There’s Something About Community
I went to law school in Virginia Beach. While there, I was often asked whether I liked living in Ohio (because apparently, a few people don’t). But I did, which is why, no matter where I’ve traveled, I’ve always come back home. There’s just something here, in the rural countryside of Ohio, that I have not found anywhere else.
It’s hard to explain if you haven’t experienced it. Part of it may be that rural Ohio – Holmes County specifically – has retained some of the old-fashioned charms of simpler days. But it’s not just that the county has the largest population of Amish in the country, or that I grew up here. What I truly love about my home is that I am part of a community larger than my friend group, larger than my street address, even larger than my county.
The dictionary offers two definitions of community “1. A group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. 2. A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” Many places in the world have (1), few truly have (2).
One of the common interests that creates the community around here is farming. Growing up, it seemed all my friends either lived on a farm or wanted to live on one. My family was more of the in-between, owning a “hobby farm” but wanting the “real deal.” As my younger siblings choose careers, I see farming in at least a couple of Schmidt kids’ futures. There’s something to be said about a farm that has been in the family for generations, leaving a lasting legacy, and the way the community supports farmers, including future farmers in 4-H in FFA, is a part of what makes Holmes County a community.
A shared attitude I see is that of hard work: doing it yourself, fixing something when it’s broken rather than throwing it away. Thanks to growing up in a house heated by a wood burning furnace, I still can’t hear a chainsaw without smelling, feeling, and tasting the “joys” of hauling firewood – all year long. In my community, working hard starts early but the result is generations of people who can’t sit back and do nothing when something needs to be done.
People supporting each other in every endeavor – whether it’s helping families in need, coming into the area as a new attorney, or supporting youth raising livestock in 4-H – that is community. That is what drew me back. And that, after all, is what makes a place home.
Attorney At Law