We have an honest-to-goodness Welshman coming to our clinic right now, born and raised in Wales. He traveled the world for his job, but ultimately he and his wife settled down here and have been here for the past 30 years. (Hasn’t done much to diminish his accent or mannerisms!) He’s fascinating to talk to, as a result of his travels and diverse interests. He’s retired now, so he explains to me how in the summer he bakes specialty items for a Farmer’s Market, and in the winter he does woodwork.
What was one of the most fascinating things is his explanation of why he settled down here. “We lioke it here, we reely do,” he says. “All thot traveling, and here we are. The thing that I like the most, the thing that is soh notable, is how many people are volunteers!” He says this with such delight and wonder, in his clipped words. “Not the same things, and not necessarily a lot of time, but there are soh many people who give of their time. And they’re soh personable! My wife will say, ‘I’m sorry I’m late, but I just could n’t get away from the Supermah-ket!'” And he laughs.
He has traveled the world and back with a high paying job, and yet what he marvels at most is the wonder of small-town friendliness and helpfulness. I think it’s a pretty dang good compliment when that’s someone’s reason for settling down in your area.