It’s good to finally be home
I was born in East Tennessee and did most of my growing up as a military brat in North Carolina. Though I didn’t move to Virginia until my 47th year, it has always been my home.
My father considers himself an amateur historian, but those of us know who know him well and understand his modesty when it comes to certain things, understand that he is actually a passionate professional, particularly when it comes to the history of Virginia and our family.
We’ve been able to trace our roots all the way back to Jamestown, but I feel the closest ancestral connection to my great-great-great-greats buried in a small plot at Little England in Gloucester County. We’ve visited there many times. It’s both a beautiful and tranquil place, and one we consider as a sort of home.
I began to understand at a very young age, the importance of Virginia in my family’s history, but also its role in the history of our nation. While most kids were spending vacations at amusement parks and the community pool, my siblings and many cousins spent our time on the battlefields of Yorktown, running around on the decks of the ships at Jamestown and imagining ourselves living like colonials in Williamsburg.
Some kids might feel like they’re being dragged around to these places. But for us, this was our fun every time we visited my Grandma. She lived at “The Old Place” our family home, built in 1872, on Heywood’s Creek in Hayes, not far from Yorktown. That very home is where my father lives today. When we ran out of things to do on the creek – sailing, rowing over to Aunt Annie’s, crabbing, fishing, swimming, losing our shoes in the marsh mud – we’d beg to go run around on the battlefields, climb on the cannons, and have my father tell us, for the umpteenth time, the story of Redoubt #10.
It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I really grasped that this wasn’t just fun. This was a life-long history lesson about the importance of Virginia my own life, and in the birth and evolution of our nation. This history lesson isn’t over. I know I’ll be learning about and growing my appreciation for this Commonwealth for the rest of my life. And my children will too. One day they’ll appreciate, as much as I did, being “dragged” to Yorktown, Jamestown, Williamsburg and to the historical sites around Richmond, where we now live.
I’ve always been proud of Virginia. It’s good to finally be home for good.
Editor’s note: Want to visit the site of the first English colony, which was also home to many groundbreaking events? Visit the Jamestown Settlement today.