Grandfather Oak

Grandfather Oak stood proudly near the top of the ridge.  His trunk larger and grander than any around him.  His thick branches spreading out 30 feet or more in every direction.  He was one of the old ones.  His roots deep in this soil now for longer than 200 years.  And Fall had come to the mountain once more.  His were the last of the leaves to begin to turn golden and brown.  Grandfather Oak He whispered in his native tongue to the other trees on his mountain, “You have all done well this year.  From the cold winter days of February and March I have watched each of you...

Touching more of the past

This return to the mountains has been a life changing event in so many ways!  I have gained a new passion (or addiction) since coming here that doesn’t seem to have an ending or a cure.  It has been a treasure hunt in some ways and an archeaoligical expedition in others and just as difficult at times.  My explorations began early on in the process as I took possession of two trunks–one that belonged to my grandfather and one belonging to my grandmother.  Old fashioned steamer trunks that had been a part of their lives for their adulthood.  They had been put to sleep in the attic of their home...

Those Who Passed Before: Through Mountain General Stores

An Excerpt of this work will be published in the Clinch Mountain Review Those Who Passed Before: Through Mountain General Stores Acknowledgements I want to offer my sincere gratitude to Mildred Anderson, author Isabel Zuber, and my Grandfather Herman Eggers for their wonderful contributions providing me with first person narrative to bring life to this work. Those Who Passed Before: Through Mountain General Stores There is an ancient belief held by many Native American religions that “every event that occurs at a place will always live at that spot” (Murray). This belief provides us with greater understanding of the bond that exists between the Native Americans and places or sites...

Rural Doesn’t Begin To Describe It

So, we moved. Loaded a huge rental truck full of furniture, pulled one of our cars and drove the hours and miles that it took to answer the call from those mountains in Southwestern Virginia and Northwestern North Carolina. My husband and I have lived in so many different and varied places over the past 22 years that moving is not new or scary. And this hopefully last move we make is from Northern Virginia outside of DC to a new/old home in rural Appalachia. And as the title of this post states–rural does not even come close to describing the area we now call home. First, it is a...

Pulled Me Home: A Look Back

This summer a year after beginning this work I returned yet again to that place I call home.  I walked again on that hillside of timothy grass and took the time to closely inspect the tips of the stems and their colors. Another year of working with patients and in the hospital and emergency department settings has gone by.  I am here again weary and seeking comfort and mountain top peace.  Very, very little has changed since my last trip here.  The hillside is still so very quiet-only the wind and animal sounds are heard.  As I work I see a mother turkey with her young babies scurrying behind her...