A Great Place to Come Back Home To
Last year, along with about 80 percent of my fellow 2009 college graduates, I sold my books, bid adieu to my first taste of freedom, and moved back in with Mom and Dad.
Apparently there’s a name for our kind. They call us Boomerang Kids. (Get it? We’re gone for a while but we come right back.)
Admittedly, entering the corporate rat race during an economic nosedive was not a good feeling. Neither, for that matter, was being stamped with the painfully accurate, however clever, nickname of a generation. But even if I were to land a job here, the sleepiness of small-town life would do me in for sure.
Or so I thought.
While I questioned my self-worth for months on end — also known as filling out job applications for every position under the sun and hearing no reply — my parents fed me, let me use their hot water to bathe, and postponed plans of transforming my old bedroom into an at-home yoga studio. (I’m only kidding about that last one.) They also gave me part-time secretarial work to add to my mishmash of odd jobs, which included everything from tutoring elementary school children to mucking horse stalls.
Running and reading were my primary sources of entertainment. I splurged for a small cup of coffee every now and again too. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that I was somewhat of a regular at four of the downtown coffee shops. The free WiFi was an extra perk.
Fortunately I fell into a position with PineStraw magazine this past February. Although my parents are still kind enough to let me stay as their third roommate — the slightly messy type, prone to mooch heavily from their food stash — I have recently discovered that there is more to do around here than I thought.
PineStraw’s Arts and Entertainment Calendar has become a valuable resource. Just this past weekend, for instance, there was so much going on that I could hardly do it all. Some events were free; others were feasible — even for a Boomerang Kid with limited funds.
On Friday night, my beau and I went to the Campbell House Galleries in Southern Pines to see Kenneth Forte’s beautiful hardwood art on display. We sipped complimentary wine, met with the artist and made new friends. Truthfully, it was far more fulfilling than many a former college night.
After the exhibit, we went to Flynne’s Coffee Bar downtown for two small coffees. There, we caught the tail end of a Delta Blues gig and chatted with regulars in between songs.
Open Mic Night was happening Saturday, the sign by the door informed. We had plans to go to The Rooster’s Wife in Aberdeen to see the Matt Savage Trio instead.
A hodgepodge of lounging options gives The Rooster’s Wife at Poplar Knight Spot a comfortable, at-home charm, with the added perk of not actually being at home.
From my seat, Matt Savage, an 18-year-old jazz keyboardist and composer, was close enough for me to hear his wooden stool creak between sets. I’m delighted to know there’s such an excellent music venue in our very own Aberdeen. I used to think the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro was an intimate concert experience.
Sunday, a friend and I attended the Sam Ragan Gala at the Boyd House. Poetry combined with music and wine? I’m hooked. Sign me up for the next literary event.
Even though running and reading remain my primary sources of entertainment (and perhaps that’s because I’ve always been fond of both), there are certainly other things to do around here, especially for a small town.
The next time I hear Boomerang Kids complain about having nothing to do here, I’ll be sure to drag them along with me for a weekend. At the very least, we could splurge for a couple of small coffees and check out Open Mic Night.
Good thing my parents live here. It’s nice to call Moore County home again.
Ashley Wahl is the editorial assistant at PineStraw magazine and a contributer to The Pilot.
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