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O.Henry Ending

Halfway And Home

“Making a life around here”

By John Adamcik

“He ain’t from around here,” my new friend said as she introduced me to others.  Although it’s been over 10 years, I remember her smiling just enough to inform me that she was joking. Mostly. After all, I had failed the shibboleth by mispronouncing her town of Sophia (I still couldn’t tell you how to pronounce it). And, in her favor, remnants of my Michigan accent told the tale plainly to everyone I met. Still, I was trying to endear myself to these people.

A few months later I revisit the topic with her. “When will I be here long enough to be from around here?” I ask.

“Never,” she says. She points to her husband. “He’s been here over 40 years, he still ain’t from around here.”

He nods. “It’s true,” he says, nonplussed. 

Around here.

Approaching our 20th anniversary of making the Piedmont Triad our home, my family still ponders whether we qualify as being part of “around here.” Admittedly, we’ve been welcomed by the community and engaged in the community. We’ve done our part to strengthen the community. We feel at home.

Our children attended grade school through high school around here. They played sports, joined scouts and made lifelong friends. They worshipped God around here. As our children move forward to new places and new careers, my wife and I reflect on how blessed we have been by all the people “around here” who call this their home and have made us feel welcome.

When we moved here, family and friends asked us where we had planted roots.

“Halfway,” we answered.

It was true. Halfway between family and friends in Michigan and Florida. Halfway between the mountains and the coast. Halfway between the southern and northern borders of our adopted state. Here in southwest Guilford County, we were even halfway between many of the places we frequented in Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem. Halfway between closing on our home and our actual move-in date, a memorable ice storm hit the area and knocked down several trees in our new yard, splitting the Bradford Pear in half.

We were halfway in elevation and in weather patterns (according to our observations and at least one reputable seed catalog). We were also halfway in the biblical tracking of a, “three score and ten years” lifespan.

Reflecting on this milestone, I’m reminded that we hadn’t been here long when we realized this community is not at all halfway. Rather, we are at the center. The center of land and space and culture and dreams and life. The center of the hope of growth and of resolute determination.

Like us, thousands upon thousands will be coming to make new homes “around here” as the legacies left by generations of textile, furniture and agricultural pioneers pave the way for a future of new industry. I look forward to helping others plant roots around here.

My family and I are privileged to be around here and to have invested our time in this community. We have grown in ways we could not have imagined. We will celebrate with neighbors, with friends and with family that we are not halfway. We are home.   OH

John Adamcik and his wife Jeanneen live with their family in High Point. John enjoys his role in human resources with a Triad-based nonprofit human services religious organization. In addition to ministry, writing, speaking, and hosting his podcast (Fore Yore Lore), he can be found accompanying Jeanneen to craft shows as public relations for her vintage craft jewelry business.