My On the Ground Farmington story about transplants and boomerangs

Figuring out where to put down roots – particularly when you have a family – can be a stressful, fraught decision, to say the least, so Metromode recently checked in with some local residents to hear their respective answers to the question, “Why Farmington?”

Some came from another place entirely. Some (nicknamed “boomerangs”) lived in this area as kids, then found themselves drawn back to Farmington. Here we chat with five of them to find out what brought them to (or back to) Farmington.

Meet Jennifer Tomlinson

Perhaps no one was more surprised to find herself in back in Farmington than Jennifer Tomlinson, Farmington’s Deputy Clerk (and mom of three). Tomlinson had been 15 when she first moved with her mom to Farmington from Dearborn Heights, and she wasn’t a fan.

“Farmington was different back in the mid-90s than it is today,” says Tomlinson. “ … It felt like old people central. … I worked at Daman Hardware (where Fresh Thyme is now located) – I’d walk to work – and I didn’t have many friends. It was social suicide to move in high school, so I just wore all black and sat in the back of the class and didn’t talk to anyone. … I thought it was a dull, lame place to live, and I hated every second of it.”

She left town to attend Western Michigan University – “I hardly ever came home, because I felt like I didn’t connect with people here,” says Tomlinson – and then lived for a time in Florida and California before returning to Michigan. Even then, though, Tomlinson lived in Lake Orion, Waterford, and Macomb before the housing market collapsed.

“Our nice, family-oriented neighborhood (in Macomb) became awful,” says Tomlinson. “My mom told me about this house across the street from her that had been foreclosed and was sitting empty. She says, ‘It’d be a great place for you to live,’ and I say, ‘Are you kidding me? I don’t want to live in Farmington.’ … I was really skeptical. My experience was that it was a really boring place to live. But then we moved here, and I started getting involved with my kids’ school and everything, and things had changed downtown. When the brewery was coming in, and Los Tres (Amigos) opened – It started feeling like a place where I wanted to hang out.”

Plus, being in a town where so much was in walking distance helped Tomlinson lose the fifty-plus pounds she’d put on while having three kids in three years. “Even if I’m not going to an event, I walk all the time,” she says. “I’ll go for a walk and watch the kids dance (at Swing Farmington at Riley Park), or I’ll watch people ice skate and stop and get a coffee at Starbucks. … I love being able to walk around and know people and say ‘hi.’” READ THE REST HERE

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