COMMENTARY: On a Come-Here Meeting Born-Heres

Just outside Cape Charles, the wheat field has gone golden. (Photo by Sher Horosko)


June 12, 2013

Outside my window, a fleece of gray wool covers the sky. A white ibis with her pinky-orange beak prowls the ground while a blue bird stands atop his new cedar house. The wheat field has gone golden. I came here a couple of weeks ago to fall into the arms of wonder. I haven’t been disappointed.

The stories of the “born-here’s” captivate me. Your language is filled with color and sound. You may not even know this is so, because you’re steeped in a lifetime of conversation that draws from the storm and bounty of the land and water, that is tuned to the rhythms of harvest and migration.

But I know a living language when I hear it. I came to Cape Charles with ears used to listening to the thin, plain, read “dull” language of people who live as far away from the natural world as they can be. They don’t know when the flounder is running or the sweet corn will be picked. They buy food from six grocery stores, not one.


There is a push and drive in the city that never stops. Here, “stopping” is an art form. There are fish to catch. And that requires a kind of stopping, too.

Yesterday, I went to the Bayview Community Health Center in Cheriton. I’ve been here such a short time and already I’ve got the inch-wide red badge from a tick bite under my left arm. It was awkward for me. This was my first time in a rural health clinic. I received my medical care at Johns Hopkins and in the University of Arizona medical system, two of the nation’s best. At Hopkins, life-size posters of doctors who’ve appeared on the front covers of Time or Newsweek serve as wall art near the elevator doors.

No posters like that here.

Tucked in the chair with a book of poetry, I watched as people shuffled and limped into the waiting room. The woman behind the glass window greeted every person who came into the clinic by name. “How is she doing this?” I asked without asking. She called me up with a smile that went from one side of her face to the other.

I’m thinking: I may have had the nation’s best medical care but no one ever welcomed me with a smile like this. No one ever took the time to ask me what brought me to a place.

“I’ve lived here all my life,” she offered. “There comes a time in life when you just want peace, don’t you?” Her eyes cast a plumb line straight into my heart. I nodded yes.

You could say I am one of the ones who got away, a veteran of the high-powered, jockeying world where integrity is an antique-of-an-idea and where relationships are casually tossed into the flames for personal gain.

Peace is good. Very good.

Here’s the thing: I don’t know how to fish or dig for clams or craft and build a dead rise boat. I don’t know how to read the tides or just when a sea of white birds will fill the night skies to escape the raptor’s claws.

But I am up for learning and for writing a few stories now and again. Teach me and I’ll tell your story.

I already know it’s a good one.

Sher HoroskoSher Horosko’s commentary is an occasional Wednesday feature of the Wave. A recent transplant to the Eastern Shore, Sher writes on nature and spirituality at



18 Responses to “COMMENTARY: On a Come-Here Meeting Born-Heres”

  1. Nancy Garrett on June 12th, 2013 7:45 am

    How beautiful!!!! I am a come back here, after being away for awhile. Anyone who appreciates the Shore as you do will fit right in. It is those who come here and say “how lovely” we think we will change everything – who have trouble. Welcome my friend.

  2. Bruce Lindeman on June 12th, 2013 8:38 am

    Wonderful. Please, keep writing!!!

  3. Ron Wrucke on June 12th, 2013 8:47 am

    .. writing like this makes The Wave worthwhile reading … :-)

  4. Joanne Dean on June 12th, 2013 9:07 am

    I loved reading your story. As a newer Come-Here myself, I am also hoping to finally learn to read the tides and how to dig for clams in this amazing area. Is there anyone willing to teach?

  5. Deborah Bender on June 12th, 2013 9:14 am

    Welcome to the Eastern Shore! Hope you enjoy the shore and the peaceful way of life.

  6. Tammy Holloway on June 12th, 2013 9:24 am

    Welcome! My husband and I are come-heres from our nation’s capital as well. As I read your story of your trip to the doctor I smiled remembering so many stories like yours we have experienced over the last two years. People say how amazing it is that there are so many ways people are connected here, the whole “six degrees of separation” thing. My theory is that what makes us all amazed at how many connections there are is because we take the time to have conversations with anyone — the person next to you at the doctor’s office, someone walking by as you do yardwork, waving to folks as they ride by on bikes or a golf cart . . . . Still, after two years it warms my heart to learn a story of who is related to whom and hear their family history on the shore. So today, I say thanks for making our lives richer and more robust. Thank you Sher for giving me an opportunity to reflect on this special place.

  7. Julie Gibson on June 12th, 2013 10:44 am

    So nice to hear something positive about the place we love. My husband and I are part-timers who hope to become come-heres eventually.

  8. Karen Gay on June 12th, 2013 12:40 pm

    What a lovely commentary! You’ve helped me reflect on what I really like about the Eastern Shore. I am wondering right now why I’m still working here in the Washington DC area and not home in Cape Charles digging in my garden and talking to my neighbors.

  9. Anne Hallerman on June 12th, 2013 1:50 pm

    Thank you for this wonderful reminder of all that is good about the Shore. I have been a part-time resident for ten years now and can’t wait until I can increase my time on the Shore and in the town.

  10. Mike Kuzma, Jr on June 12th, 2013 3:04 pm

    Ms. Dean,
    At low, look for the bubbles in the sand; if the water is too deep to see prepare to ‘dance’……kinda shuffle onto/with your toes into the mud, and feel for the edges, or hard tops. Mooosh your foot into it to determine if it is ‘gettable’ and then…………bend and grab!!!
    To me, this is preferable to the clam rake. More ‘original’, ya’ know?
    I’ve done this in the Barnegat bay(My Dad was actually the best at it-2 hours out and he never came back with less than 200) but presume it is workable in Cape Chuck too.
    Mmmmmm, clams…………..loves me some steamers and casino!!!!!!!

  11. Stephen Fox on June 12th, 2013 3:17 pm

    I read and re-read this commentary. It is filled with great respect for this place we call home. It paints a true picture, the landscape being the variety of people’s opinions and reactions to the peaceful life here! Thanks for your commentary.

  12. Paul Strong on June 12th, 2013 6:02 pm

    Wonderful piece. Thank you.

  13. Kathleen Mullen on June 13th, 2013 12:44 pm

    Sher is a great addition to the “come-heres,” and I know we will be hearing more of her in the future. Sher, again, WELCOME!

  14. Sher Horosko on June 13th, 2013 5:19 pm

    To all who have written me here, thank you. I feel warmly welcomed to your beautiful shore. I am a storyteller of sorts and I mean what I say about hearing yours. Think of it as a little version of Steve Hartman’s “On the Road.” You can reach me with your ideas at [email protected]

    I’m posting this here for all the scouts : Mike Kuzma, I’m looking for you. I want to do the “clam dance” in Cape Chuck. Will you teach me?


  15. Mike Kuzma, Jr on June 14th, 2013 9:39 am

    I hope to get down there at least once this summer, Sher, and I will gladly get us out for a little appetizer hunting. Now, will some of the Born-Heres be willing to let loose with the hot spots for them there quahogs?

  16. Margaret Kime on June 16th, 2013 11:28 am

    Lovely Sher! I don’t know this area, but I know of the peace about which you write. My haven is in the 1000 islands, St Lawrence Seaway. Life has a peaceful rhythm too that both soothes and excites. You’ve made me remember why I miss it so and feel the come-back pull so strongly.

  17. Robin Simms on June 21st, 2013 10:45 am

    Your writing about the shore brought tears to my eyes. Thank you!

  18. Danielle Campbell on July 9th, 2013 11:57 am

    Beautiful commentary!