WHERE THE HEART IS - The Wolf, The Sheep And The Deer


By Ann Richards

Mom had her heart set on visiting Tamarack. After several delays in finding a day open to visit, the four of us, Mom, Auntie, Alice and I climbed into Lisa's Ford Escape and set out to enjoy the trip. It was a spectacular day with the sunlight just right to bring out all the dazzling colors of the trees. The breezes made temperatures a little chilly but that was a welcome comfort after the hot summer.

Alice had a printout of the menu at Tamarack and Auntie read it aloud. I began to get hungry listening to her read and suggested that we might use McDonald's drive-thru at Glenville for a quick snack. All agreed to that.

Finally, on I-77 just out of Burnsville, we settled down for the remainder of the trip, glad to be off the narrow, winding road from Glenville to Burnsville. Auntie said she hoped we had no accidents and I said that God has his angels protecting us. That seemed to reassure her.

It was an uneventful drive from there to Rt. 19 south and on for several miles. We talked about the beauty of the trees in color and how good it is to live in West Virginia where only we can really appreciate the wonder of the state in all its awesome glory.

We were getting closer to Beckley and had stopped talking. I asked Alice if she had any music on the radio and she began to hunt through Jason's and Lisa's CDs, finding one by Meryl Haggard.

A few minutes into the album, I said to Auntie that it was "crying in your beer" music. She nodded and looked real sad. My spirits began to droop as I took my gaze off the beauty of nature and looked at the floorboard while Meryl sang about how Momma tried but he was spending life in prison doing life without parole. Poor Momma finally died with her hungry eyes still longing for the better things in life.

Suddenly, something hit the Escape. I was looking down at the floorboard when it crashed into the vehicle.

We're wrecking! I thought, as the jolt brought me back to the present, I braced for the next impact.

Alice was doing some fast wheel turning as I looked up. The Escape was slowing down and pulling off onto the side of the highway.

I asked what had happened. She said a deer had hit us. It had come up out of the median strip seemingly from nowhere, giving her no time to think, but only to have the reflex reaction of jerking the vehicle into the other lane trying to miss the deer.

We climbed out and looked for damage, finding blood on the rear passenger door and dents in the rear left panel with deer hair hanging on the side. Some of the trim was gone and the deer was nowhere to be seen.

Alice took pictures and we got back on the road a little shaken, but okay.

At Tamarack, we enjoyed the food, the favorite being Fried Green Tomatoes with bacon and mozzarella cheese on a bun.

After lunch we began our tour of Tamarack and took in all the excellent craft-work there of the West Virginia craftsmen and craftswomen. My favorite piece is the wolf in sheep's clothing.

The infamous Wolf in Sheep's Clothing displayed at Tamarack

Mom and Auntie became very tired and needed to go home where they could rest, so Alice and I decided that we will return later when we can spend all the time we want taking in all the beautiful handiwork of the displays at Tamarack.

Back on the road, we thought we might find the missing trim from the Escape, but couldn't determine exactly where it was the deer had crashed into our vehicle. Auntie said it was about five miles out from Tamarack, but with the setting sun, everything looked different.

Alice tried more of Meryl's music but I had said that I will never listen to Meryl Haggard sing again, since it put a cloud on our day. Alice changed the music to something more cheery.

Auntie said maybe there is something to the angel idea. I thought to myself that it was the angel in the driver's seat that had kept the deer from crashing into Auntie's window and landing in her lap. Mom was silent, being as she said, "worn out".

I was musing about the happenings of the day and come to three conclusions. The wolf looked satisfied, the sheep was nowhere to be seen and West Virginia white-tailed deer definitely can't fly.

Mom, enjoying the quilts and samplers at Tamarack

Hur Herald from Sunny Cal
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