Here are some things I have noticed from my nine years in Homer:
- There are a number of households that the dads stay home with the kids and the moms are the household breadwinners.
- Many women keep their maiden names and do not take on their husband's names when they got married.
- A number of folks who seem very eligible singles simply don't get married (I hear this is a national trend, but from a woman who recently moved here from Oklahoma, it is unusual not to get married and started with a family by 30).
- There are some big families, and it's not because they are Catholic. Some seem not to have any formal or public religious beliefs, but they still have a number of kids (as in 4-6, which seems like a lot!). Others, such as the Old Believers, religion may play a role.
- In general, people seem more sensitive to and aware of the environment and passionate about preserving the world they live in.
- Many folks have a 'hands off' mentality about the government or other institutions such as schools: they believe in their rights as individuals and don't want others meddling in their families or lives.
- In Homer, people don't seem to care quite as much about appearances. Jeans, xtra-tuffs, old vehicles, whatever. 'Be comfortable, be real' seems to be the guiding philosophy, even if you are independently wealthy, as a number of Homerites are.
- Art and music are a big part of people's lives here. When my daughter gave her valedictory address on graduating last spring about art and one's life, it resonated with many people, as she thought it would.
It could just be the group of people I associate with, but I feel like a minority among women I know that I changed my last name when I got married. My daughter felt fully accepted as a female interested in the sciences in Homer, and now in college in Colorado is becoming aware of stereotypes she didn't realize existed.
Of course, none of these could be said about "everybody" in Homer, but there is a different culture here--a different perspective on the world. Does this place just attract folks like this (since most people in Homer are transplants from elsewhere)? Or does this place change the people who are here? It's not something we could answer, but it is fun to ponder!