Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Home for the Holidays in West Virginia

I know we have a couple Appalachian writers out there lurking. I'm not sure if I've outted myself as one before, but I'm doing it now. :) I grew up in the Harrison and Lewis County areas, graduated from highschool at Lewis Co. High, did six weeks of college in Athens WV and a year at Fairmont State before moving on to farther and wider reaches. I moved to Atlanta in 1999, then to Massachusetts in 2000, and only went home to visit mom twice between '99 and this year.

Anyway, now that I no longer live in Massachusetts, and the trip home isn't as harrying and/or expensive as it used to be; and now that I have a fiance to show off, and who wanted to meet the people he was marrying into, fiance and I went home to visit my mom for Christmas. We left Maryland (where I currently reside) on Sunday morning, and struck off across I-68, stopped in Cumberland for a fantastic lunch and wandering around. There was a bagpiper to serenade us because we arrived at lunch hour, and apparently there's always a bagpiper in downtown Cumberland at lunch hour. News to me.

When fiance and I got to Clarksburg (where my mom lives), we stopped at the hotel for check-in before heading off to meet mom. I left the driving directions in the room, though, but I figured I could find it. I knew she lived next door to, or behind, my grandfather, and I knew where HE lived. So that's where I went. Except I couldn't find the street name that was on the directions, and the street my grandfather lived on wasn't the same as the streetname my mother gave me for mapquest. I asked about a dozen people if they knew where Camden Street was, and nobody had the faintest clue. Oh, and did I mention that T-Mobile apparently has no service at all in West Virginia? Because it doesn't, and I was cell phone-less, and nothing was open, and I couldn't find my mommy. I went pounding on my grandfather's front door, getting more and more angry with him for not coming to the door, and finally found somebody with a cell phone who let me use it. Nearly in tears by the time I got ahold of my mother - who told me my grandfather didn't live in that neighborhood anymore, and hadn't for years. I felt ridiculous, almost 30 years old and couldn't find my mom.

The rest of the holiday was wonderful, though, once I found everybody! And on the drive home, I kept pointing out different houses set out in the middle of nowhere, gorgeous fields and views of valleys, and saying to my fiance, "I want to live in THAT house."

He finally said, "That would be nice, but I think we're too social of creatures to be happy there for long."

So I resigned myself to leaving the rural peace and quiet to Zinnia, and just visiting once in a while.

And now that I'm home, I can get on with the business of getting my e-book released. ;)


Freya's Bower Author Circle said...

Don't you love it when you have no cell service? And how was it that you didn't know your grandfather had moved? Didn't anyone tell you? I just can't fathom that. LOL In my mother's family, we may be over 600 miles away from each other, but you can bet I know all the juicy details when something happens. My aunt is the family gossip and always knows everything first (don't ask me how) and then tells my mother who shares with me. LOL Man, I know things about my relatives I'd rather NOT know. LOL

Glad your Christmas turned out well.


Freya's Bower Author Circle said...

Oh, I forgot to mention that if I follow my aunt's directions, I'd never find anything. I went to visit her for the first time (well, me driving anyway -- I never pay any attention when I'm not, especially if I'm not navigating) some five or ten years ago. She gave me the worst directions. I rarely get lost. I drove around that city for a good half hour trying to follow them -- and this after a 5 1/2 hour drive. I had to stop and call at a pay phone.

By the way, this was before I lived 600 miles away. LOL Man, if I could make 600 miles in 5 1/2 hours without getting ticket on those roads, it'd be a miracle. LOL


Emily Ryan-Davis said...


I may have been told at some point in the last few years, or I may not have been - my grandfather and I really aren't on speaking terms (more on my part than his) because I have a hard time forgiving him for being an abusive parent to my mom and her brothers and sisters. They've all forgiven him, but I still have a 3-year-old's image of a man yelling at my mother for something. I was the protective type, even at 3. To that end, sometimes my mom doesn't bother telling me about news in his life, and sometimes she does but I ignore. In this particular case, the news was passed on but I misunderstood it when it was.

Therefore, when my mom said "house down behind your grandfather's," I formed this mental image of the house he'd lived in the majority of my life, and without directions, I defaulted to what I remembered.

Freya's Bower Author Circle said...

Whoops! I completely understand. The first time I went to visit my grandmother after she'd moved I drove to the house she lived in for years.

As for forgiving your grandfather, I'm still working on forgiving mine for treating my father so poorly. He never yelled at him in front of me, but he didn't have to. The things he said... Well, you understand.

I'm still glad you had a wonderful Christmas. I hope your New Year is just as good.