Recently a letter was posted regarding a welcome and tips for newcomers to Paonia. In my opinion, this letter was less than welcoming and rather more conforming. I am glad that, as a "newcomer," I have met many more welcoming people than was represented in this letter to the editor.
When we arrived seven months ago, we rented a post office box immediately and visit it shortly after noon almost every day. I tend to be shy about conversing, but am never shy about smiling at people, saying hello, and holding the door. I check the bulletin boards there and around town, and attend events when we can. To date only one person at the post office (not sure if they were local or not) has started a conversation with me, but that is how life is. We seem to grow our networks through mutual relationships, and these days social media. My husband and I are hard-working people, and we understand more than many how difficult it is to make a living in a small town, therefore we try to spend local whenever possible.
For those who have never relocated before, it often takes a while just to get acclimated to an area, much less the people. One has to discover all the resources available, and in a small town often there are hidden treasures that are not advertised and only found by asking around. Everyone we have talked to so far has been very helpful and accommodating, but I'm sure there is much to be discovered. We have to ask the "right" questions, and ask the "right" people. As a newcomer I appreciate those who can direct me to the best local eating establishment, point me to the hair salon, and recommend a local dentist or repair man. Finding the grocery store was a challenge when we first arrived. We often take these things for granted when we are longtime residents of an area. I appreciate the simple effort put forth by the USPS to put a welcoming packet in my post office box, but these fall far short of local resource advertising. Paonia is a wonderful example of the melting pot of America. We appreciate the diversity here, and strive to become a valuable part of this community. Thank you for welcoming us.