When I first moved from an urban area to the wilds of Randolph County, what I believed was the middle of nowhere, I admit to being a little concerned. Would I make new friends? What about my favorite chain restaurants, not to mention the malls? What about the silence? The scenery? What if the all the green fields just blended together into monotony? And most importantly, what would I write about? What if nothing ever happens around here?
Six years later, I can truly say that none of my worst fears came to pass. I’ve made plenty of friends, many of whom are farmers, and I’ve learned just what these fields can do. One of my friends even raises donkeys, and recently I held my first 5-day old donkey jack! I also keep in touch with cherished friends from far away as New York City through Zoom and other platforms.
It is not quiet in the country. Oh no. The birdsong here is deafening, from the wood thrush to the pileated woodpecker soaring overhead with his eerie primeval cry. We’re close to the local airport, so there’s always a new whir circling overhead. A special thanks to Mom, who introduced us to the terrific flightradar24 app, so now we know that the Boeing overhead came from Atlanta and is on its way to Liege, Belgium! So much for being in the middle of nowhere. My pilot grandfather would definitely approve.
Boredom remains the least of my worries. In fact, I was more bored in the city! We’ve had at least one fugitive in the woods, two rattlesnakes (this year alone), a stranded racoon, and just recently, a stray Siberian Husky pup came our way.
I don’t miss the malls at all, which is a good thing since the pandemic seriously altered the world of shopping. And nobody here cares about fashion anyway — it’s more about comfort! As for the fancy restaurants, I’d rather live three miles from from my beloved niece, who sends me a text such as “Hey, can I come over and make pumpkin cheesecake cookies with you?”
Cooking is just one of the things I’ve found to write about, and there’s been so many more, from sewing and building to gardening and butterflies. In fact, if there were any more going on around here, I wouldn’t have time to sleep!
For the next few months, I’ll be concentrating on my memoir, a project that I hope will blend together many of my experiences through the years. So for this reason, I hope it slows down here just a little bit.
9 thoughts on “Nothing Ever Happens Around Here”
Nothing Ever Happens Around Here is another sparkling essay from the amazing Ashley Memory. Ashley finds miracles in every day, every place, every person.
I agree 100%. And her work makes connections between things and events I thought had nothing in common with one another. That is Ashley’s main strength and talent as a writer.
Thank you Mary Alice! I think you’re an expert in miracles, too, judging from your experiences with Sister Jean, and what you wrote about so movingly in your recent essay. Keep sending them my way!
I enjoyed finding out that you’re a genuine country girl. Life in Randolph County sounds idyllic, compared to the whirlwind the rest of the world reaps. I am so happy you’re doing a memoir. It’s one of my favorite genres and since you’re my favorite essayist, your memoir is already on my TBR list, sight and title unseen.
Diane, thank you so much for such sweet words! I will definitely bear them in mind as I hunker down on the BIG project. I miss you!
Love your posts! Never stop writing them. You were a great mentor and I continue learning from you. Thank you,Maria
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Maria, how wonderful to hear from you! I learned from you — your gift of those poetry books meant the world — and I hope you’re still creating works of beauty.
I think I would spend all my time with Jack if I were there LoL. SO cute! You must read Sharon Creech’s “Saving Winslow” if you haven’t yet.
I can’t get enough of your writing about your Randolph County home, so this reader eagerly awaits the memoir / essay collection!
I will definitely check out “Saving Winslow” — I need something new to read! Thank you Marilyn, you are my inspiration on getting organized, that’s for sure!