Friday, June 20, 2008

Take Me Home, Country Roads

Almost heaven, West Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah river
Life is old there, older than the trees
Younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze

Country roads, take me home
To the place, I belong
West Virginia, mountain momma
Take me home, country roads

One of the great things about the place I call home here in Ohio is that in ten minutes I can be in West Virginia and in twenty five minutes I can be in Pennsylvania. John Denver's "Take Me Home Country Roads" song is basically the state of WV's anthem. My mom and I went to an outdoor concert last Sunday evening and the performer sang that song. It was twilight, the sky was that perfect mix of pinks, purples, and yellows. The trees were rustling in the breeze. It was so relaxing to just be able to drink in my surroundings and listen to the words of the song.

There was a time in my life when I couldn't wait to get out of my small town. I longed for the excitement of a life somewhere else. A big city where the pulse of the city never stops beating. Where there is vast diversity of people, languages and cultures. A place where there is a never ending list of things to do and places to go. I had the opportunity to live in Washington DC for a little over there months one summer while in college. It was wonderful and I thought what I always wanted. Then the newness wore off. The concrete was never ending. The traffic was horrendous. Public transportation became a hassle. I missed the little things. The smell of freshly cut grass, the sight of the rolling hills on the horizon line. I learned to appreciate the things you can do in small towns that you can't do in big cities. In a small town, just outside of city limits you can have a big bonfire and watch the sun come up. You can ride your quad through mud puddles or just down the street. You can kick off your shoes and wade thru a creek. You can drive down a gravel dead end road and drink a few beers, laugh and dance to the music from your car radio and have a great night with your friends. I missed all of that. All the craziness and constant non-stop attitude of the city just didn't agree with me. I love the laid back atmosphere of my small town. I love knowing that I can drive down the street and wave to people I know or pull the car over to talk to a friend out for an evening walk. Life is slower and much less hectic.

Today I had the day off from work so Sandy and I drove across the state line into WV and just enjoyed nature, taking in the sights that make home, home for me. I know that someday I'll most likely have to leave the Ohio Valley for a bigger city. But even then, the hills, the waterfalls, the river--you can't get away from it. Its something that's ingrained in you. I know that no matter where I go, there will always be a country road to take me home.


Andy said...

I love the picture where Sandy is running. She seems so free and happy.

You know, I have been thinking about the same thing. Because, to tell you the truth, I'm DESPERATE to leave to Europe. But I sometimes wonder what will happen to me when I live on my own?

It's a feking crazy and difficult question, that just made my topic for the blog. Thanks.

Jay said...


From your words in this post I felt a strong sense of serenity just permeating throughout. Well done.
I guess, even though your mind thinks it wants to be somewhere else, deep down you will always be drawn to places where your heart feels most at home.

Bayjb said...

Wow those pictures are amazing. I love living in the city but I do like going home to my quiet suburb where it's QUIET at night and I have a yard. It's bittersweet.

Rachel said...

Dan and I had an opposite reaction. We lived by Chicago and then moved to the country in Southern IL. We thought it was great at first, our dog had acres to run on, we had trails to walk on, little restaurants to eat in. Then we realized that it was 45 minutes to the stores, an hour to the movies, and not a high quality restaurant in sight. Once we got pregnant we decided that we wanted our kid to grow up by a real city, to go to a baseball games/museums/downtown. Now Diana talks about going to downtown Chicago and seeing the "Bean". I love it.

Mandy said...

Andy -- Sandy loves to run for about 10 minutes then she craps out and when you throw a stick for her, she looks at you like WTF.

Jay--Thanks for stopping by and for the comments. It was a very serene day.

Babyjb--glad that you like the pics and sounds like you have the best of both worlds like I do.

Rachel--I can understand wanting Diana to grow up near a city. Thats the great thing about here, less than an hour to Pittsburgh, two to Columbus, and literally 5 minutes from I-70. Close enough to enjoy the benefits of a big city, but far enough away to not have to worry about traffic.

Mandy said...

Oh and we have decent resturants and a movie theater close by, we even have a drive-in! LOL.

Trina G. said...

Love the green pic's. It's so beautiful. You really do live in a perfect place, close to everything.

Hope you had a great weekend!