For Love of the Commonwealth


I met a woman. A woman who loves where she comes from. Which is also where I come from.

I’ve talked a lot about what she’s done for me. The crazy one month transformation that has changed everything I thought I knew about where I was going or what I wanted. I haven’t talked about what it is about her actually caused that.

The truth is that I can’t fully wrap my head around it. I love everything about her. But pointing to one of the wonderful things about her and saying THAT is the reason I love her — well. That’s like trying to figure out why lighting strikes where it does. It just does. And whatever it touches is never the same.

One thing we talk a lot about is Kentucky. We were both born and raised here. That’s very common, for people from here to stay here. It’s hard to truly say why. Statistically it’s not high in any category. At face value it’s a poor state. The landscape can be inhospitable. The weather is maddeningly inconsistent. We get the extreme colds of the north and brutal heat of the south. Its not considered a particularly educated place.

But when you live it. When you wake up and breathe it. You can never really leave it. It’s poor but the people are kind in a way that you’ve never experienced if you haven’t been here. The rough landscape is breathtakingly beautiful. The weather is…well it’s nice to fully experience the four seasons.  And for what people lack in education they make up in ingenuity. Presumptuousness  is never a concern.

I wax poetically only to say that I could never leave. I’m too tied to my family. Too in love with this place. I find God in these hills in a way that I haven’t anywhere else. So why leave?

On our first date she looked at and said “I just don’t think I could ever leave. I love this place to much. It’s my home.”

I could have fallen out of my chair. This beautiful, ambitious woman wants to stay here? And not just here but HERE. In the particular region that I call home. I married her and built her a mansion in the country in my head. I saw little barefooted children running in the hills of my family farm.

I’m proud to be a Kentuckian, maybe above all things. I’m proud of the people. I’m proud of the values we still take seriously. I’m proud that we make it work where others couldn’t. To love someone who is just as proud? Well that’s more than lucky. That’s the God who I find in these hills…at work in my life.

I met a woman. A Kentucky woman. The best kind there is.




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