Tuesday, July 17, 2007

My Little Bit of Heaven

This summer is going by way-y-y too fast! Already mid-July and I feel like I am running behind a speeding locomotive trying to keep up, but the train just gets farther and farther out of my grasp. We hoped to be able to go out of town for a vacation for a week or two, but at this rate and on our budget, it doesn't look like it's gonna happen. But that's OK, we are having lots of fun around here, exploring the parks and nearby towns.

Living here for just over 2 years now, we still don't know all the roads around here and going to the yard sales is a perfect way to discover where roads lead. Just the other day, we took a detour down a country road that travels somewhere behind our property and saw the most picturesque views-- Rolling hills and lush, green pastures dotted with rolls of hay. Impossibly beautiful blue skies with puffy white clouds. Fenced fields with grazing cows and horses. Lovely, white clapboard farmhouses with dirt driveways and red barns. We stopped for pictures and not a single car passed us while we drove on that country lane. We kept going and ended up on the main road about 5 miles from our house.

We truly love living out here and we take a bit of pride knowing we live where people go on vacation. We had a yard sale of our own a few weeks back, and had a steady stream of customers. One was a couple from Northern Virginia suburbs and they had a vacation house up here. You could totally tell they weren't from around here-- Flashy SUV with a shine you needed sunglasses for. She was dressed in leopard print jacket, big, styled hair and all kinds of rings and earrings. He looked beefy and fit, and was holding a puppy so it wouldn't get dirty walking on our dusty driveway. I know this because when he put puppy down earlier, he immediately picked it back up and brushed all his paws off. They were nice people, and they lingered a bit, making small talk and commenting on how friendly people were around these parts. We enjoy talking to people we meet and if I can't follow the conversation, I end up watching and observing their behavior and clothes.

During the Fall, I can't even begin to describe how lovely it is here with the changing colors of the leaves and the crisp, cool air. We get hunters from all over that come here to hunt deer and the tourist trade picks up at all the local stores. A mile down the road from us is a General store that sells everything from gas to toothpaste, bullets to donuts, haircuts to pizza and a little post office. During hunting season, it becomes a spot for all the hunters to meet, their prize tied down on the backs of trucks and 4-wheelers. Game Wardens are there to check for hunting licenses and to make sure no one takes more than the limit.

Our property runs alongside the neighbors and he asked us for permission to hunt deer on our land. The previous owners let him for over 15 years and he worried that the new owners (us) wouldn't let him hunt anymore. Our land, his land and another neighbor's land, gives him over 60 acres to hunt deer. We said he could hunt, just let us know when, so we could keep the girls in the house on those days. He kills and butchers them himself and gives us some venison as a token of his appreciation. I'm not a big fan of deer meat, never was, though my dad loves it. (He tried to fool me once and told me we were having steak for dinner. I knew after the first bite it was deer. ) We told him he didn't have to share the meat with us, but he insists, and so it sits in our freezer. I have only just decided to cook it up and serve it to the cats! Won't they have nice full bellies after a meal like that!

Movies like 'Deliverance' give West Virginia a bad name. Just like every state I have ever been to, there are poor towns and rich towns, farms and fields, cities and highways. All the people we have met while living here have been kind and friendly and I have yet to meet any inbred, shotgun totin', teeth missin', animal fornicatin' hillbilly. While there are a few homes here and there, slowly falling apart due to lack of maintenance and care, the majority of the homes here are well-kept and pretty.

I was at the food store with my Mom last week and we were standing in the aisle talking, blocking the way for an older man on a motorized cart. We didn't realize he was there (mom and I are both Deaf) and when we saw him, we quickly jumped out of the way so he could pass by. I apologized to him and his response? "That's alright, I've spent my whole life waiting on women." How could you not love a man like that? Bless his heart! Those are the kind of people I want to be around: gracious, kind and funny. Add that to the scenery here, and I would say I've found heaven.


sufferingsummer said...

I would agree...sounds heavenly:)

Krissie said...

I'm so glad you think of your home as heaven.
I can't say that where I live is heaven but I don't ever wanna leave. There's no place like home is one of the greatest truths ever.

Jason h said...

Hey! i'm going to cali this sunday.. gonna be there for a week, this is the site i was talking about where i made the extra cash. later!

Elsie Button said...

wow another amazing post - it is so heart warming that you have found your heaven - you always sound so happy and appreciative of everything around you. i don't think you should have fed the venison to the cats though! - venison here is a delicacy!

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

I've said it before; I am sooooo jealous of where you live. It is absolutely gorgeous there. John Denver sang it, Almost Heaven, West Virginia, and you get to live it. Venison can be really good but you have to marinate it.

Raynemoon said...

Wow! That post made me nostalgic. I have family that lives in a tiny town in the country and I used to spend most of the summers out there with them. I should probably find some time and take LilBit out there for a while. We had one of those general stores too! Does yours do the movie rentals too? =)

jenny said...

Summer-- It is heavenly.. I never thought I would feel so much about a place, but I enjoy living here and would find it hard to give it up!

Krissie-- Your words are so true, but home is anywhere for me as long as I got Hubby and my girls by my side.

Elsie-- I know if it is cooked right and seasoned just so, venison can be yummy. My uncle cooked some once that was melt-in-your-mouth GOOD! But I am also dealing with a Hubby that snubs his nose at deer, so it's easier to just cook it and give it to the cats. Better than letting it sit in my freezer and get freezer-burn.

Coffee-- When I work out in the garden, or out picking the lovely blackberries, I have that song playing in my head, over and over. Oldest starts asking me why I keep singing the "west virginia" song. I tell her I can't help it! It's playing on a loop in my head!

Raynemoon-- No movie rentals at the store, but I wouldn't be surprised if they add that one day.. But I think most people around here use Netflix. Nearest video store is 45 minutes away.

Mary Alice said...

Your town sounds wonderful. WE are military and have been moving here and there and everywhere for years now, but I just recently took my daughters back to our hometown to visit. It is in the mountains of Northern California and your description of your town reminded me of ours. 80 miles from the nearest stoplight and just a little old general store where people stop in to pick up what isn't in their own gardens and swap tall tales at the counter. They leave their extra zucchini on the counter at the post office for some poor zucchiniless soul to pick up for dinner.

Here's to great small towns and people who aren't in a hurry!