Saturday, July 23, 2011

Gloucester, Virginia

I live in a county that recently cut the public school year by 20 days rather than institute a minimal personal property tax raise.  The biggest media event this year was when  Chick Filet opened.  People camped out!  Last month, the public library backed down from a controversy and removed it's extremely low key exhibit of Gay Pride books.   These are some trends that I dislike about this county. Republican, right wing, dogmatically religious, conservative Gloucester county...An area not historically known for racial tolerance, or tolerance in general.  These are widely accepted stereotypes about our county, however, there is an increasing diversity of perspective here.  Gloucester didn't vote for Obama; however, after the the Lehman brothers crisis, and especially after McCain chose Sarah Palin,  previously closed doors started opening for those of us who were working to get then Senator Obama elected as president.

The area has many positives. It's a beautiful, rural area within an hour of either Richmond, Newport News, Williamsburg, or Norfolk. Local universities? William and Mary, Hampton, VIMS, CNU.....and  DC is only three hours away.  People garden, hunt, and fish.  There is even a food co-op.  Few people know it, but Gloucester was the location of the think tank where strategies used in the fight for Civil Rights were developed.  "Come to Cappahosic!" was Dr. Robert Russo Moton's invitation to his home, now being restored as  The Moton Center.   Martin Luther King Jr. allegedly wrote his, "I have a dream" speech while looking out at the York River from Dr. Moton's home.  Another mover and shaker from Gloucester was, Irene Morgan Kilkaldy . Before Rosa Parks, and laying the ground work for the Freedom Riders, Mrs. Kilkaldy took the historic stand  that led to a Supreme court decision to outlaw segregation on interstate bus lines.

  My mother married a Gloucester man, and my sister  married a Kilmarnock man.  I moved midway between my mother and sister when Joni was five months old.  I never thought that I'd stay here as long as I have.  I have never lived anywhere that was perfect, but I do find what I need wherever I go.  I always meet amazing people, make friends, and find insight and purpose.  Gloucester is no exception.  I am, however, making small preparations so that I can leave in two years, as soon as Joni goes to college.   I don't know where I'll go, though I have a short list and tentative plans. Maybe I won't do it, but I think that it would be good for my emotional health if I do.

There is a difference between getting along and deeply connecting.  I'm not sure that I will ever really feel connected to this area. Maybe it's just the grass is greener syndrome, or maybe garden-variety wanderlust, but I don't think so.  I have  lived in places that felt right. I don't want to get old  living somewhere I don't deeply want to be just because I have a "make it work" attitude.  Now.  I'm going to eat  leftover cous cous and go to bed early.  Tomorrow I get to pick up Joni from camp!!! I can not wait to see that girl!!!!!! Goodnight.


  1. I like the idea of your plans when Joni goes to school. Not many people realize they have a life to live too other than being somebody to everybody. All the best.
    I wonder if Gh is on the short list. :-)

  2. Sometimes it is hard to find time for your own life...Yes, of course Ghana is on the short list!