Emma June Grosskopf Mask

It’s official.

I’ve been living here in Hampshire County for 1 year.

That’s 365 days, and that’s 365 days where you guys had a chance to kick me out, and you haven’t.

Probably a mistake on your part, but I appreciate it all.

I hate being one of those people who’s all, “time goes fast when you’re having fun,” but it does NOT feel like it’s been a year. I have been pumped with so much information that I feel like a wise old crone.

I know about making hay now, and the importance of insulation and the difference between a levy and a bond. I know what a Seabee is, and I learned about the role a football field can have in bringing a community together or dividing it.

I learned about what it takes to keep the historical places in the county maintained. I learned about what exactly a backpack program does for the schools. I learned about executive session, and I learned that new principals can bring new energy to their schools.

I’ve heard from local authors about their work and I’ve talked to parents with growing families. I know more about gardening and landscaping then I thought I would at 23.

I learned not to flash the field during a football game. With a camera, specifically, but I’m assuming it’s pretty much the same reaction however you slice it.

I learned what makes a tractor an “8N,” and I lived through an election night (barely).

(And I learned that the library levy actually needed 60 percent of the vote to pass, which I feel like a lot of people learned in June, too.)

I learned that Gov. Jim Justice has a vendetta against the color blind.

I learned that between teachers and musicians and artists and everything in between, we have got some talented folks in this county. Talent with a capital “T.”

But, see, it’s not just through the Review that I’ve been learning. Being 23 (almost 24, you know. It’s about time for me to have a quarter-life crisis) has been a vehicle for learning all kinds of life lessons, too.

I learned how to be patient when the Census kept bombarding me with propaganda.

I learned that it’s in my best interest NOT to speed through Augusta.

(I probably shouldn’t speed anywhere, but specifically not through Augusta.)

I learned that it isn’t a bad thing to ask for directions, and that having a phone with Verizon service is as useless as rubber lips on a woodpecker.

I learned to turn the other cheek when folks are arguing on Facebook. And by “turning the cheek” I mean “screenshotting the comment thread so I can laugh at it later.”

I learned that sometimes, expired eggs will give you food poisoning, even if they’re only expired by a couple of days. That lesson was learned the hard way.

I already knew how to fix a running toilet (go, me), but I learned to use my brain when it came to my bathtub.

I learned that it’s OK to be lonely and miss home. My mom is a text or a call away. My dad knows lots about a lot of things, so he’s there to help me. My brothers make me laugh. My Grandpap is very wise. Technology makes all of these people closer to me than it seems like they are.

I haven’t changed it yet, but I’m thinking of switching my column name. After all, I’m not the “new kid” anymore. I’m the “kid” still for sure, but calling myself the “New Kid in the Holler” feels an awful like when I worked at Office Depot in high school and made sure my nametag always said “In Training” so that people were nice to me. Even after working there for 3 years.


Anyway, I’m not new anymore, and I’m working on the new column name. I’m still young with a lot to learn, but LOOK how much I learned after 1 year. Imagine how smart I’ll be after the next one.

(1) comment


Happy Anniversary Emma! In town! In the holler! On the train! At the school board meetings (grrrr)! You have it covered!

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