So, we're getting new members of our community over here on PawPaw. David and Laura Cheatham and their daughter, Calla. I met them a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps you know them already. They're cutting the driveway now so it might be awhile before they move. But we are happy to have them as neighbors.
We've seen many people come into Madison County over our decades here. Many we've known for forty years, or thirty, or twenty. Some stayed but a year or two, quickly realizing it wasn't for them, but then we all learn soon enough that Madison is not for everyone. It takes a special breed.
I love it when people make a commitment to this place. They build a driveway or a home, plant gardens, raise children, become involved in the community; people who will be here forty years hence. We've been fortunate as a county in that regard. Good people seem drawn to this place and many have stayed.
But there is no denying that Madison is different then it used to be. I often find myself shaking my head in wonderment at things and people I now see in Madison County. Maybe disbelief is a better word. And I can't help but think if some of what Madison County has become is hard for me, then it must be truly difficult to accept for many born-in-county people.
Paul and I talk of what the county was like in the early 1970s - small and insular, but vibrant and alive in a purely local way. All of us early transplants were adopted by local families who included us in their lives. They showed us how to do things; how to live in a place that was not meant for everyone. Differences, be they political, or social, or religious, were simply accepted as part of our shared humanity and mutual love of place. Values that kept both Paul and i, and many, many others, here for a long time. As Steve commented after my last post, "You uns are local, now."