That area of Virginia was very isolated for a long time, Tracy. In fact, when we moved there, locals were still using words from colonial times that weren’t spoken anywhere else in the United States.

I went to school with children who had never been outside our county and many adults never traveled more than 30 or 40 miles from home. Until my generation, almost everyone was born and died there. They were suspicious of outsiders, especially people like us who weren’t Southerners.

My older sister married a local boy, raised 2 sons there, has lived in that county for 56 years and she is still considered an outsider or a “come-here” as the locals say.

The area has since become a vacation destination for people from cities like Baltimore, Richmond, and Washington, DC. It’s still very rural but with affluent pockets of vacation homes for those who love boating and fishing. Definitely not isolated as it once was, but the older folks can still be insular.

Although many of my age and later generations left for college and to work in more populated areas, a lot of them have returned home to retire.

I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

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