Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The way I see it...


Part of understanding others
is having an appreciation
of their particular way of life and surroundings. This is a view from my window where I live and love and raise my family in the Appalachian mountains of Eastern Kentucky. It's very different from the surburban view from my sister's home or her urban cityscape from her office. I know, because I lived for six years in the million plus populated city where she lives and raises her family. And neither place is better than the other. Both have their pros and cons. They are simply different.

Some people may not think this view pretty. I think it is beautiful. Serene and quiet, it is where I watch the squirrels play and the occasional deer visit from my office window. I remember so many years spent in an office in which I was so busy trying to advance corporate America that I hardly had time to notice if the sun was even shining. Having the opportunity to write from my home office and look out over our backyard property and watch the leaves as they change color and fall to the ground is a welcome respite indeed.

And should I feel the need for more excitement, I can get in our pickup truck and head up to Walmart where there's always something going on. (smile). There's some fifty thousand people in this town and my husband and I think all of them go to Walmart on Friday evenings. On my way home, I can stop by Applebees and pick up a couple chicken pecan salads for our dinner if my husband's not in the mood to cook. (He's the chef extrordinare' in our house). We can sit out on our deck overlooking the water and talk about the day while I sip my Diet Coke with a lemon wedge. Later, he can unwind from a long day of meetings and seeing patients with some silly movie on our big screen tv. I walk our white pekingese and light the candles in our family room fireplace. I work out the college visitation schedule with our youngest son while he calls to check on our other three and our grandchildren.

Any evening in which we can find the time, we will jump in the Dodge 4WD truck and head out for a country drive. We don't have to go far...it's all country around here. Sometimes we drive to the Breaks Interstate Park in Virginia. Sometimes we just tour the beautiful mountains and hills right here in Pike County. We always take our camera. We both love pictures and my husband is an excellent photographer. Our walls at home are lined with his work. If I can talk him into it, we stop for ice cream on the way home from our drives.

Our autumn weekends are often spent traveling to our grandson's latest cross country meets. Lean and handsome, our thirteen year old grandson is following in his father's footsteps and is quite the athlete and runner. Winter weekends find us on a bleacher at some middle school basketball game watching our beautiful twelve year old Anna cheering for her team. Our youngest granddaughter, Sophie, has just announced she will be joining a dance team and needs ballet shoes. She's four and the light of our lives.

Spring finds us overwhelmed with a packed baseball schedule that our youngest son handles with relative ease. He's a senior in high school and a six-foot five inch varsity baseball pitcher for the Bulldogs. Thirty-two games later we are all tired, sunburned, and ready for a vacation...but happy to see how well he is doing.

My husband works two jobs ... one with the school system working with children who have language difficulties and one in the evenings with stroke victims and such who have speech impairments. Right now, my job is to take care of him when he finally gets home, and to be mama to our boys. It's a position I love, and one that leaves me time to visit my 84 year young mom who lives an hour away. I'll drive down for a couple of days and the two of us go out for lunch to her favorite little restaurant (The Front Porch)...where we'll share soup and a sandwich and the latest news and a bunch of smiles and silly jokes and memories. I cannot tell you how precious this time is for me. While I'm down there, I try to squeeze in a breakfast or lunch with my good friend, Marla. We'll meet over coffee (she drinks hers hot, I drink mine cold) and discuss the kids and the state of education and the fact that our husbands work too hard. (Her husband is an anesthesiologist).

So while my life here in Appalachia is nothing like yours in the big city...it is a good life. A rich and full life, peppered with the things I love. And it is this life that colors the way I think and the way that I believe. Will I ever go back to the city? Possibly. My husband and I love the city..the lights, the bustle, the activities. We take off to the city several times a year and just enjoy the cultural offerings and activity and dining. We may even move to the city when he retires. But for now, Appalachia is where we were born, it's where we live, and where we'll stay. Blessings to you.

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