On the Eastern Shore of Virginia, there is a very small town called Parksley. Although it’s out in the middle of nowhere, it has so much to offer. I’ve lived my entire life in Parksley, and no matter what, there’s nowhere else I would have rather lived my life. It may not look like much, but this place is my home. There are so many reasons I love Parksley, and I’ve summed up memories of growing up in Parksley, Virginia.
1. Going to the local stores
Jaxon’s is the main shop in Parksley. It’s a large general store that sells clothes, furniture and appliances, office and school supplies, toys, and pretty much everything you can think of. There’s a new place called Violet’s Stitches and Specialties, it’s much smaller, but has way more than you would expect. They focus on selling arts & craft and other hobby supplies. The older I get, the more I appreciate the small businesses and the uniqueness of them all.
2. Local Eateries
When I was very little, we had a restaurant called The Lunchbox, but it closed when I was only a child. After going through several owners and renovations, they just reopened, and the town has never been happier. They have burgers, pizza, chicken, and fries. There’s also The Club Car Café, a town favorite. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and have the best milkshakes you’ll ever try. Always one of the classic memories of growing up in Parksley, Virginia.
3. The Nature Around
When I was little, I would play with my friends in the forests around our houses. Most of the area is surrounded, so during the warmer seasons, the foliage is beautiful. I’ve never seen so much green as my backyard in the summer, and the blossoms on the trees in spring are so pretty. Of course, there’s also the wildlife that comes with the land. I’ve seen deer, foxes, racoons, and so many different kinds of birds, including eagles!
4. The Museum and Monuments
Parksley is known for the Railway Museum. Schools take field trips to it all the time, and the kids love to go through old train cars that have been converted into a restaurant and giftshop. I remember my grandparents taking me there when I was little and explaining to me how the trains were made. The museum also plays an important part in supporting the war monuments built in town. Recently, they just put up a WWII memorial monument in the town square.
5. The little Unique Things
Being home, I realized how much I missed while I was away at college. Waking up in the morning, I heard a sound I never realized was so comforting to me. I heard the sound of the train whistle across town. It felt like the mornings I had when I was a kid, the quietness throughout the house, (save for the whistle,) making myself pancakes and watching cartoons while everyone else was asleep. It was just something I hadn’t found anywhere else.
6. The Night Sky
Another thing I noticed living in the city, the sky just doesn’t look the same at night. It’s too pale because of the light coming from the buildings. It’s so cloudy, you can barely see the moon, much less any stars. Here in Parksley, the stars are always so beautiful, and the sky is always a deep blue, sometimes with shades of purple mixed into it.
7. Seasonal Events
Parksley has an annual festival called the Parksley Parade. It’s a lot like a state fair, there are rides and games, and amazing fair food. On Halloween, we have an event called Trunk-Or-Treat, where kids come to trick-or-treat from people who have set up their “candy stations” in the parking lot of the farmer’s market. During the winter holidays, there is even a Holiday Dazzle with vendors and music playing in the streets.
8. Feeling Welcome
I’ve recently started going to college in a big city. It’s only an hour or two away from Parksley, but it feels like an entirely different world. I’m still not used to living in a place that busy. Coming home, I always feel so at peace, I don’t have the same heights of stress, I’m not overwhelmed like I always am at school. There isn’t as much madness going on here as there is out there.
9. Seeing How It’s Changed
Parksley isn’t exactly the same as when I was little. Some store closed down, some just opened. We used to have a video store, we didn’t always have a library, we just got a seafood market. Some old friends from elementary school have moved away, some have moved in. I know it’s not the same, but I still love it, because this is my home.
10. Planning my Future Here
The city I’m going to college in is where my boyfriend grew up. When he came to visit in Parksley, I was a little worried he would get bored with the small town. While we were driving, I asked him what he thought of the place, about the two of us maybe living here one day. His response lit up my heart: “I like it here, it’s quiet, it’s peaceful.” He wanted to be here, he wasn’t just tolerating being outside of the city.
I’ve heard from people living here saying they wanted to move to bigger, more exciting cities, and it breaks my heart that they don’t see the same light in this town that I do. Luckily, I found someone who understands why I love Parksley. It doesn’t need to be overwhelmingly flashy to be perfect. My home may be small, but it has given me all of my greatest memories. There’s nowhere else I would rather be. I loved growing up in Parksley, Virginia.