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Andi Elliott: My Own Mayberry

February 16th, 2011 by Halli

By Andi Elliott

It’s been almost 9 years ago since we moved to Hamer. We left a large metropolitan area in Virginia of about one million people to move out here. No, I’d never heard of Hamer. My daughter had just graduated from VA TECH and a week later, we just “headed West”. It was my “great escape” from the impersonal life of the city along with all the associated problems.

As I recall, at that time Hamer had around 80 people…we were # 81 and # 82, I believe. We knew no one and as we were still unpacking boxes, our new neighbors dropped by with their family…all ten of them. I still remember my surprise for in our family we had two children as did most of my relatives. We scrambled to find enough seats for everyone. They came with a plate of cookies. I remember being told that it was Amelia’s turn to bake them. I marveled when they left…the children were perfectly mannered even though a couple were quite young. This was our first introduction to Hamer.

Since then we have found that Hamer is full of good-hearted folks. My Southern accent afforded a lot of laughs as we explained how things were so different “back East” and folks laughed good naturedly as I pointed out that they too had an “accent”. I learned that when folks commented on my “outfit” that they weren’t talking about my clothes. Neighbors made an effort to show us how an agrarian area lives…lambing and spud harvest are amazing activities to an outsider. Still now I stand on my deck during harvest and watch the lights of the farm equipment crawl across the fields at night. I’ve told them about the 5 mile river I grew up by and that we fed our horses 80# bales…I’d never seen ton bales.

Though we attend church in Rigby, we are still included in the Hamer church activities. A trip to the local post office is like visiting lifelong friends. We can still have a “manger scene” at Christmastime in Hamer. Knowing that we have no family in Idaho, someone never fails to include us at holidays and special events.

There are those that still ask why we moved to here. I can tell that my explanation falls short as they don’t seem to grasp the “feeling of community”. Nor do they understand what they are missing. I’ve thought many times that this is the way life should be…surrounded by folks just trying to be good people. Perhaps it was simply “luck” that brought us here but whatever the reason, I know that I am one of the fortunate ones who have found my “Mayberry”.

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