I was born in the New England state of Connecticut. My mom and dad raised me, my younger brother and two sisters…one older, one younger. That makes me a middle child. Family life for us consisted of small-town country living, fun adventures, and lots of time with friends and relatives. Life, for the most part, was very good…and I enjoyed being stuck in the middle of it all.
My last name, Martin, starts with the letter ‘M’. Half the kids I went to school with had last names that alphabetically came before Martin. The other half came after. I was always in the middle.
My family lived in the middle of Connecticut. We were not poor, and certainly not rich…we were middle-class. The street we lived on was a circle. From the entrance of the circle, our house was almost exactly halfway around (sort of…in the middle). Growing up, I played with all my friends in the woods. The woods were in the middle of the circle.
For me, getting older meant moving away from the middle. After the summer of ’82, I left home for college. I attended Geneva College, a private Christian school, in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. Beaver Falls is not in the middle of Pennsylvania…it’s almost in Ohio. My years at Geneva were transformational. I learned about engineering, leadership, and how valuable my Christian upbringing was. I traveled to Haiti and helped dig the foundation for a support building at an orphanage.
Connecticut to Pennsylvania to Haiti. The world was getting bigger, and I was moving from the middle.
I graduated from Geneva in the spring of ’86 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering. I returned to Connecticut and married my high school sweetheart; who, interestingly enough, had the same last name as I did. They say opposites attract. My wife is the middle child of three. She has an older sister and a younger brother. She was born in the middle of upstate New York. Her last name still starts with ‘M’. Go figure.
We have enjoyed many years together, embracing life where it leads us. Soon after we married, we moved from the middle to Maryland…then on to Pennsylvania. Now, we’re back in the middle.
Today, our home is in the middle of Connecticut…two miles from the circle where I grew up. Same town…not much changed while we were away. Believe it or not, we live on a circle. In many ways, it seems like we’ve come full circle. But things are different.
We have two beautiful daughters; one older, one younger…neither can claim the middle. Our house sits at the entrance to our circle, where all the action is. The kids in the neighborhood play in the woods in the middle of the circle, but our girls do not. They’re too busy with school, jobs…and boyfriends. Life, for the most part, is very good.
We enjoy being stuck in the middle of it all.