Forever Country

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I grew up on country music. I even worked at a country radio station for a short period of time in (and right after) college. While it may not always be on my radio, it will forever have a special place in my heart.

For me, listening to country music has a very grounding effect. Spending the majority of my teenage years in West Virginia and being involved in the WV 4-H program, there is one song that means more to me than any other – “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”

I cannot tell you how many times I have found myself with an arm around a stranger as the entire room circles up to sway and sing along with this most famous of our state songs.

That moment you are family and friends with every single one in the room as John Denver sings words that pull at your heartstrings. “I get a feeling that I should have been home yesterday, yesterday. Country roads, take me home to the place where I belong: West Virginia, mountain momma, take me home, country roads.”

“Country Roads” resonates deeply with me at this particular time in my life. I find myself making a difficult choice; my work takes me across state lines, and the commute is taxing on my time, stress, and car. The fellow and I have started looking at houses in the same town as my job, and I believe that we will purchase there – just across my beloved state line.

While I’m excited about owning a home and getting our life established, having a place of my own (and a place to store wedding decorations), and of finally not facing the constant frustrations of crappy apartments and moving every year, it’s bittersweet. I love my state. I hate that I have to work outside of it, but now to move outside of it . . . It feels like a loss of self. That sentiment is something I’ve heard from others who have moved out-of-state, but what I’ve learned from those individuals is that no matter where we go, or where we find ourselves – West Virginia is always our home. Our hearts will always guide us back to the mountains, and the mountains will always welcome us home.

It amazes me how at every part of life certain things find us. While going through this process, all of my 4-H friends started posting links to this video. It’s a phenomenal collaboration of country artists in a mashup of some country classics. It entwines “I Will Always Love You” as well as “On the Road Again” with “Country Roads.” It was exactly what I needed.


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