Write Again . . . Home then and now

Published 2:10 pm Monday, May 8, 2017

When we moved back home in September of 1991, into our new home built smack dab in the middle of what had been a hay field for years, you might imagine the emotions we experienced.

We were returning to our roots, both literally and otherwise. To a place where we made so many growing up memories.

My Incomparable First Wife’s parents and siblings all lived right here. They were anchored. My parents had passed away, in ’89 and ’90. Since neither was originally from here, I was not returning to family. Plus, our two wonderful daughters had left the nest, and Little Washington was not on their radar. They had spent their growing up years on the Outer Banks.

Sally made the transition back home probably a bit more easily than I did. While I was glad to be home, in some ways it seemed a bit as if Washington and Beaufort County was still hanging on to the 1950s.

Now, that wasn’t all bad. But still. It seemed that the use of tobacco was just about everywhere. I remember going into the courthouse, and seeing employees smoking, on the job. It was, at the very least, a bit anachronistic.

Then there was recycling. Or more accurately, there wasn’t much recycling. So many people seemed not to think it was important. Some still don’t, of course.

And safety precautions. So many, I observed, failed to use their safety belts in their vehicles. This was most prevalent, or so it seemed to me, among older males. You know, I’ve never used ’em, and the government’s not going to tell me what to do! They weren’t interested in data substantiating the importance of such lifesaving measures.

Then, of course, there was diet. The country cooking, the soul food. Grease. Lots of grease in just about everything. And salt. And sugar. (I’m guilty.) Do you think any of this is related to the epidemic overweight/obese rate of folks even today? Do you think?

A conservative mindset is often averse to change, or even considering doing something differently. An open mind to change often comes hard to many of us, doesn’t it?

Don’t let what you read so far lead you to believe I am not aware of the good things, the good people and the mostly good lifestyle we enjoy here.

Plus, in our over a quarter century being home we have seen many changes, positive changes, that have made our town, our county, an even better place to live. And I’m sure you’ve noticed, folks from near and not so near have “discovered” our area, many of them becoming permanent residents.

Those who have chosen to come here to live have added much, that is positive, to our way of life. In their volunteerism alone they have helped to make a difference, in so many aspects and endeavors.

This is not the same place we returned to in ’91. It’s better.

Well, now. These ruminations have run long enough. (Too long?)

Let me conclude, simply, by encouraging each of you to enjoy and appreciate your day. This day.

Here in this special place.

And don’t forget to wear your seatbelt.