I am living the lyrics of one of my favorite Hazel Dickens’ songs, “back to those hills, the place that I call home.” Back in 2004 I gave my employer five years’ notice that I was moving to WV and wanted to be a remote worker. I didn’t have a plan back then, but knew I wanted to come “home.” I have worked for Protech Associates, Inc. f or the past 25 years in the Columbia, Maryland headquarters. They agreed to this arrangement as long as I could still travel to customer locations all over the country.
When my grandmother passed away, the decision to sell our family’s homestead was upon us. They built the house in Fayetteville in 1947. Papaw worked in the mines. Mamaw worked for the Fayette County school system, and raised my Dad, uncle and aunt here. Like my family before me, I wanted to live here, too. So, I decided to buy the house, renovate, and settle in.
What drew me back to Fayetteville? I had a deep longing to go back to where I was born and to my roots. The pace of life is comfortable here, the people are welcoming and I feel like I belong. My family roots extend all over the state, and I have family right here in town and uncles and their families nearby. These connections are very important to me.
Living here in Fayetteville makes me feel like I am on vacation every day. I cando yoga or hike a mountain trail in the morning, have late breakfast in one of the cafes, go shopping downtown in a cool antique store or boutique, eat a West Virginia hot dog (extra slaw, please) or enjoy the most awesome sandwich named after a president for lunch, take an exciting zip line, paddle down the riveror mountain bike through the forest, then grapple with whether to have a chicken gouda pizza or delicious shrimp gumbo and top the evening off with live music, a painting class or a poetry gathering.All of this and more is available here either on foot or within a 5 minute drive from the house.
Today, I am working on projects from my home office and am very grateful. Being a part of this loving community has made my life happy and complete. I cherish the connections and friendships I have made so far, and look forward to new ones. There are many exciting events coming up here in 2016 and beyond. I can’t wait to be a part of them!
Mary Ann Roberts