LIVE La Vida LOCAL in 2012

Posted by  | January 5, 2012  at 5:42 PM  

Dear Readers,

As we launch ourselves into 2012 with promises to be fitter, happier, more productive,* I challenge you to look at the Panhandle as more than just a mailing address, but as your home. 

Although I grew up here, when I moved back to WV from DC in 2009, I realized that I knew nothing about the area. Pretty in the Panhandle started as an outlet for me to discover what my new home had to offer, but I never dreamed that almost two years later, I would still be discovering new places, meeting new people, and sharing experiences that could only happen here. With each new blog post, I've come to realize that I couldn't imagine living anywhere else.

I write this blog because I love this area, and I want others to see the potential that lies within the Panhandle. If you're reading this, chances are I'm preaching to the choir. A community is only as strong as the people who live there and choose to invest themselves in making it a great place to live. So as we go into 2012, I ask you, your family, and your friends to make the effort and invest in the Eastern Panhandle--here's what you can do to start:

Eat LOCAL Foods: From produce to meat to dairy, we have an abundance of locally sourced foods right at our fingertips. My friends from other cities and states are amazed at how easy it is for me to acquire everything from goat cheeses to Wagyu beef to arugula all from farms less than 30 miles from my back door.

If cooking isn't your thing, I beg of you: please, pretty please, make the effort to dine at an independently owned eatery (bonus points if they serve local food). So help me, if I have to read one more "best of" list that includes major chain restaurants...

Shop at Small LOCAL Businesses: Sure, there are some things you can't buy locally, but how often do you even try? Next time you need to make a purchase, hold off on running to a big box store for a quick fix. Do some research, ask around, EMAIL ME--at least try and find whatever it is you're looking for locally instead of being quite so lazy.

Explore the LOCAL Music and Arts Scene: If I had one dollar for ever time I heard the phrase "there's just nothing to do around here," I could quit my day-job and spend my time blogging. I don't know what people are looking for, but most of the time I find myself torn choosing which events to cover, because they all sound amazing! Some of my favorite musical performances have been in the Eastern Panhandle, not to mention the abundance of art shows and theatre productions throughout the year.

Support LOCAL Charities: I'm not saying to not support other causes, I'm simply stating that there is a of need in the Eastern Panhandle, and that we need to take care of our own, be they the sick, the elderly, the young, or the furry. Supporting a charity can happen on many levels, so before you dismiss this point, take a minute and think about what you can do to help. Have time? Volunteer. Have Money? Donate. Or maybe you just want to have fun? Attend a fundraiser! Supporting a good cause can be as simple as sipping a cocktail, and besides, you were bored, weren't you?

*Thanks Radiohead