It occurred to me late last night, somewhere between the dream state and consciousness that I was stuck in the middle. Yes, we are smack dab in between the roaring east and the sleepy west. Somehow, here in old Hampshire County, we have missed out on both worlds. To the west of us is less development and ever-present quiet, yet to the east of us the ecoterrorists are building faster than one could have imagined. I have heard that our little county is different from all the counties around us, and I tend to agree. We seem to be in a coma-like state, afraid to move into the future and leery of staying in the past. One of the nicest buildings in the whole county, not counting banks, for a long time, was the local jail. Just recently we were blessed with the arrival of the Hampshire Wellness Center. Have you ever noticed that no matter how depressed an area is, the banks are always architecturally splendid. To continue, I have lived in this county and watched it grow in crazy ways: no zoning, no overall plan, no announced directions just whatever fit of fantasy happens to flit by in their minds. We did manage to miss the current gas frenzy (for now) and just barely avoided the waste disposal plant on River Road, but one has to wonder what is around the corner for our fair county? We need to decide where we want to be in, oh, say 10 years. One thing is for sure, if we want good decent, honest businesses to come into the county, we will have to fix the school system and the roads! Right now, in our current state, no business will even consider locating in our county. because it is simply not up to speed. This evening I took my grandson to see a play in Moorfield, WV. Moorfield is even more undevelopment than we are; nevertheless, they produce several plays a year! The same is true of Keyser, our other neighbor to the west. Has our county in the last 30 years produced even one play? The answer is NO! Our big county event is donkey basketball, a good fundraiser but hardly a cultural event.
I enjoy many aspects associated with living in our county, but I am also capable of seeing ways in which we could improve. So here I sit on my little chunk of earth watching the trees rustle in the wind and listening to bird chatter, thankful for where I am in this world, but also wondering how the future will unfold in our little county. Since this is my home, I will probably stay here for as long as I can but will always wonder why we are so stuck in the middle….