|Photo by Diving Dog Creative Solutions.|
If I won the lottery, I'd buy a house in Oxford, the town I grew up in, and I would throw myself fully into my writing. If it was a big enough lottery, I'd move a bunch of friends with young families down there with us, so all of our kids would know the town as their home. It's a pretty simple dream, as dreams go. Idyllic, maybe.
I was telling a friend recently that there are two times when driving that I can feel my soul lighten: 1) driving eastbound across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and 2) slowing down to 25 mph as you come into Oxford and looking up Town Creek as you round the causeway. These are moments when I truly know I am home.
I've been working in Washington, D.C., for close to four years now, with a summer sabbatical thrown in this year. Prior to my across the pond commute, I worked for 10-plus years for two non-profit organizations that were big parts of the Eastern Shore community. My job kept me dialed in, whereas the past four years have kept me tuned out. Though I live here, our girls go to school and play youth sports here, I haven't felt connected.
That's why I can't thank Eastern Shore Savvy enough. The two articles I write for them each month have helped me reconnect. I've caught up with an iconic high school teacher; dug into the history of the church I grew up in; and explored the tradition of Oxford's Town Creek Christmas lights. Here's a working list of the people and places I've written about.
These are stories I probably wouldn't have written. They don't really fit into the local paper, and working full-time in DC, I'm not about to go shopping story ideas around. And with every interview, rekindling connections with people and places, I feel more a part of what's going on around me. I'm exploring things I'm curious about and maybe telling stories that wouldn't be told otherwise.
I'm feeling more rooted. And more like a storyteller. Amen.