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Local Column

Cheeky Mama: Defending my farm town

Many people ask me why in the world I live in DeKalb.

I don’t have to stop and ponder why I do. My answers are simple. 

First, we built a home in DeKalb because my husband’s father lived down the street.
Bobby travels quite a bit, so this made sense.

Unfortunately, Bobby’s dad has since retired to Arkansas. One might ask, “Why Arkansas?”

Anyway, we live in the best court of our neighborhood. All of our neighbors have little ones around the same age as Hannah Jo.

The little ones all play outside. They love to ride on their four-wheelers and scooters and throw tennis balls. Each driveway is filled with sidewalk chalk drawings. Some drawings are a work of art, and others are a work in progress. 

As the kids play, the parents chat, gossip and occasionally drink a beer.

During the summer and fall, we have warm bonfires accompanied by s’mores. Our court now is on its eighth ornament exchange.

We look out for each other, as well. If we see something suspicious or need help with watching pets, all of us are more than willing to help.

The camaraderie among the neighborhood is one in a million. Now, the taxes we might need to negotiate a little better, but I am thankful for my home. 

DeKalb County offers so much in regard to activities. We have countless parks and an awesome Sycamore beach along with Hopkins Park Pool.

Both park districts offer a variety of activities. The libraries accommodate the curious minds. And of course, we all know I have the warm and fuzzies for the Kishwaukee Family YMCA.

Immanuel Lutheran Church is near and dear to our hearts. Pastors Marty and Ray have given so much to the community and the college.

I’m a foodie, and the cuisine is outstanding. We have takeout galore and grocery stores with buffets. We have everything from Mexican to hibachi to Mediterranean restaurants.

Such an ‘egg’lectic’ experience.

And cheers to the bar scene.

Many have said that DeKalb County is going downhill – that everything west of Route 47 is hillbilly.

I haven’t been touched by that wand yet. I still feel like this is my small farm town. Not only do I want Hannah Jo to grow up in this type of community, but I know she will flourish.

• Becca Hirst is a proud DeKalb resident who writes about her life as a working mother. She hopes to bring more enjoyment to and less shaming and judging of herself and other mothers. Reach her at

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