A few months ago, after renting for a year so we could learn the town, we bought our forever home in downtown Mount Airy. The house is 118 years old, and before we purchased it, it had only been owned by two families. On my street, this is not the exception. It is the rule.
In Mount Airy, unlike the big city, things are not so disposable. You don’t buy a house with the intention of trading up in 5 years. If it doesn’t meet your needs, you build an addition, or add a ramp. You actually get to know your neighbors because they will always be your neighbors.
One of the town’s defining characteristics is the genuine kindness of the people. They truly care about each other. I have come to call it the “Mayberry Mystique.” There is a reason Andy Griffith made a career from his memories of life in Mount Airy. It reflects the best in us.
When we first moved here, I was a bit worried about being an “outsider” in this close-knit community. The oposite was true. We were immediately pulled to the inside. I have come to learn that many of the downtown business owners are also transplants from less nutrient-rich soil. Here, we thrive. We invest. We share. We belong. The wise man builds his house upon the rock, and nothing is more solid than the granite city.
So … If you need me in the early evening, I’ll be sipping lemonade on the front porch. Every day. For the next 40-or-so years.