The weather here is so drab today. Wet. Chilly. The kind of chill that settles in my fingers and says, nope, not leaving. I shall not complain too much about the weather, though, because I chose to live in the mountains again, after roaming around for 20 years.
I missed all of those things I had complained about in my youth.
My first big venture away from the sheltering arms of these mountains that gave birth to my soul and hold captive my spirit was Ft. Pierce, FL. To explain what a culture shock this was for me would take a blog post or two, at the moment I will only say it was intense.
While in Florida, I met my first husband. Done deal. We did move after about six years, to a small town just outside Charlotte, NC. Close but no cigar. I had landscape, and seasons, again. I was away from the ocean ( I think it stinks) and all that sand. We were in North Carolina 8 years then moved a wee bit south, into South Carolina. We were living there when I said "Enough!" to the marriage and went to - are you ready for this? Upstate New York - way upstate, just outside of Rochester. Nope. Too much snow, plus lots of drama when I was there.
In April of 2001 back my fat ass came to Virginia, to my hearts home.
My beloved Appalachian Mountains.
Mountain laurel and sycamore trees.
Ridges and hollows.
The mighty Clinch River.
The smell after too much rain that I always called 'earthworm'.
Deserted downtown on Friday night during football season and any given Sunday morning.
Mass migration to Holston Lake and Pigeon Forge every weekend from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Planting potatoes 'round about Good Friday and waiting until after Blackberry Winter to set out tomato plants.
Allotting extra time to go to Food City, Walmart, the bank, post office or the Pioneer Drive-In because you always see people you know.
Living where people bring food enough to feed an army if someone passes away and then show up to help eat it.
Where hearts are blessed and ya'll are in our prayers as a matter of course and common courtesy.
Where people care.
No, I will not complain, because tonight when I stopped by Walmart to pick up some cat food after spending a couple of hours with my mother, I was waylaid three times to have a short conversation. Being recognized, acknowledged and appreciated goes a long way to bring some warmth on a chilly January evening.