Friday, June 17, 2016

If We Were Having Coffee...

If we were having coffee, you'd be drinking  coffee that my mother brewed this morning, coffee that my stepfather says is the best in the world.  According to Si, "No one's coffee is as good as Peggy's..." and that is a direct quote.  

You'd ask me if my stepfather is right and I'd shrug my shoulders and tell you that I don't have a clue, for I've never tried my mother's coffee.  You'd then be amazed to learn that I'm one of the few people in the United States that doesn't like coffee or even tea for that matter.  I prefer to start my day getting caffeinated with a glass of Cherry Diet Dr. Pepper on ice.  

If we were having coffee, let me rephrase that -  if we were visiting as you drank coffee and I drank my soda, we'd be sitting out on my parent's covered deck, gazing out at the lush, green trees and the not-so-distant mountain tops to the south.  Birds would happily chirp, filling the mountains with the sounds of life, and more than likely there would be a gentle breeze.  You are fortunate - June is typically an excellent month to be in West Virginia. 

At some point, you'd comment about the colorful coffee cup you're drinking from and you'd raise it above your head to see if the maker or brand was stamped on the bottom.  I'd then tell you that it was Fiesta.  Chances are that you've heard of Fiesta, for it's sold in many large department stores throughout the country.  I'd then say, "You know, Fiesta is made in West Virginia, up in the northern panhandle.  Mom and I are thinking of making a trip up there one day to the factory."

My mother's wind chimes would sway softly in the breeze, producing a soothing melody.  I absolutely love the sound of those wind chimes. It is one of my favorite sounds of all time.  I'd close my eyes and slowly inhale as if trying to breathe it in.  

I'd tell you stories of my childhood here in West Virginia, of how my two neighbors and I played in the woods all day and the only expectation we had was that we were to be home by dinner.  You'd ask if we wore  watches in order to keep track of time. I'd let out a soft chuckle, grin, and say, "No..."  I would see the combination of curiosity and confusion on your face and tell you that we just simply knew, we were mountain kids after all, and we just knew based on the position of the sun, the length of the shadows in the forest, and the level of hunger developing in our stomachs if it was time to head home or not.  Nature was our time piece.

I'd point to the spot where the best grape vine once hung.  That mangled, thick, twisted vine provided so much fun and excitement as we swung on it summer after summer until it finally gave way with the ever increasing weight of our growing bodies.  Swinging on grape vines was never the same after that, I'd say. Looking back, I'm not sure if it was because we lost our favorite grape vine or because we were growing up and swinging on grape vines was slowly loosing its appeal as other interests, such as music videos and members of the opposite sex, took root in our brains.  

I'd show you the spot on the road, for it's visible from where we'd be sitting, where snow refused to stick.  That stubborn 20 foot segment of asphalt interrupted our long, continuous, three quarters of a mile sledding slope in winter.  The boy who lived closest to the spot would sneak out after dark and spray the pavement with his waterhose, creating enough black ice so we didn't have to attempt a detour around it.  I see your wide eyes and know what you're thinking.  "Yes, we used to sled on the road," I'd say, "because there weren't many people who lived up here back then.  When it snowed, we stayed home. There was very little traffic."  But, I would then admit, especially after recalling several of the close calls my neighbors and I experienced, that it's probably a miracle that any of us made it to high school without suffering serious bodily harm.  We sure had some good times, though. 

I'd tell you how much I love it here, how I consider this little piece of Appalachia my sanctuary, and how much I miss the mountains that are visible as far as the eye can see.

You'd ask why I moved from a place that I obviously love and hold so dearly.  I'd tell you that I did so for economic opportunities.  When I graduated college, there were very few available jobs in my field in southern West Virginia, so I went where I found work.  You'd wonder if I'd ever regretted moving away, but you're too polite to ask.  Anticipating your unspoken question, for you're not the first to wonder, I'd tell you, no, that I don't regret leaving.  I just wish I didn't miss it so much.

I'd go on to say that the longing has become  easier to deal with over the years. But, truth be told, despite being easier to cope with, the feelings of missing this beautiful, sacred place have never truly gone away.  And, as long as I was being completely open with you, I'd tell you that every time I come in for a visit, I get a little misty-eyed as I back out of the driveway of my childhood home and make my way down the mountain to leave.  No visit is ever long enough and no visit ever fully satisfies my soul.

After a few minutes of silence, I'd then tell you that I'm only two days into my weeklong visit so you need not worry about me tearing up on you today.  And with that, I'd take a sip of my soda and swivel my chair so that I could better take in the glorious view. 

"It's a great day to be in the mountains," I'd say, "an absolutely great day."


Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my very first "If We Were Having Coffee" post.

Linking up with Diana @ Part Time Monster 




  1. What a lovely post, I really enjoyed sitting down with you on this beautiful morning. All the best from Finland! <3

  2. I've driven through WV and it's beautiful. A lot like central Pennsylvania where I'm I can visualize this!
    And now I'm off to make an iced coffee :)

  3. Welcome to Coffee Share. I need to write my post yet. My cat decided he want tobplay around 3AM this morning a woke for good.. I enjoy learning about your childhood. Too bad we need to leave favor homes for work. I feel that way about Idaho.

  4. Hi Ericka, nice to meet you. A few random thoughts - I'm a little older than you (I think) but my childhood in northern Ohio was similar - I got home from school and played in the woods until I knew it was time for dinner then came home. No watch, just the feel of the land. My wife is a Speech Pathologist, but I think all of the time - it is a vocation, not a job or even a career. I'm more like you - I'm a computer nerd for certain hours and then I'm a musician, author, kayaker, etc., etc., etc...... I've driven through WV many times, but have spent very little time there.

  5. Blogger and I don't get along very well so I hope this posts...or that it posts before I give up on trying.

    I loved this post. The nostalgia and love shine through. The longing for simpler times and a simpler world shines through. When I go back to my home town (San Jose, California) I always leave with a huge lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. I haven't lived there since 1975 but it is still home. I think our childhood memories evoke those feelings, and that's a good thing! Enjoy your visit home!

  6. Loved your post and it was lovely to read about your home. I do love the mountains even though I'm first and foremost a water person. It's hard having to leave a place you love because you know there are better opportunities awaiting you. I guess it's always good though for you to come back home and not take the beauty for granted as we tend to when we live in a place!

  7. I am finding your blog for the first time on the Summer Road Trip. I like the incentive to keep finding new bloggers. I LOVE this post on your West VA. musings. I would love to join you with a glass of Sweet Tea to hear more. I have been remembering a summer time growing up and written a series of June posts hoping to help others remember what summer was once about. Let me know what you think if you have time to drive by.

  8. This is a beautiful post. I feel like I can see what you're describing. Enjoy your visit!

  9. Wow, I just loved this post! Loved hearing your memories from a time that I could appreciate! And I also love to go home to visit and reminisce, but I'm thankful I spread my wings and realized the world was much bigger than my hometown!

  10. felt like I was there, what a journey you take the reader on with this beautiful written piece. I want to try your mothers coffee now! And I still think I could temp you to a latte in the Melbourne Lane way coffee houses, if not it would still be fun to hang out xx #mg

  11. Love this post and all the imagery and stories. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Home is where the heart is! I feel the same when no visit my hometown. No regret that I left, just a funny yearning feeling. X


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