Wednesday, July 31, 2013


The road from Altavista to Evington is a narrow, sometimes very curvy two-lane highway, 10 miles of country road.
For a long time, I was never actually sure when I’d arrived in Evington. It’s more of a zip code than a defined place. But the longer I live in this part of the county, the more defined it becomes.
I visited Evington Monday evening to cover a community meeting for the newspaper. One of my regular beats is county government, and one of the issues facing government is how to help people in the county who are experiencing well water problems.
The county has come up with some options to consider, and the meeting was to get some early feedback from residents who would be affected by any decision made.
I’ve already done several stories on the issue, and I looked forward to attending this meeting.
But it wasn’t just the meeting that drew me. Part of the reason I looked forward to going to Evington was because I enjoy the drive.
I was behind the wheel Monday night, so I couldn’t take many photos.
But I noticed the hay and corn fields, the way the land rolled along in hill after hill.
I noticed the round bales of hay out in the field or, in one place, lined up beside the barbed wire fence that ran parallel to the road. I thought of my fellow bloggers who are busy raking and baling hay.
I noticed how the early evening sunshine still lit most of the fields, while the trees at the edges were growing darker green as the light faded.
I arrived at the intersection where the Evington post office is and turned left. That’s where the road becomes very curvy, almost turning on itself as it weaves down to the railroad crossing. 

Then I was at the building where the meeting was held.

Field in Evington, Virginia

I was there for over an hour and a half, but the time flew by. I listened to people express their concerns, for themselves and their neighbors. I saw people from all walks of life, from different backgrounds, discuss common concerns.
I felt community.
One of the blessings of my job is the way I have become more of a part of the community. I’ve met people I never would have met, chatted about the mundane, asked questions about the serious, struggled to capture the essence of a story for the readers.
I’m an introvert. I tend to shy away from anything resembling a crowd. I have depression that sometimes makes me question my reason for living.
But times like Monday night remind me that I’m part of a community—really, more than one community—and part of my purpose lies in those communities. That’s a comfort.

It was a comfort, too, to step outside at the end and look at the beautiful land around me becoming dark. I caught a photo of the red rail car that sits beside the long graveled driveway and then drove back along the same narrow roads. I couldn’t see the fields as clearly, but I knew they were there. I knew the people working hard behind those fields were there, somewhere.

And I went home.


  1. Great post, Tina. I love your photos. I am so glad you find comfort in your work and the community spirit.

  2. This is why I love smaller towns and such, because of the community engagement and the sense of belongingness that the people have toward their town. Wonderful photos Tina!

  3. i loved this. all of it. perfect.

  4. Well said. Community is nothing unless we can belong to it and participate fully. Sometimes it's a challenge but it's always worth while.

  5. It's wonderful to feel that sense of community.

    Love the caboose picture.

    SPace ice cream is hard to explain. It's not cold. It's in a foil packet and comes w/ strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate in a small square. You break off pieces and they dissolve in your mouth and taste exactly like ice cream.

  6. Tina, Great post and pics! And yes, being part of a community is so meaningful. I also loved that you said you enjoyed the drive, when in some previous posts you talk about how difficult driving used to be for you......

  7. It's so nice to feel that you belong to something greater than your self.

    Love the pics!

  8. Wonderful photos! I miss the sense of community so much. I'm glad to know it IS still out there!

  9. What a lovely post! It filled me up this morning better than any cup of coffee could. The photos and your reflections work so well together.

    Community can be tough at times. Sometimes passions run high and there is strong disagreement...but I wouldn't trade my life in this small town for anything! It can also be magical in the way you have described.

  10. Sounds like your job is just perfect for you!

  11. I miss being an active and real part of a place, but it is very difficult to penetrate an old old old community and a foreign one at that, wonderful post Tina.

  12. loving your work is so important to your mental health!! we have a great sense of community here at the jersey shore!

  13. I love this post, such a great read. Your description of the community, roads, fields, and the rest of the surroundings made me feel like I was right there with you for the ride and meeting.


  14. While some people are not good living in rural surroundings and dealing with the mindsets of those who have lived there for years, you have developed a flare for it! Good for being OCD!!!!...:)JP

  15. I love how you describe the sense of community that exists in your corner of the world. It's really all about people, isn't it? The older I get, the more I understand and enjoy this preeminent aspect of being on this earth. I am also an introvert, but I'm learning to enjoy people. We all have so much in common and our needs are basically the same. Great post and photos, Tina.


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