Get to know me!


My brother, dad and I loving on our pony, Pete, while living in Florida!

Hannah Hamelback, Editor

There truly is no place like the Sunshine State, but that isn’t how the saying goes. The saying says, “There is no place like My Old Kentucky Home”, and I couldn’t agree more. 

My parents moved a couple of times within their first 2 years of marriage. Eventually, they started a family in Woodford County, Kentucky in 2000 when my brother Austen was born. My dad was working on Adena Springs Farm at the time, and mom was working as a Pharmaceutical Rep at Fort Dodge. In 2002, I came along! I only lived in my cute, yellow nursery for six weeks in Woodford County before we packed up and moved to the sunny and bright state of Florida. 

I’m 16, but within those 16 years, I have lived in 9 homes. Every time we have moved, it’s been because dad was offered something better, or that location wasn’t good for our family at the time. When we moved to Ocala, Florida in December of 2002, dad worked as a general manager for Live Oak Plantation. Living there for only 3 years, we returned to Our Old Kentucky Home in July of 2005, because dad was offered a consultant position for Stonestreet Farm in Lexington.   

A typical “get-to-know-you” question is: “Have you ever moved before?” When I say “Yes, I have moved 8 times, and lived in 9 homes”, People are quick to say things such as, “Oh my gosh that must have been hard on you!”,  “Was it scary moving schools?”, “I bet you loved living in Florida, I wish I did!”. To be honest, the times I moved the most was while I was a baby and toddler. I don’t remember a lot from my school in Florida, I truly only remember the last year of living there (I was in Pre-K). From what I recall, living in Ocala for 5 years wasn’t all that exciting. I was about an hour and a half from the closest beach, and from Disney World. Ocala is in the middle in Florida, so the most exciting thing near us was horse farms, which was convenient for my parents, considering they both work in the Thoroughbred industry. 

After only 10 months of going to Montessori pre-school in 2005, our family once again packed up and moved back to the sunny (and a lot of times rainy) Ocala, Florida. Dad took the farm manager position at Adena Springs South, and Mom continued to work for the NTRA (National Thoroughbred Racing Association) throughout all the moves. The last three years of living in Florida is what I remember most. I remember Grace Episcopal (my school), the farm, the horses, my gymnastic classes, but most importantly, I remember the amazing friends I made within my last 3 years in Ocala. Luckily, I still keep in touch with a couple of them, even after 11 years. 

Finally, in 2008, I moved to Bourbon County, where dad took the position as general manager of Adena Springs. I remember the day we packed up our furniture, our 2 dogs, our pony, Pete, our memories, and finally settled in the small town we’re still a part of today. We’ve lived in 3 homes since we’ve resided Paris, but luckily, stayed in town. I wouldn’t take back any of the moves or homes, because it’s an awesome experience not many people have encountered, especially at my young age. I’ve learned to keep your friends and family close because you never know the day you might pack up and move 3,037.6 miles in the span of 6 years. I will be forever grateful for the people I was fortunate enough to make memories with, and I will be eternally indebted to my parents for giving everything they have to provide the best life for my brother and I. Through the many miles and homes, we’ve been shown sacrifice like no other, which should be the example that is set for every child. Through the many miles and homes, I am happy to say I’m in My Old Kentucky Home!