three decades ago…), head over to my interview with Just a Pinch of South.

Meanwhile, where did you grow up? How did it shape who you are?


About Amy Julia Becker

Amy Julia Becker writes and speaks about family, faith, disability, and culture. A graduate of Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, she is the author of Penelope Ayers: A Memoir, A Good and Perfect Gift (Bethany House), and Why I Am Both Spiritual and Religious (Patheos Press).


  1. My being a third culture kid shaped me more than being deaf did, actually. It was the single biggest, most enormous thing of my life.

    Headed over to the guest post today! I love the South and reading about it. Fried pickles!

  2. Loved the interview, AJ, and getting to know more about you. (Why did visions of Deborah Kerr singing in a hoop skirt just run through my mind?)
    I grew up 15 minutes from downtown San Francisco, in a time when the Haight Ashbury was in full swing and people were burning bras and draft cards. Has that influenced me? You bet. Imagine being an white middle class evangelical male, and then having folks look at you wondering how you come up with those crazy ideas about women and equality and social justice. Crazy, I tell ya.
    P.S. Glad the move is behind you. Been praying for it to go smoothly for you and the family!

  3. Jane Squires says:

    I grew up in Decatur, Il. It shaped me because I grew up poor – no health insurance, no inside plumbing, a pump for our water, coal heat and wood cookstove. I learned to be self-independent. I also learned what it was to be ridiculed and made fun of at school which has made me sensitive to needs of others who have very little. I provided more for my girls because I would not see them made fun of.
    jrs362 at hotmail dot com

  4. Is there much that is lovelier than an old New England town? Of course I’m a native Vermonter who lives in a home built in the late 1800′s ( not a ritzy one, just an old one). I love roots and feel grateful that my sister lives in the little tract house in burlingtons new north end (1940′s) that was my grandparents. Glad you’ve found your place here!