I moved to Rappahannock more than 40 years ago. The first people I met were Sam and Katherine Riley. Both had been born here and lived here all of their lives. They came over to meet us. Over time, they became like nearby parents to me and grandparents to my children. I was fortunate to have them in my life for more than 25 years until they passed away.
I remember one of my first visits with Sam. Our dog had killed a neighbor’s chicken. He asked what we did with it. I told him we buried it. He said, “Why didn’t you eat it?” I knew right then I understood nothing about living in the country. Fortunately, I still live in this neighborhood. It’s had many changes over the years . . . people dying or moving away . . . new people coming. They have come here because they appreciate our values, our stewardship of the land and the peace we seek.
This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for my life here, my family, my Rappahannock family and the peacefulness of our part of the world. Listening to the news, it’s pretty obvious that a lot of people don’t have a life like we do. If you have a new neighbor, go and welcome them. They probably have much to offer from the places and people they’ve known. They need to learn the Rappahannock ways just like I did.