West Virginia

Okay, I’ll say it:  I live in West Virginia.  I’ll admit it!   Phew, that’s a load off my mind!

I’m the first to admit that I was ashamed to say it.  My parents moved here about four years ago, and all I could say was, “Why?”  I was currently living in a “cool” place, California, and thought I was cool because of that.  

I had never really given any thought to this state.  I had the television, hillbilly, white trash version of the place, and I was naive enough to believe that’s all there was to West Virgina.  I’m also the first to admit that I was wrong.

Yes, there are certain parts of the state that leave something to be desired.  Yes, there are certain people who fit the stereotype.  For the most part though, it’s a really nice place to live and raise a family.  Here’s why:

  1. It’s clean.  The air is so sharp and crisp, breathing is actually fun!  Cheesy, yes, but how many places on this decreasingly-green planet can actually boast this?
  2. NICEST PEOPLE EVER!  People here still believe in respect, helping your neighbor, and being kind to your fellow-man.  Yes, there are some people who are more judgmental than others, and I wouldn’t exactly call this a forward-thinking state, for the most part, but people genuinely care about others.  I have yet to see someone deny another person’s request for help.
  3. Kid’s are polite.  AMAZINGLY polite.  The have a respect for adults instilled in them from day one.  They still say, “Yes Ma’am and no Ma’am.  Yes Sir and no Sir.”  They do what they are asked, they even help WITHOUT being asked!  Manners are a given, and it’s rare to see a “spoiled” child here.
  4. It’s beautiful!  With the exception of a few run-down trailer parks, the state is gorgeous.  There is so much un-developed land, and what is developed is mostly farm land. 
  5. It’s wholesome.  For sure it has it’s fair share of drugs and crime, like any other state, but it’s like time stopped here in some ways.  Family is important.  Hard work is not feared, and having a reputation is a good thing. 

There are some things that I’m not overly fond of, like the school system.  And the lack of organic products, and places to recycle.  There aren’t many things for young kids to do, and you have to travel an hour and a half to get to a decent store.  Personal health isn’t a big priority, but we’re working on it.  These are all things I can deal with for now. 

All in all, it’s a wonderful place to raise a young man for the first few years of his life.  I hope that he picks up the gentlemanly way of life, and learns to open doors, and pull out chairs.  It may seem old-fashioned, but I think the world needs a little more of that.

When I first moved here, I made some snap judgements that weren’t fair, or justified, and for that I apologize.