I've talked to a lot of folks about why people stay in West Virginia.
"The economy stinks", they say.
"People are backward." "Drugs are bad." "The government doesn't know what they are doing." "It's all owned by outside companies."
When I was a kid growing up here, I thought a lot of the same things, and thought that there had to be something better out there.
So I left. And I've been a lot of places. And what I figured out was there aren't that many places left where you can see the milky way. There aren't that many places left where you can just go swim in the river, and catch a fish. There aren't that many places left where a person can grow their own food, and with a few tools and some ingenuity, can actually "make it" - maybe not rich, but possibly happy.
So I came back. I came back because I love all of those things, and I do realize how rare it is to have them all in one place.
Now, I'm working on fixing the rest.
Because, after going "just about everywhere", I've come to realize this place is pretty close to paradise.
Image of the orchard at my family home, and the milky way streaming above.
Pretty Close to Paradise - West Virginia