The Amazon.com review pretty much hit the nail on the head:
These days Jan Karon’s At Home in Mitford is on my car’s CD player each morning as I drive to work. I long for a place like Mitford. Small town. Southern. People care about each other. Know about each other. Not too much drama. Peaceful.
Oh well, this is fiction and I am only on the first book of the series. We will see if I stick with it beyond the first. But, I can see why it captured my attention as I explore my longing for what I call a sense of place – a place where I belong.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation offers a straightforward approach, calling sense of place:
Those things that add up to a feeling that a community is a special place, distinct from anywhere else.
In writing the blog this morning, I discovered that The National Trust for Historic Preservation has a This Place Matters Community Challenge now through Sept. 15 where you can pick a community and vote to support the community. The winner gets $25,000.
I am throwing my support behind Orion, Illinois and its attempt to save Main Street. The folks of Orion say:
Our small community of Orion is "Rural America at its Finest!" Volunteers with Main Street Orion work tirelessly to avoid the fate suffered by other surrounding communities empty storefronts, shuttered homes, devalued properties, crumbling infrastructure, and shrinking population. Can it happen in Orion, too? Yes, and it has, to some extent.
The way the challenge works is communities "rally as many people around the grassroots issues of preservation in our communities as possible. This means that unlike a traditional voting-contest, participants are allowed to align themselves with one organization, one time throughout the Challenge and recruit as many people as possible to do the same."
Here's how to help Orion. Join me and see if we can help them out. After all, it's the neighborly thing to do.
And I’ll let you know when I get to my Mitford.