This is the first in a series of commentaries submitted by the four volunteer community members of The Daily Times Editorial Board as their six-month term comes to an end. — Editor
When my husband and I decided to look for property to start a bed and breakfast back in 1990, we knew we wanted to be on the Eastern Shore. We had kept our sailboat at Kent Narrows, and loved sailing the Chesapeake Bay.
The “Land of Pleasant Living” certainly fit the ticket for two people who had had enough of corporate life and
needed to find calm and control over our time and resources.
As we searched through all the by-ways we finally found a home in the town called Snow Hill. I had reservations
about small town living; it can be difficult to integrate into the social system when you are an outsider. But not in
Snow Hill. We were treated as welcome new members of the community. I had a small sign that I would point to
when our guests asked if we were natives. It said “I wasn’t born here but I got here as soon as I could.” And that’s exactly how I feel about the place that has embraced us.
We have moved a lot and I often thought about where I would go if I had to choose any of those places. The first
Sunday we were here, we took a break from renovations and went to church. After the kind greetings of the
congregants, and the warm atmosphere of acceptance I turned to my husband and said “Honey, we’re home.”
Part of being accepted is a willingness to pitch in, to be someone who is happy to give back to others. It can be
contagious, and others will catch the spirit. The common theme you will hear in this town is how much we love this
town. We can’t imagine living anywhere else.
My neighbors all keep track of each other, to care about and help when needed. My husband had a severe accident that had him in Shock Trauma and then bed-bound for three months. He received a paper grocery bag full of get well cards to cheer him up. People came and sat just to visit.
That’s kindness and caring. When I had to call an ambulance when he was ill, our Chief of Police came to make sure everything went well. How wonderful to see a concerned face in times of stress.
We have friends who have moved to retirement communities, giving up friends and neighbors of many years. They urge us to do likewise, which is a puzzle. Small towns have a sense of place, where you go out in the evening or sit on your porch to greet your friends. I walk our standard poodles around town almost every day. There is always someone out and about, even some who I don’t really know except we always cross paths and say good morning. Being in a small town means you can walk almost anywhere you want to go. It’s small town life for us.
Here is where our hearts are, and here we will stay.
Susanne Knudsen is a former Mayor of Snow Hill.