The first time I drove to the area was in 1981 for my interview to teach Catholic school. My friend, Mike came with me. I can't even remember exactly why he came. However, I do remember the Beltway which was a pretty scary road for someone from Cortland, NY, home of the Annual Cortland County Dairy Parade. This event with cows walking down Main Street and "Dairy Fairies" waving with cupped hands in formal gowns wearing long white arm length gloves sitting on hay bales on a hay wagon being pulled by a large tractor paints a picture for you of the shock this area gave me.
It was flat. I didn't like flat. I grew up on rolling hills, painted green with white and black spotted cows. Northern Virginia is huge. Those were the days of paper maps, written directions, and pay phones; we were roughing it. I got the job, taught school, met my husband and by then, it was too late to turn back
Thirty years have flown by. The Beltway is bigger, scarier and cut up with construction everywhere. My mom used to say that you can never go back. She was right. At a point in my life, I was presented with the opportunity to go back to New York. My life was in Northern Virginia; I didn't want to go back now it is my home.