Thursday, March 31, 2016

Thursday Throwback:A Memory - 31 March 2016

When I was young, we did not have a great deal of money. From my preteens onward, we three youngest Smiths of 400 Virginia Avenue were very inventive in ways to earn funds to obtain everything from comic books and snacks to clothes and money for extracurricular activities at school. I do not doubt that, had they had the money, Mom and Dad would have given us allowances and bought all of those things children think are so vital to their social success. In lieu of actual money, they helped us procure moneymaking opportunities in various ways. I used to joke that Dad hired us out like indentured servants to friends and relatives, and that is not far from the truth. One of the most consistent and lucrative jobs, for myself, my older by 18 months sister and younger by 4 years brother was as carriers for our local daily paper, The Bluefield Daily Telegraph. 
Photograph by Jim Thacker
used with permission

My favorite time of the year to deliver the paper was in (of course) Spring and Fall. Spring was especially enjoyable, because in addition to the warmer early morning temperature, there was the intoxicating aroma of blooming trees and flowers intermingled with the scent of coffee brewing and bacon frying wafting through the crisp morning air as I walked my paper route. It was more often than not dark when we left the house in the morning to deliver our papers. Virginia Carol's route was out towards East 2nd, 3rd and 4th streets. Ed's route was up Virginia Avenue, and across the hill towards where the town's recreation park is now located. My route was "around the hill" and out Philpott Avenue. 

Photograph by Jim Thacker
used with permission

There were times when it was a wee bit scary, walking the sections of road where there were no houses, between where the Caseys lived and the Stoots house was. I liked the quiet though, interspersed with the early songs of birds, calling up the sun. It was perhaps on those mornings that my love of quiet times out in nature was born. I can recall taking deep breaths of that cool morning air and almost being giddy with the smell of the new day. 

When I was almost through the route, heading up Philpott beside the Catholic church, I could see the sun setting the clouds ablaze, burning off the mist that drifted up from the Clinch River. This picture that my friend Jim took this morning is of the early sky over Dalton Addition, the same neighborhood where I grew up and delivered all of those bags and bags of newspapers, over 40 years ago. 

These days, I am often outside again at the first light of day, taking a break at work and watching the fog lift up from Cedar Creek in Lebanon. I still take deep nourishing breaths of that early fresh air, and am grateful that I am accorded the privilege of experiencing Springtime in the Appalachians. Perhaps that is why Appalachian Spring  is one of my favorite compositions. 

Have a terrific day!

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