My husband's first career-level job was up in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., back in the early 90s. Neither of us knew anything about the area, so it took us a while to settle.
We finally landed in Efland, N.C., in a really cool house that had been built by hippies. It was a two-story, wood oddity, with a tin roof, a wrap-around porch, and a two-story gazebo.
The neighbors were unusual -- some of them were nudists (no kidding). We lived up there for five years, and during that time, we got used to not having cable television. We were so wrapped up in work at that time, that we really didn't get too involved in the local happenings.
When we moved back, we still didn't get cable and we haven't to this day. I occasionally would like to see some sports/weather/movie special, but not bad enough to do anything about it. We both still work a lot, and when we are at home, we kind of like to sit on the porch, watch the yard critters, and solve all the world's problems together.
We have taken an interest in local happenings now, but that has a lot to do with the taxes we pay. We've had all kinds of suggestions for this year's fierce political environment. I personally believe that if the world's leaders would sit down over a bowl of cheese grits, we could come to a meeting of the minds and have world peace.
Just my two cents.
Everything around us in Henry County is intently focused on the elections. Depending on how the primaries go this week, most of us will either be elated or dejected. I'll just bet you that the most accurate poll in the county would be the august gentleman's coffee club at Miller's Store.
Unfortunately, on primary election day, I was attending a class up in Winston Salem. North Carolina was exactly as I remembered it - quiet and clean. Real quiet. I listened to their local news all evening on Monday and all morning on Tuesday. Nada, zip, zero.
No politics!!! No yard signs, no handbills, no red-white-and-blue, no one standing on the corner waving at me. I was having withdrawals - there were only a couple of cursory commercials for the presidential race.
The hot item on the local morning news was their idea of a heat wave (in the mid-eighties). Puh-leeze - it is 85 degrees by the time I normally get in my car in the morning to go to work.
They had special news items all morning on how to keep your pet comfortable in this summer heat wave. They even talked about putting sunscreen on your dog. I nearly went back to sleep drinking my morning coffee.
I should've brought some ruby slippers. You know, a nice flashy pair like Dorothy had in the Wizard of Oz? I really would have liked to have just popped back home during lunch and in the evenings.
It's just too quiet up in the Carolinas for an info junkie like me.
Denese Rodgers is executive director of Connecting Henry, a social-services, networking, community organization in Henry County.