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Lately, there seems to be a struggle for the life of our county, for a future of vibrancy we need to survive, thrive. Family histories are important to provide perspective to where we have been, where we are today, and where we can be in the future.

Last year, I wrote a fable featuring Sir James and Lady Roxanne Fox in which the pair lamented the demise of the life they’d witnessed here in their beloved Rappahannock County. 

However, delightfully, two of their future generations, Sir William and Lady Daisy Fox, have been able to see a renewed vibrancy based on some far-seeing humans recognizing the common good part of living responsibly: more children playing in the fields and woodlands, 4-H and Scouts flourishing, clusters of homes near the long established villages, a new generation of Fire & Rescue volunteers, many more people banding together to support pockets of economic growth which enhance our agricultural and tourist activities.

Perched atop a newly mended stone wall, Sir William sighs happily and says to Lady Daisy Fox, “I’m not sure which wise human quoted John Donne that Spring day, that ‘No man is an island,’ which inspired some around here to realize the big picture, that all who enjoy living here in this unique and magical place have a responsibility to the whole of it. Each is a piece of the puzzle that, when placed into its individual spot, completes the whole picture, and, without it, leaves a gap, injuring the whole. 

“Some started reading the county’s Comprehensive Plan to understand its importance in its pages, especially page 91 (to consider joint or  coordinated action between town and county), pages 95 and 96 (addressing residential growth), page 105 (actual definition of affordable housing), and page 107 (the responsibilities of land use assessments).”

Then, Lady Daisy chimed in, “With this important information, these wise ones sought how to join others to work together to accomplish that big picture, to actively make sure Rappahannock County is the place for all, where together they made this county the vibrant place many remembered from family stories”

“And isn’t this a remarkable change from the stories our greatest granddad, Sir James, passed on?” finished Sir William Fox. 

The writer lives in Washington.