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Posted Saturday, February 24, 2007
Chatham County, NC - We asked Chatham Journal readers and members of the Chatham Chatlist to submit their short list of what they love about Chatham County. Here’s a compilation of what they sent it. The items are in no particular order.
1. The Haw River with rocks and swirling water where memories of canoeing and swimming mingle with the moment, feet wet in the river.
2. The rolling pastures with horses and cattle grazing
3. A magic country road that leads to a hill where sunset can be clearly seen and along the way long horn cattle, mules, goats, sheep, horses look up from various pastures.
4. Neighbors and friends who touch my life, whether new or long time ones.
5. Crossing Jordan Lake when the light is particularly beautiful on the water.
6. The bounty that has come my way from returning to the area after years away.
7. The library, the court house, and other buildings and stores in downtown Pittsboro I've been in.
8. The Arts Incubator in Siler City where I can take pottery classes and weaving courses and be creative and social at the same time!
9. I love the Hospice, the Agricultural Extension agency and Sustainable Agriculture available here
10. The American Tobacco Trail in Chatham. It is the prettiest and most scenic portion of the entire 22 miles! Thanks to over 2000 hours of volunteer labor, folks can now walk and ride their bikes or horses on all but 320 feet (the undecked trestles) of the 4.6 miles of it!
11. Southwest Park in Bear Creek. The half mile-long compacted granite screenings surfaced walking trail welcomes folks to safely exercise.
12. The ball fields that give parents, their children, adult coaches and pets, a chance to bond while learning good sportsmanship and how to play together.
13. Jordan Lake. My husband and I went on many dates there when we were dating, he proposed to me there and we were married under one of the picnic shelters there.
14. Weaver Creek Trail off Pea Ridge Road. A pretty hike in the woods again made possible by lots of volunteer labor. We do need more volunteers to help keep it maintained and open.
15. Town Lake Park and Trails in Pittsboro. A diamond in the rough that deserves more use and better care than it gets. It has the potential to be a lovely park. It is one of the best kept secrets in Pittsboro.
16. THANKS Trail at Central Carolina Community College. Constantly used and enjoyed by thousands each year to keep in good health. A wonderful gift to the community.
17. Sidewalks in Pittsboro. Thankfully used and enjoyed by many to stay in shape and to safely get to stores, restaurants, worship, schools and homes.
18. Haw River Trails. Another one of the best kept secrets in Chatham County that is a great place to walk a dog or experience the river and nature.
19. I love our history- the people who have shaped this wonderful community and the stories behind it, knowing people over time, generations of life...
20. I love our desire to help each other and the "take care of your neighbors" way of being
21. I love how diverse and colorful we are, in color, dress, personality, and spirit
22. I love the big trees, the thick luscious plants in summer growing up everywhere, and how our lawns are full of colorful weeds and bugs, our twisty creeks and rivers, the Haw!
23. I love the cow pastures and rolling hills, and the bright yellow meadowlarks overhead, (the Quaker feeling around Silk Hope)...
24. I love our creativity and quirkiness.
25. I love the courthouse circle in Pittsboro, how the roads point east, west, north, south. I orient myself wherever I am in relation to that courthouse circle, the same way some people who grow up next to the ocean know their surroundings from the position of the water...
26. The staff at the library, always ready to help.
27. I love hiking along the Haw River in Bynum, climbing onto a rock, and watching nature float by (and time). I love Bynum!
28. I love all the artists in Chatham County, they are everywhere. And the artists give Chatham County it's "colorful" quality.
29. I love all the music in Chatham County; Bluegrass, gospel, rock opera, blues, rock and roll, jazz and new venue. It's all here. I especially like going somewhere and having folks pull out their instruments, to jam and sing.
30. I love the sky at night.
31. The first glimmer of Jordan Lake.
32. Seeing bald eagles there!
33. Relatively low taxes (vs. Orange for example!)
34. Land and housing that is still more reasonable than Wake or Orange.
35. I do not have to "dress up" to shop or dine - jeans are acceptable most any place. Well I would not go to the Fearrington Inn with jeans- and not with a baseball cap either!
36. Prices for MOST services are less expensive.
37. Chatham County representatives (from Fire to Sheriff Department to County Seat administrative personnel) are much easier (friendlier) to get along with or to do business with.
38. Driving an auto is less aggravating - versus rush hour on I-40, 15-501 (in Orange and Durham Counties).
39. The Chatham Chatlist - I don't have to purchase a newspaper (except for Mt. Joseph's x word puzzles!) as I get "all the Chatham County news that's fit to print" courtesy of Gene Galin's "write in" audience!
40. The countryside. I love the rolling hills, the farm land, the wooded areas.
41. The Chatham Parks and Recreation Department and the various sports leagues that give our kids opportunities to participant with their peers in organized sports.
42. The country folks. There are a lot of small rural communities with old timey country people. They are the best. They aren't as materialistic or morally liberal as many people are today. Plus they have all sorts of country cures for what ails ya!
43. The creative energy and people at the NC Arts Incubator
44. The annual Chatham Studio Tour - both art and artists!
45. Grassroots political involvement (from all sides). Whether it’s the Chatham Coalition or the Chatham Conservative Voice.
