For this Thanksgiving week’s article I started going through old pictures which always send me sailing down memory lane! So I decided to do a list of the things that I am most thankful for growing up in Comers Rock.
I am thankful for being able to spend my childhood growing up on a farm in one of the prettiest little valleys in Southwest Virginia. Being able to play in the clear creeks, walk in the woods and climb the beautiful hills made me a very blessed little girl.
I am thankful for all my family, friends and neighbors that I had growing up. Everyone in the community worked hard but always took time to visit and have some fun. From impromptu cookouts, picnics on the hill, ball games, bicycle rides and some pretty intense Easter egg hunts to front porch sitting, camping, hiking, fishing, hunting and horseback riding. I know I have said it before but I will always remember everyone as ageless.
I am thankful for growing up in an era that was full of good, straightforward people who knew how to live off the land by using what God provided. I am proud that I got to learn from them and wish I had paid a lot more attention! But I was young and took a lot of the things they did for granted.
I am thankful for my Nanny for teaching me how to cook, can, garden, and for showing me how to live with grace and humbleness. (Not sure I was a very good learner with the grace and humbleness thing but I can cook, can and garden!) I am thankful for my Granddaddy for being patient enough to teach a little girl how to fish and to agree to take her along on the first day of fishing season knowing that she would get bored quickly, always be hungry and sunburn. I am thankful for my Great Uncle Tom for teaching me how to flatfoot and for letting little me stir the apple butter in the big black pot. I am thankful for my feisty Great Aunt Opal for teaching me to embroider and quilt, to have fun no matter what your age and that it is ok to throw an “Aunt Opal hissy fit” once in a while complete with a high pitched voice and splotchy red neck. I am thankful for my Great Uncle Blake for teaching me to drive a tractor and for entrusting “us girls” to drive him to the stockyards in an old truck loaded with horses or cattle. I am thankful for my Dad for instilling the love of animals, farming and the outdoors in both my daughter and me. Daddy also loved his horses (a trait he passed down to my daughter) and he will always be our number one trail riding partner. I am thankful for my Mom for my love of music and for always being there.
I am also thankful to my Mom and Dad for giving me the “traveling bug”. From hooking up the camper and going to West Virginia State Fair every year (for years and yes back at that time it was a big deal!) to driving to Pigeon Forge just to eat at The Apple Barn to going to the beach in the summer (the ONLY time I ever saw my dad with a pair of shorts on) to heading out West, they took the opportunity to go places (the majority of the time with Betty and Joe riding shotgun) when they had a chance.
Lastly, I am thankful for the opportunity to do these articles for the AIR program and the Appalachian Memory Keepers. It has been very good for my psyche and my soul to be able to go way back in my memory banks and be reminded of how lucky I was to grow up in such a wonderful way! Sometimes we get so caught up in the here and now that we forget to appreciate who and what helped get us to this point in life.