Happy to Be Here: A Transplant Takes Root in Farmville, Virginia ePub (Adobe DRM) download by Karen A. Bellenir

Happy to Be Here: A Transplant Takes Root in Farmville, Virginia

Pier Press, LLC
Publication date: September 2016
ISBN: 9780996991506
Digital Book format: ePub (Adobe DRM)

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What happens when someone from a northern city's suburbs packs up and moves to the rural south? For Karen Bellenir, the transition involved finding her place in the life of a small town, making connections, growing new roots, and learning about the culture and the environment.

It didn't always go smoothly, especially at dinner. Bellenir firmly resolves, "I will not eat pig feet. I've been informed that these are called trotters and that they are especially fine when pickled. I'm sorry, but I agree with another transplant to the area who commented: I know where they've been."

Sometimes reality forced her to reconsider cherished notions. "I used to think mice were cute," she says. "My mental image focused on furry little bodies, oversized ears, and earnest eyes. Small and fluffy. Tiny pink toes and little pink noses." In other words, the stuff of greeting cards. Rural experience revealed mice to be costly eating machines that even chewed on expensive car parts.

At other times, Bellenir found herself awed by the region's natural beauty, moved by the town's earnest efforts to overcome mistakes of the past, and inspired by the people who welcomed her with open arms and open hearts.

Upon moving to Farmville, Bellenir began writing "Happy to Be Here," a monthly newspaper column for The Farmville Herald. Every month she reported on her progress of getting acclimated, meeting new people, and making discoveries. This book presents her first seven years' worth of columns arranged in a topical order that loosely follows the calendar year. It begins with a Prelude that answers the question: "Why Farmville?" Then its pages turn to celebrations of the New Year, the unfurling of seasons, and encounters along the way. A Postlude concludes, "Still Happy, Grateful Too."

Marge Swayne, writer and editor for The Farmville Herald and Farmville the Magazine, sums it up this way, "Karen Bellenir likes cows. There’s one on the cover of her book, Happy to be Here, and yes, she still likes cows even after a close cow encounter on High Bridge Trail. Making the cow’s acquaintance, Bellenir noted, was not the 'mooooving' experience she expected; in fact, the cow was not moving at all. Fortunately, all ended well. That, and many other 'happy-to-be-heres,' make Bellenir’s book a delight. It’s impossible to read without saying to yourself at least once, “You know what — I’m happy to be here, too!”

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