From infancy to the time I worked (and thus had few vacation days), I have visited West Virginia. I still try to visit at Christmas. My mom’s from there, and my grandmother still lives there “in the house by the road,” not to be confused with our pre-Civil War “house on the mountain,” which is–as to be expected–on top of a mountain.
Some of my fondest memories are riding on the tractor with my grandfather and picking green beans with my grandmother. My cousin Laurah and I had “cow sticks,” though what we thought we were going to do with them is a mystery! Whenever I had free time on the house on the road, I usually could be found by the branch (aka stream). I made a little swimming area by damming it up one summer. One year I even found a crawdad in the water.
I think this is why, as a person, I am so full of contradictions. I love the city, the things to do, the diverse people…But I dream about having a garden. I joke (but not really) about getting a goat, and I dream about having a beehive.
Wild, Wonderful West Virginia is in my blood.