There are people who are born in a community and end up living there most of their lives. I make no apology for not being one of those people. Living in a different place lets you look at life through a different lens and I have always been thrilled by a different perspective.
My morning view has changed many times. Most of the places that I lived have been stunning places in their own ways. The only home where we have lived that had no real view was the one in Columbia, Maryland. We barely stayed there two years.
Our first home had a spectacular view of the Bay of Fundy. Our home of twenty years in Roanoke, Virginia sat high on a mountainside, and our current home just off the White Oak River near Swansboro, NC, has a view of Raymond's Gut which is pictured in the post and in this link.
I like to think you move to a place for the view and end up staying for the people. We were drawn to our farm in Tay Creek, New Brunswick by the scenic countryside. The hillside setting and the view from our front porch made us feel not so far from the hills of North Carolina. I never tired of looking across the rolling land between our home on the hill and the next big hill a few miles away where we owned another farm.
However, we stayed in Tay Creek for ten years because of the great people. We are still friends with many of them and I managed to talk to our best friends there at least once a month. We left Tay Creek at the end of 1984. It was 1989 before another view in Roanoke, Virginia, stole my heart. Our home there was just over the crest of a hill. At night when you came over the hill, it looked like the whole Roanoke Valley was twinkling in front of you. We had great friends there too and also were blessed to be part of the Covenant Presbyterian Church family. We lived in Roanoke full time from 1989 until 2006 when we started splitting our time between North Carolina's Crystal Coast and Roanoke. In 2012 we sold our home in Virginia and came back to North Carolina where our journey started.
One of the things that drew us to the Crystal Coast was that it really felt like home. Having lived in Canada for sixteen years, home is perhaps where Thanksgiving is celebrated in November and where everything feels familiar. Both our families have a long history North Carolina so the feeling of home is deeply felt. Here fried chicken is revered, barbecue has more unique tastes than someone not from the area can even imagine, country ham does not have to be smuggled into the country, and people live off of tomato sandwiches in the summer.
Even with all the transplants living along the coastline, this is still North Carolina. We have made close friends in our neighborhood, nearby communities and on the Bogue Banks island where we also enjoy the beaches of Emerald Isle. We have felt especially blessed by our connection with the Cape Carteret Presbyterian Church family. It is a real family with a closeness that would be hard to replace.
Scenery can steal your heart but people will warm your heart. No place is perfect even if it is scenic beyond belief. We learned long ago that there are great people everywhere, you just have to reach out to find them. We have found them everywhere even in Columbia, Maryland and Halifax, Nova Scotia where we stayed only five years in total.
One of the great pleasures in life is meeting new people, watching their families grow and mature. Sometimes you get to be a tiny part of their journey through life. The narrative of our lives is interwoven with all the stories of the people whose lives we touch. Giving ourselves to others and accepting their gifts to us is what makes life special and meaningful.
No matter where you are, there are people that are impossible to please but you cannot let them hold you back from your dreams. You can only hope and I have found this to be true throughout my life that you will meet more wonderful people than challenging people. Usually those wonderful people can add enough glow to make any view more scenic and worth enjoying for many years.