06 Oct Growing Up Rich
I know some of you will see this title and think what in the world is she talking about? She did not grow up rich. I say to myself Oh Yes I Did!!! I actually grew up in a small town 45 minutes north of Raleigh, NC. Not a well known town. Not a place where there are a lot of major attractions or tourist. I grew up in Warrenton, NC. A small rural area with lots of fields, farms, fresh air, and beautiful people. I moved there the summer before 3rd grade and was completely against it. My father who was a minister had taken a position as pastor for a church there and we moved right after. As much as I did not welcome this change, I had no idea the affect it would have on my life in the long term.
Once I started school I noticed alot of kids and members from church worked or attended the same school. It was pretty easy to make friends. The environment was very personable. One thing about this small town everybody knew everybody. There was no room to get out of line because your parents were on speed dial. My mother also taught elementary school in the same county.
Now I know you are wondering what does this all have to do with growing up rich. Let me explain. My first benefit was a lady from my church. She cooked alot of the meals at church functions and also was the manager in the cafeteria at my school. Let me tell you this woman could cook. School lunch today can not compare to my elementary school lunch. It was blessed with an array of flavors, seasonings, and love. Food plays a major part in me writing this particular blog post. Now that I have changed how I eat, I think about all the vegetables my mother grew in her garden right in our back yard. I think about all the friends in the community that left vegetables on our doorstep to share with us from their garden. There was no asking and no buying. Just a friendly “Hey I left you a bag of collards on your front porch.” I sometimes wish I was still in an environment like that. I do remember once being scared to death out of my sleep because our neighbor fired a shot in the air at the crack of dawn because there was a deer in the garden feasting on the veggies. I’m blessed to say that gunshot was just to scare off the animals and not someone dying. One thing I will have in my future is my own small garden. Hopefully, I will be able to share the wealth with my friends and neighbors. Having such a tight niche community is hard to find in this day and time. Once my oldest daughter started kindergarden I started to wish she had the same nurturing environment I grew up in. The same “your kids are my kids” environment.
I had neighbors on both sides of my house that were around the same age as my brother and I. On one side there were two cow pastures separating our homes. We literally would stand at the fence and scream across asking could we come over and play or if they could come over. I mean who needs a cell phone right? Summers were the best. Slip and slides, baseball games, and riding bikes were life. Sitting on the porch until it got dark is why I would love to have a front porch in my next home. It’s the little things.
I had awesome parents growing up. They taught me morals and values and so did Warren County. My father died not long after we moved to Warrenton. Once that happened I asked my mom were we going to leave now and she told me no. This is home. We are going to stay here. I was actually happy with this decision. It was a different reaction than I had initially about moving there. Once my mother remarried, I saw that my stepfather embodied those same qualities that were already surrounding me. As I got older and entered high school I had another wonderful person working in the cafeteria that was from my church and was very close to my family. Again, now I realize how fortunate I was back then to be in line and pay my dollar for lunch and she give me back four quarters. This beautiful gem has since retired but I’m forever grateful. Thank you! Although this didn’t happen everyday it was nice to sometimes have extra for snacks or ice cream. I was very proud of my accomplishments and support I had from this small community. My junior year I won Homecoming Queen and went on to represent Warren County in the State Homecoming Queen pageant.
Sometimes I feel like when things happen in the world that is so scary I can always find refuge in Warrenton. It is literally the only place I would feel 100% safe. I don’t get to visit much because my parents moved from there once I went off to college. I don’t have or have ever had blood relatives there, but I often dream of it when I sleep which I find comforting. Since we have been going through this pandemic and I have been out on leave from work. I took the girls down for the day to explore for a few hours.
We were able to visit Chilly Chicken. A new local homemade ice cream shop that uses dairy products from North Carolina. They even have a small menu of dairy free options. It was so super yummy.
I mentioned earlier about the amazing people I grew up knowing. One of them was actually really good friends with my younger brother. I had a chance to visit with Patrick Brown on his family farm where he harvest and produces hemp extracted products for his business Hempfinity
Hempfinity has several products that help with alleviating stress, pain, muscle spasms, sleep deprivation, and several other benefits.
The kids and I enjoyed visiting Patrick and catching up on life. The mosquitos also enjoyed themselves as well. Don’t forget to check out these amazing products from the local Brown Family Farm.
Me, Josh & Patrick at field day (South Warren Elementary)
This is why I feel I grew up rich. It wasn’t about money, clothes, or a big house. It was about love, sharing, caring, and nurturing. It will always be home.