Thursday, January 03, 2008
My bro, the IT Ubergeek, in front of "The Batman (Bellsouth) Building," where he worked in Nashville.
A long time ago... oh... roughly 30 years ago, I got a Christmas present wrapped up in a bunch of blankets. My parents brought home my baby brother in December of 1977, and I was pretty excited about that! He was kind of like a doll, but even better -- especially once he got old enough to climb trees and play "Dukes of Hazzard" with our big, plastic Big Wheels trikes. He's a fun brother to have, with a really quirky sense of humor and endless supply of interesting-and-sometimes-unusual conversation topics.
This year, I got another cool Christmas present: my "little" brother has returned home to West Virginia. Ricc has moved back to WV after landing a pretty cool job in Nashville and even buying a house! I have to admit, my first thought was "what are you doing?!?! Are you crazy?" It seemed that all his dreams were coming true in Nashville and he was just starting to build the life he had always wanted. But he said he missed home, and when a really good job opportunity presented itself, he pounced on it. Within a couple months, he was moving back to WV, and yesterday he started his new job.
It's funny how West Virginia becomes so much of who we are. West Virginians can move away, but a lot of times, they come back. If they don't, they probably wish they could. I know a lot of ex-West Virginians who have been trying to return, and who haven't been able to find work here. Many take huge pay cuts to move back here, they want to come home so badly. Those who don't make it back still feel a connection to West Virginia and other WVians. A friend of mine who lives in NYC told me that she's joined a West Virginians' club that meets to watch WVU ball games and hang out. How cool is that?
I remember as a teenager, wanting to live in New York City or some other place with a lot of action and income potential and shiny bright lights. Now that I'm older, I can't imagine living anywhere else. There's something about West Virginia that you can't find anywhere else. There are plenty of beautiful, scenic, mountainous landscapes all over the world, and there are plenty of friendly small towns where people greet each other with genuine smiles. But there's just something about this state that takes hold of your heart and won't let it go, no matter how far away you travel. I can't put my finger on it -- it's just hard not to love West Virginia.
Ricc loves the new job, by the way, and I'm thrilled that he's back home. I can't wait to see his face at family barbecues, football games, and all those other family events he's been missing. He's such a cool uncle to the kids, and our family is very close-knit, so I know he's really missed us all. I'm glad he got his Christmas wish to come home, but I think the present goes to the entire family.