This weekend, I drive south.
I’m not sure what it is about rural Virginia that attracts me, but it does, and I find myself missing it all the time.
There were county fairs as a child, riding tired ponies in a circle for five minutes while parents snapped photographs, big slices of ham to eat, watching the very odd spectacle of sheep-showing, and tiny pieces of hay stuck in my hair. We visited battlefields, famous houses, cemeteries, farms, antique fairs, and restaurants. Dad gave history lessons.
Pippa threw up on me in the car.
I threw up in a parking lot after eating a hamburger.
Once, we spent a day going to the Route 11 potato chip factory where I ate my weight in fried chicken flavored chips. I discovered barbecue and hush puppies and there was no turning back.
Of course, there were the hikes up mountains, catching the Appalachian trail for ten miles or so, and defiantly sitting down on logs and refusing to budge another inch, only to get back up and march uphill for another two miles looking as sullen as possible.
I began my first in-depth study of regional accents.
And then it was gone.
We moved and weekends spent exploring life outside of the city were over.
Sure, we go back from time to time. A year and a half ago, I spent a week working with my church in true Appalachia, repairing trailers (This was the time when I fell through the floor, but that’s another story for another day.), which was amazing, but not the same as the luxury of frequent trips into the area.
But for three days, I’ll get to feel a little bit like nothing has changed, that I’m just on another weekend excursion into one of my favorite corners of the world, and that will be wonderful.
In other news, my ability to make typos is particularly embarrassing when it is in a post about teaching. In my defense, however, I’d like to point out that I was extraordinarily tired at the time and wasn’t fully mentally present.
As always, you can also find me on tumblr at http://emleng93.tumblr.com/, if, you know, you’re into that kind of thing.