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What Does "Home" Mean To You?

A long road with sunlight peeking through the trees
Madison Heights, VA - Photography by Michelle DeHaven

Since moving to Virginia in 2017, my love for the South has only deepened. The charm of the local flea markets and mom & pop stores, coupled with the grace of its people and the stunning beauty of the landscape, immediately made me feel warm and welcomed, as if I had always belonged here. 

This connection has only grown stronger with time, enriched by the unique local vocabulary that has brought smiles and laughter to my life, such as “Forty-eleven” which is a unit of measure to indicate that you indeed, have too much of something, and “whistlepigs” (groundhogs).

But it's not just the words or places that have captured my heart; it's the spirit of Virginia itself. The festivals, the local shops, the community events, and the simple joy of getting to know my community have all contributed to a profound sense of belonging and happiness.

A green field with hay bales and
Madison Heights, VA - Photography by Michelle DeHaven

It has shown me that “home” is more than a place; it's a feeling, a collection of experiences, and a web of relationships that support and enrich our lives. The kindness and warmth of the people here have made every moment memorable, turning even the simplest experiences into cherished memories.

As I reflect on my time in Virginia, I realize that it's not just the place I love; it's the life I've built here. I met my husband here, we were married on the Blue Ridge Parkway, I've moved closer to one of my very best friends, my mom relocated here from Nebraska, and through this business growth, I've met so many new and wonderful people...I couldn't have asked for more.

Sunset with hues of pink and purple
Madison Heights, VA - Photography by Michelle DeHaven

Every aspect of Virginia has become a part of who I am. It's a place where every sunset feels like a painting, and every greeting on the street feels like a warm embrace.

What does "home" mean to you?


Photo of the owner and her husband who live in Madison Heights VA

Hi, I'm Michelle

I'm the owner of County Compass, and an Amherst County resident. 

I love our community and want to help new homeowners find all the local gems that may not get enough exposure on social media.

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