I’ll admit it, when my husband and I discussed moving – South Webster wasn’t at the top of my list.
While our home in Sciotoville wasn’t metropolitan by any means, it was a good middle ground. We go to church in South Webster and we have dinner with my husband, Ryan’s family, on Sundays, it was about a 20 minute commute from our house, once a week. Ryan works in New Boston and I work in Portsmouth, so it was about a 20 minute commute to our jobs as well. We knew we wanted to move, but I wanted to be closer to the ‘city,’ and Ryan wanted to be closer to the place where he grew up, closer to the places he was familiar with.
I thought to myself, ‘why would anyone want to live out in South Webster? There’s nothing out there! It’s a 20-minute drive just to get to a grocery store, that’s like a 40 minute commute to the office!’ (and I was not about to give up sleep).
In the end, our church parsonage became available and the church didn’t really have anyone in mind to move in, they naturally thought we would be interested since we were a newlywed couple and the house has ample space for a growing family.
Despite my hesitations, it just made practical sense. Since we’re members of the church and work in the church, we got a deal on the rent. It was a much better deal than anything else we could dream of finding. It was just perfect. A single story brick house with little flower beds out front, perfect for my gardening habits. A fenced in yard, perfect for our two dogs plus the stray we took in (and ultimately ended up keeping, so three dogs). I had an office for my work and my studies, Ryan had a room for all his music equipment and work. We even had a guest bedroom, now our friends wouldn’t have to sleep on the thread-bear futon, that I had since my first apartment.
We packed up our old place, and moved in.
In case you’ve never been to Jeep Country, here’s what it’s composed of: On the outskirts, there is a small thrift-shop, and a used car lot, in ‘town’ there are two gas stations, and another car lot. The campus of the South Webster school district, and a library are also nestled in. There is also a Dollar General, a pharmacy, two funeral homes, a hardware store, three churches all on the same street oh, and a Giovanni’s.
Despite being happy about the house, I thought ‘what the heck am I going to do all the way out here in the middle of nowhere?’
It’s now been three months since I’ve lived out here ‘in the middle of nowhere,’ and I’ve adjusted. Dare I say, I’m loving it? The girls at the Dollar General know me by name, and when I go in to the Country Store to buy gas, I am always greeted by a familiar face and a genuine “how are you?” When I walk my dogs in the morning, I say hi to all the dogs on the block, and I know them and their owners by name. When our lawnmower broke, our friends who live less than a minute a way came over and mowed our grass, just because.
I’ve seen the entire community gather to support families and students in need. When hard times hit, they hit hard, everybody knows everybody but it’s a good thing because everyone is there to lift you up when you need it most.
No not everyone is a backwards hillbilly, and even if they were, they’re the nicest hillbilly you’d ever meet and they’d be there in a heart-beat should you find yourself in trouble. I’ve never seen a more close-knit community, everyone serves a unique role, but they all mesh together so well.
Yes it may be a village, but it’s our village, and they have made me feel so loved and accepted. Thank you South Webster, for showing me the good and simple things in life, reminding me to appreciate them and quit being a judgmental ‘city slicker.’ I love you all.
Ciara Conly can be reached at 740-353-3101 ext. 1932