My New Life in Draper – KD

Home » Voices of the Village » My New Life in Draper – KD

My New Life in Draper – KD

Mar 20, 2023

About ten years ago I visited a fellow in Draper I met at my job. I immediately realized Draper had a special feel to it. I had been in the area probably 20 years prior and remembered thinking, “wouldn’t this be a nice place to live.” I never thought about it again until visiting my new friend.  I had no idea at the time Draper would be my future home and that friend would be my true love and partner.

After leaving my parents’ home in Maryland, I moved to Blacksburg to attend Va. Tech. I quickly fell in love with the natural beauty of the New River Valley and the friendly people. I certainly was not the first Tech student who decided to make NRV their home after graduation.

The Appalachian mountains, lakes and rivers and woodlands in this area are some of the most biologically diverse and beautiful in the country. But said another way, I think I always longed to live in the mountains.

I grew up in a suburban neighborhood and spent lots of time playing in and exploring whatever woods I could find. We also took many family vacations in the mountains which I relished. I like to fantasize that in a past life I was a mountain girl from Appalachia. A rural lifestyle always appealed to me. Who knows, maybe it was my Irish ancestry.

So, I came to Blacksburg for school and stayed. I have lived in Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Riner, Giles, and Floyd County before moving to Draper. I appreciate all of the NRV and SW Va. especially the hidden gems along the trails and waterways. I moved to Draper at a time of great upheaval and life transition, leaving a long marriage and retiring from years of a stressful job.  Draper and the friends I have made, not to mention a great life partner, have been instrumental in my healing and rejuvenation.

So, what do I love about Draper? Number one, I love the sense of community. I give credit to the Draper Merc folks for helping to make this a special place with their restaurant, music, events, live theater, and various events. The wellness activities:  yoga, labyrinth walks and weekly group meditation and writing club are just up my alley. What a great asset for the community they have been.

My other favorite thing is the Draper section of the New River Trail Park. I enjoy the peace of simply listening to the sounds of nature and observing the seasonal changes. I appreciate every season on the trail.  Who wouldn’t love the lush greens in the summer, the colorful leaves of fall,  the snow covering the trail in winter, and the bright new growth of spring. You never know what you will see; families with children, bike riders, even unicycle riders, horseback riders and high school track runners. You see small animals and birds, lots of dogs and the occasional bear.   Yes, bears have been spotted on the trail.

There are interesting happenings in town too. I live in what I call downtown Draper. We have an animal menagerie three doors down that includes a llama. One time, my partner was helping to catch some of their wayward goats who were running down the main street of Draper. Another time, I was sitting in the living room and looked out to see huge draft horses pulling a covered carriage with folks. Draper is a fun place to live.

My connections with Draper and its people are new but I feel a deep sense of belonging. This retirement time of my life allows me to notice and cherish the little things in life and have time to get involved with my community. Still, I am not sure there are many places that have suited me better.

So, my new life in Draper is pretty sweet indeed!

Written by:


Most Recent Posts

The Innkeeper’s Journal, Easter Sunday, 2023

It’s a chilly Easter morning, but as I step out onto the porch of the Inn at Foster Falls, the birds are singing. Through the fog that sits over the New River nearby, I can hear the water roar over the falls – a sound that I imagine has been constant for many...

Gentleman Farmer Part Five – Farewell to Fred

My boy Fred, I first laid eyes on you Sunday July 8th, 2018.  I had just finished a weekend workshop at the Well of Mercy in Harmony North Carolina. I came back a few hours early to participate in an opening ceremony for Blooms tea house in Draper, Virginia. At 9am I...

Meditation Part 2 – Joseph Grubb

The process of meditation can help heal you on a mental, physical, and spiritual level.   I believe that it takes time for meditation to work. You may even ask yourself, "Is this working?" Or "I don't feel anything right now." These are common thoughts that one may...

Keep up with us!

Sign up for news on upcoming Village activities and events!


Next Steps: Sync an Email Add-On

To get the most out of your form, we suggest that you sync this form with an email add-on. To learn more about your email add-on options, visit the following page ( Important: Delete this tip before you publish the form.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.