My husband and I both grew up in north Seattle, and attended Seattle schools from the 60's through the early 70's. Seattle deserved it's reputation as a great place to live and raise a family. We wanted our children to have a positive school experience, too, but we were pragmatic about it, feeling it would be difficult to duplicate the "good old days" for our daughters. We were pleasantly surprised to find so many good things from the past, still existed in Trafton - Darrington schools.

Darrington's not all about "lifestyle" and "advanced degrees". In fact, living in Darrington makes you realize how changed our values have become as a society. What is really more important than your family? Well, down below, people will scoff at you when you're excited about your fourth child. As you head up the valley, however, right about Trafton, things begin to change. City folks want to know how big your new home is, and where did you find your newest diamond ring. Those are common topics of conversation. After Oso, you've found old family values still come first.

There are also the famous town luncheons, of course. They feature the amazing recipes from the North Carolina families, coupled with friends who have shared the same town for 50 years and more. But most of all, there are extended families whose emphasis is still on "family". Darrington folks are happy to share recipes, best fishing holes, and favorite blueberry patches with you for next summer. After a while, their Grandparents living two doors down from you, feel like your Grandparents, and that's fine; they'll share.

Many of the original settlers to Darrington came from North Carolina, and several were loosely related to each other from the beginning. Later, more families arrived that were also from the same townships and counties of the original settlers, with more family connections in common. Some were cousins, brothers, and in laws, but they were all from the same "Tar Heel" culture, even if not related.

This warm, "Tar Heel" culture of Darrington, is experienced by newcomers and visitors, too. Darrington people are golden-hearted, loving, kind people, with generous natures, and old time integrity. They remember, read, and pray about the Scriptures, and they actively practice the Golden Rule.

After a while, the popular "get ahead" ideas from down below will seem shallow, and more "money" oriented than you realized. You can't understand why you weren't taking more time off to spend with your family. When did "lifestyle" ever became so important, anyway? You begin to wonder when you may listen to more stories from your neighbor again. The TV sits dark for days at a time. Your car seems to be just fine the way it is, and you don't really need a bigger house.