'We belong here. It’s home.'
Stacy Nowinski doesn’t use that term lightly.
So when the 47-year-old chooses it as the one word to best describe Ogden, it’s got some weight behind it.
Nowinski and her husband were born and raised in South Bend, Indiana, but moved away when he joined the Air Force in 1990. After living in various places around the world — Germany, Italy, the southwestern United States — Nowinski’s husband was transferred to Hill Air Force Base in 2006.
“We lived in Layton at the time,” Nowinski said. “People said, ‘Don’t live in Ogden, it’s scary.’ But we’d look around and say, ‘No, this is South Bend, this is home.’ We go back there, and South Bend is worse than this.”
Nowinski says the two towns have a lot in common — for instance, they each have a university and plenty of down-to-earth, blue-collar folks. Nowinski said she and her husband would drive through Ogden looking at the different neighborhoods, and they found one they simply fell in love with. When a house came up for sale in that neighborhood, they jumped at the chance.
“We moved to Ogden on Valentine’s Day 2015,” she said. “I found my heart in Ogden.”
Nowinski says their Ogden dream home is “ridiculously similar” to one they loved in South Bend.
“It’s like South Bend, but better,” Nowinski says of Ogden. “And with mountains.”
Nowinski says she can see herself spending the rest of her life in Junction City.
“We’re an Air Force family, and we’ve been here (in Utah) 11 years,” she said. “So I guess we should leave now, shouldn’t we? But I’m pretty sure this is our last stop.”
Nowinski says they belong in Ogden.
“It’s not meant to be maudlin, it’s not meant to be emotional, it’s just a matter of fact,” she said. “We belong here. It’s home.”