There’s Golden Stories in Them Thar Hills

Bless me Father, for I have neglected the blog. It’s been two weeks and a day since my last post.

Observant readers already knew that. For the new folks, hang on, you’ll get used to it.

For a long while I was committed to posting every day, Monday through Friday. But the post-COVID lethargy often has me saying “meh…whatever…”

I think I just needed a break.

I had one. Sort of. This weekend.

The wife and I traveled to Southwest Virginia for a family reunion (her side), but we were able to stay with my Mom. It was a good visit.

Along the way there, we stopped at Carter Mountain Orchard and picked up some of summer’s last gasp of peaches.

Sunday we spent at the actual reunion. The home place is in a beautiful valley in remote Bland County.

This reunion has been happening on Labor Day weekend for decades, far before I became part of the family, and before we lost way too many family members. The unspoken question is how long this will continue after his generation is gone.

Likewise, on my side, my Mother is the only one left of her generation, from both my Dad’s side and her siblings. My cousins have been getting together semi-annually for the last few years. This year’s was postponed due to too many health issues.

Let’s face it, I’m the next to youngest at 64 and I’ve told you about my challenges.

As often happens when I return home, return to my roots, I am inspired that there are stories to be told, and to be written.

It’s an odd mix because I went into the weekend thinking that I’ve just got to focus on some other projects and the writing of the stories will have to wait.

Reality is that feeling was amplified by the times I have sat at the keyboard and no words came from the end of my finger tips.

In his Friday “Cup of Joe” Joseph Michael talked about needing to take a break to find that creativity, to find the muse. Whether it’s just a short walk, or perhaps a drive through the mountains. It’s in those times that the creativity comes.

It was true this weekend. As I drove, I thought about the stories I could write.

Driving by the high school, I realized that the building is sixty years old there, and there are many stories to be told. Granted, I was not there sixty years go, but I was there ever so much more than twenty. I have stories of my own. Some I’d just as soon forget. Others that should be told…perhaps as warnings.

As I drove through the town and saw buildings that now stand vacant or house other busineses, I thought of my Uncle’s store, of my cousin’s photography studio, of the jeweler where I bought my class ring, of the campaign office where I had my first official political job.

Sunday as we sat around the tables and people slowly started to leave, there were family stories. Some I’ve heard over the last thirty-six years. Some that were knew to me.

And I thought, there’s so much to be written.

It makes me wonder why I ever think there’s writer’s block.

It’s more likely to be writer’s lack of focus.

This past weekend’s step back in time, if you will, helps to renew that focus.

There are stories in those hills.

Some of them are pure gold.


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