Colleen's

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Preparing for winter

It has been a wonderful autumn and nature showed her pageantry as always with the leaves giving us everything they have as they prepared to fall.  I think it is almost as if they are wanting to make sure we will miss them through the cold days ahead. The mountains as well as the locals are making their final preparations for winter. There are many tasks, small and mundane perhaps but necessary as the weather changes.  Some of these have gone on for hundreds of years and most of which remain unchanged today.  And so I thought I would share some of what I’ve done and seen here lately. Most...

Perspective

I must admit to you, my readers, that I have neglected my blog the past few weeks.  It has however been an incredible summer and early fall for me in many ways.  I have ventured out alone and with others and each trip has been a true joy and adventure though in very different ways. Perspective is an amazing word to explore and consider.  As a noun it has more than one definition and it’s the fact that is has a different definition for varied situations that makes it fit this blog piece today. When I share with you the images here of mountain scenery it is my perspective or...

Sights of comfort

I remember vividly the first few times I felt the culture shock of moving back home.  The day I saw a farmer driving his tractor to check the mail at the post office–that was the first of many sights and events that let me know I had really moved home to a special world.  It has been over 2 years now and today there are sights that I see on a daily basis that make me feel right at home and comfortable here.  So I thought I would share a few of them with you. Coming home from a late night shift and seeing large tractors working a field at...

Getting in deep–now I’m backpacking

Those of you who have followed my blog know my love and passion for putting my feet on these Appalachian mountains every chance I get.  And hiking is something I love very much!  But this year I have added a little something–I have begun to backpack.  Now, let me assure you I am far from the “super woman” type.  So let me share with you some of my finds and things I got to help me get started. First, you have to have this wild crazy dream to “hike the Appalachian Trail”.  Yes, I know so many, many people think about it, talk about it and wish they could make...

Back at it with your thoughts and mine

I am more grateful than I can say for the comments and insights into my last post on Appalachian Values!  It provides strong evidence to me that there is something unique and special about these mountains and life lived here.  Family was a truly strong theme in the responses I received here.  Independence and self-reliance were others and these traits of Appalachian people were seen and learned through family and shared experiences of struggles to live and thrive here on these steep hillsides. It seems that sights, sounds, and smells of different seasons and places created strong feelings and memories for some of you.  They do for me as well!...

Appalachian Values: Your thoughts

What is the definition of Appalachia?  What does it signify to be from Appalachia? When I think about this—these mountains and the sense of place they give me I have found myself trying to define or explain it in a way that gives a verbal explanation I could then share.  My family and I have been privileged to live and travel to many other places, and experience other people and cultures in our marriage and life in the military.  But I am having a difficult time attempting to put into words just what is different and special about Appalachia and the people and daily life here. It is like trying...

The rhythm of the days

The days continue to pass, each one fading at sunset and another beginning at sunrise.  I continue to have mornings in which I wake up and try to capture and hold in a photograph the beauty of the sunrise in the east and the fiery glow it casts as it shines on the ridge behind the house. The sunset is not visible from our east facing slope but as I drive home over the mountain before I cross near the top I have been known to stop the car, get out, and catch a moment in time as the sun settles behind the mountains beyond.  Home is familiar now–but still...

Fleeting moments and what ifs

There are those times in our lives when you realize that you are in just the right spot, just the right time or with just the right person.  Falling in love, holding your newborn baby, experiencing a perfect moment or place are just many events and times in our lives that are truly fleeting as they seem to come and go much too quickly.  And I find myself thinking the following question at times, “what if”?  What if I had not met him?  What if I had not gone to college or started that one awesome job?  What if I had not traveled to that country and experienced that setting?...

Fading Appalachian Antiques

I am returning to my blog after a much too delayed period brought on by a combination of work and holidays and I must say sitting here today is a great feeling.  I have been thinking often of my work here and have planned in my head and during my hikes and moments on these mountains new things to write about, so readers—be prepared.  This entry I hope will share with you what I have begun to call, Fading Appalachian Antiques.  And I feel truly blessed to have been able to see, touch, and record them for you before they fade completely away.  There is a hillside close by on...

Daily life changes

Daily life for most of us involves some seemingly mundane tasks.  Housework, shopping for groceries, yard work and other similar chores are part of simply living from day to day.  There is also a commute of some sort to work for most of us–mine is now one hour each way–but many of us have known even longer.  It is just a part of adult life on this planet for most.  None of that has changed for me since our move home to the mountains, but there are definitely chores and events in my life now that I could never imagined!  So let me share some of them with all of...