Wild Wonderful West Virginia!
Even though I haven't lived in the mountains of West Virginia at any time during my adult life, I do remember my childhood visits to the state of my birth. Some of the sweetest, loving people you would ever care to meet are from these mountains. I could list a few here, but the list would grow oh so long I'm afraid.
We left West Virginia when my dad wanted to adventure out to the WEST (California) to find employment and possibly make "big money"in the booming logging business. He had grown tired of driving a coal truck. We can look back now and see how it was the hand of God moving my dad, mom, and I. I was not quite two years of age when we moved. After a few short years in Fortuna, CA, my father was visited by a Pastor of Campton Heights Baptist Church. Pastor Smith shared God's simple plan of salvation with dad and a new creature in Christ was born that night, right in our home. I was five or six years of age at that time. I remember daddy walking into the kitchen and pouring his brand new 6 pack of beer down the kitchen sink, all on his own accord. He said, "I won't be needing that anymore!" He has never drank a sip of alcohol since. Much has happened since that day which I plan to share at a later time.
As you watch this video and listen to the mountain music, let it speak to you about times that were less complicated. The dear folk and sceneries shown in the video take me back to some of my summer visits to a state which will forever be close to my heart! Once my Uncle Mack took my son "4 wheeling" up one of the mountain paths near his home. While up on the mountain top, Josh had need of a restroom. Uncle Mack told him to "pee" over the side of the mountain. Josh returned home so excited, hurriedly telling me that Uncle Mack had just named the spot of the moutain where he relieved himself as "Joshua's Point"!! I myself can remember walking those "country roads" with cousins to the community post office or to another cousin's house. My cousin Teresa, showed me how to pick beech right off the beech trees and start chewing! It was so refreshing! Remember, Beech Nut Chewing Gum?
Lawsy, I wish I could just take you dear blogging buddies up home to one of our Family Homecomings! I have uncles and cousins who play the banjo, guitar, and sing that ol' bluegrass. I especially enjoy taking the time to listen to stories from my relatives who knew my Granny Susie and Grandpa Booker; my Grandma Lula and Grandpa Johnny. Many we visit when there remember my great-grandparents as well and many other relatives of ours.
Oh and if you happen by one of the hollows (hollers) where my relatives live, you'll never go hungry! You'll be offered good food before you can take a seat! My boys love it there! When I was little though, this was the land of pinto beans, cornbread, fried taters, fried flitters (some call them "fritters"), farm fresh eggs, fried chicken, fried pork chops, fresh garden veggies! I LOVED the home cooked breakfasts when I visited all of my aunts. The normal fare was fried eggs, sausage, milk gravy, fried taters, and a big whopping pan of home made biscuits with fresh butter and home made preserves! OF course, most of my relatives are health conscious these days and no longer have to plow the back forty acres, requiring a slight change in diet. But I bet we can still find a pot of fresh pinto beans just about anywhere in those hollers!
The hospitality is a whole other post! Lovely homes nestled between two mountains on flat bottoms by the creeks. At night, I enjoy being able to open my bedroom window, breathing in the fresh night air as I listen to the babbling creek, crickets and toads. OH, and here is another story I just remembered about one of my Josh's visits to W. Va. He was allowed to sit on Aunt Virgie's porch with Uncle Mack and shoot a rifle! People, he shot off a rifle while sitting in a rocking chair on someones front porch! What a life! You must realize that nobody lives across the "street". Josh was actually shooting across a large front lawn, across the holler road, (which is now paved!)and into the mountain side! He loved telling his city slicker friends back home in Tampa about that experience!
In the words of John Denver, "Take Me Home Country Roads!" I think I'm ready to spend a few weeks "back home".