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.

  • Chandra Sledge Mathias
    Posted at 14:10h, 07 October Reply

    You know I love this! #WarrenCountyStrong

    • Vee Wess
      Posted at 18:07h, 07 October Reply

      Chandra we grew up with so much. We didn’t even realize. What we have in our hearts and spirit will live in us forever.

  • Juan
    Posted at 16:30h, 07 October Reply

    Amazing Story… Love+Caring+Sharing = Growing up Rich

    • Vee Wess
      Posted at 18:06h, 07 October Reply

      Thank you!!!

  • Mahogany B
    Posted at 17:28h, 07 October Reply

    Great read! Not from Warrenton but love my county!!

    • Vee Wess
      Posted at 18:06h, 07 October Reply

      Thank you!! I love it too.

    Posted at 18:40h, 07 October Reply

    I’ll always love Warren County!!

    • Vee Wess
      Posted at 20:35h, 07 October Reply

      Oh Girl we had great memories!!!!

    Posted at 19:59h, 07 October Reply

    Beautifully written! I love the fact my children are able to go visit and spend summers with my parents there. Warren County is beautiful and charming and I wish more people knew about it.

    • Vee Wess
      Posted at 20:35h, 07 October Reply

      Absolutely Corronta!! It is beautiful and charming. I hope you kids enjoy every minute. I can still remember your grandmother’s voice when I would call you on the phone.

  • Marcus Kearsey
    Posted at 20:14h, 07 October Reply

    I love this and relate! Kudos!

    • Vee Wess
      Posted at 20:32h, 07 October Reply

      Thank you Marcus!!

  • Lorell Lewis
    Posted at 22:53h, 07 October Reply

    Love it! As I read I reminisce of the time I taught in Warrenton, a quaint, tight-knit community. The one of the best places I’ve ever taught. I’ve made friends for life there.

    • Vee Wess
      Posted at 13:01h, 09 October Reply

      You are one of my most memorable teachers. Thank you for keeping in touch. I’m so happy to know you.

  • Dwayne Bond
    Posted at 23:05h, 07 October Reply

    I love this. I was encouraged and blessed by you sharing this. It’s also beautiful that you never forget where you came from. Yes, you have grown up rich. 🤩

    • Vee Wess
      Posted at 12:59h, 09 October Reply

      Thank you Dwayne!! I am also encouraged by you as well. Keep sharing your wealth with the world.

  • Rhonda Kearney
    Posted at 00:05h, 08 October Reply

    Love this! We were so blessed to grown up
    In there. CSBC….South Warren…our parents…the Nurturing village was a rich upbringing, indeed!

    • Vee Wess
      Posted at 12:58h, 09 October Reply

      Yes it was!!! We had such a great time playing together as kids. I can hear certain songs on the radio and it will remind me of you guys.

  • Cheryl Bartow
    Posted at 03:42h, 08 October Reply

    Good read!! I hope you share more of your stories more often. Stop playing friend!!

    • Vee Wess
      Posted at 12:56h, 09 October Reply

      Thank you friend!! I am a work in progress. Thank you for your encouragement 🙂

  • Rick S.
    Posted at 07:06h, 08 October Reply

    Great read! I too feel that once I step on my mother’s front porch, nothing can touch me. Also, every house need a front porch.

    • Vee Wess
      Posted at 12:55h, 09 October Reply

      Isn’t it such a great feeling. I love a front porch 🙂

  • Charles Kearney
    Posted at 13:28h, 08 October Reply

    Niiicccceeeee!!! Gotta love the county!

    • Vee Wess
      Posted at 12:55h, 09 October Reply

      Thank you!!! Yes gotta love it!!!

  • Tamara Reed
    Posted at 15:14h, 08 October Reply

    This is Great Kendra!!! I Love it ❤️❤️

    • Vee Wess
      Posted at 12:54h, 09 October Reply

      Thank you Tamara!!!

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