Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Right In Your Own Back Yard

I have lived in the same state for all but 3 1/4 years of my life.

I was not born here.

My parents moved around a lot when I was little. We finally settled down in North Carolina when I was three, on land surrounded by my father's people. It was rural then, with fields and cows and horses but, like so many parts of our state, the area was annexed by the city down the road.

I've traveled a lot, both in the U.S. and abroad. But, when I went to University, it was in-state. In fact, apart from a six month period around my marriage, I've never lived more than about 75 miles from where I grew up.

I know the route from my childhood home to where I now live so well that I can tell where I am by smell- particularly on a Summer evening.

The same cannot be said of my familiarity with the rest of the state.

I am working to correct this. When planning family vacations and celebrations, I try to find new places to go and new things to within the state. As a result, I am learning so much about our History, Geography and the surprising variety of rich cultural traditions.

I think it's remarkable that a person can live in this state their whole life and there is still so much to learn and discover.

So, it doesn't matter where you live or how long you have lived there, my advice to you is to look around and see your home with new eyes. Read books, visit historic sites and learn about the place where you live.

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