46. Old trees, rivers, and pasture land occupied by horses, cows, and/or goats
47. The way neighbors look out for each other
48. Community schools (especially Silk Hope!)
49. Beautiful gardens, yard art and the wildflowers along the roads.
50. Uncongested country roads and the old houses, churches, barns and sheds on them.
51. Talking to the old timers when they share their knowledge and wisdom.
52. One thing I love about Chatham County is the fact that everyone waves at you driving by, even if they have no idea who you are!
53. The diversity of people, lifestyles and churches represented
54. The beauty of the land and wildlife in Chatham- knowing if you haven't spotted a bald eagle yet, you will one day soon.
55. I love the fact that people will donate thousands of dollars to a little boy with leukemia, even though they have no idea who he is-just that he is three, sick and needs help.
56. I love the fact that teachers in this County work from before school to well after for little pay.
57. I love that it is not yet Wake County.
58. Fresh air and open spaces.
59. Friendly people.
60. The mostly liberal atmosphere.
61. Live music venues.
62. Lots of artists and craftspeople.
63. Small town atmosphere with access to big town stuff, if you need it.
64. Elbow room.
65. Good place to raise a family or farm or both.
66. Good schools.
67. The General store where lots of coffee has been drunk and music has been heard.
68. Ag extension agent Al Cooke’s advice on just about anything to do with agriculture.
69. The beauty of the land
70. Silk Hope Old Fashioned Farmers Days Festival It’s the County's longest-running festival that celebrates the Piedmont of the past featuring one of the finest collections of operating antique farm machinery. I can’t go without having the some of the best homemade ice cream.
71. I love the overall faith that tomorrow will be a better day and we can all come together to help each other and make out community better
72. As a member of The League of Women Voters of Orange, Durham and Chatham Counties, I love the fact that so many Chatham residents are actively interested in, debating and participating in local government in this county. Sure, it's often contentious, but that's the nature of politics. It's really healthy, and if this degree of involvement existed nationally, our country would certainly be the better for it. We are setting a standard!
73. As a transplant from the gloomy Midwest where there are few sunny days from October to April, I love the incredible blue sky and sunshine, more days than not, and the green pines against the blue sky when I am out walking in the beautiful countryside, and the early spring and the lo-o-ong fall, and the bluebirds, and the heron that fishes in the local pond.
74. I love the nonprofit service organizations in Chatham County and their hard working staff who do so much with limited resources, and where so many of my friends and neighbors, even those who just moved here last year, are volunteering significant time and resources.
75. Pottery and antique shops.
76. I love Chatham’s rocky and hilly landscape.
77. I love the quaintness of Pittsboro.
78. The Rocky River.
79. The Deep River
80. The steel bridge across the Rocky River on Chatham Church Road.
81. Silk Hope - the whole area. - especially driving Bowers Store Rd. and Silk Hope Gum Springs Road.
82. The diversity of people - multi-generation natives, 60s & 70s back-to-the-landers, newcomers from all over, RTP/ university employees, and retirees. What a great resource!
83. White Pines natural area
84. The diversity of the people who live here and the passion they share for the common good of the County.
85. The smell of the forest.
86. Hearing barred owls, great horned owls, wood thrushes, whippoorwills, and even bobcats! (They all need large tracts of intact forest.)
87. The quietness and darkness of the sky at night.
88. Spring-fed streams with good water quality.
89. The charm of the small towns.
90. The charm and serenity of the country roads.
91. The green building and sustainable agriculture movement that could really give Chatham a well-deserved place on the map for uniqueness and energy conservation.
92. I love that Chatham is a wonderful place to raise a family.
93. I love that my child attends a neighborhood school and can walk into Pittsboro on field trips (i.e. trick-or-treating, caroling, etc.)! I look forward to my other children being able to do that when they are school-age!
94. I've started to love those buzzards that circle over Pittsboro on gray fall days as the courthouse tower chimes, and roost atop DSS! (and the memory of the old fire horn at 12:00, which used to tell us when it was time to go home for lunch!)
95. Friday night football games at a local high school.
96. I love the Chatham Journal web site and the Chatham Online Bulletin Board. Both are great sources of information.
97. The Siler City Chicken Festival.
98. I love “First Sundays” in Pittsboro. It’s a chance to walk and shop downtown, listen to music and “visit”.
99. I love so many memories. When I was a teenager in the 80's, I was so determined to move far away that I started saying goodbye to everything and everyone in my mind in advance. As I said goodbye, I started seeing so much beauty in the people here, and in the land, that I came to love my home in a new way. I did go away to school, but I came back, and there is no place on Earth that will hold so much that I treasure, such a bond to land and spirit. For a while, it made me scared to lose it, scared that change would make it disappear, fearful, but now I get it - the chance to watch this place and community that I love grow the way it is to watch a child you love grow -- to see it have new experiences, to see it adapt and learn, to see it bloom in ways I did not anticipate. I still think we must protect what it precious - the land, the trees, the box turtles, the rivers because once they are gone we can never have them back. But we must let our community grow in its depth of spirit, to extend a hand of warmth to people who come here so that maybe what we have here will affect them and thus the world in positive ways... to let what I love about Chatham County manifest in others. That is what I hope for now.
Can’t find your favorite thing about Chatham County? Send in a list of the things you love about Chatham to Things V. Love
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