Thursday, January 14, 2010


I never thought growing up in a rural area of North Carolina, surrounded by fields of cotton and cows, that I would ever find virtue in such a simple way of life. Through high school and beyond I was so happy to get out of Fayetteville, and the lesser known region of Gray's Creek where I was raised. With one of the worst crime rates on the eastern seaboard and a 25 minute drive to the nearest shopping outlet, no one ever raised their eyebrows in jealousy over my hometown like they often did for those from Charleston, Savannah, Boston, even Raleigh or Asheville. Yet over the past few years when I return for holidays or to visit my mother, I've found myself smiling as the tall buildings fade and the open landscape spreads open its arm in welcome.

Although I'm certain after years of living closer to larger cities, I could never quite do without them, I've developed an appreciation for the quieter, slower way of life when it's needed. I'm not yet sure where my career as a preservationist will lead me, but I do know that some part of me will always see Carolina as my home. The tall pine trees and azaleas in the front yard of the house I grew up in remain as steady as ever. The bench that sits in their shade continues to endure the seasons and is often a resting place for snow, pine needles, fallen flowers and lazy cats ... and sometimes I nostalgic 20-something.

1 comment:

Joe and Melody said...

Honey, if that whole preservationist thing doesn't work you've got a job as a writer. Love the new post. I feel the same way as you. My graduating class from high school was a staggering 45. I know the term 'small town' oh too well. But going back recently I have an entire new view and appreciation for it.
P.S. Love your catchphrase 'May the buildings be old and the sweet tea cold'!