WHERE THE HEART IS - Life around the Neighborhood


By Alice Hickman

Busy days! This is the season of new beginnings. In nature as well as life in general. Neighborhood sounds and sights are in high gear echoing through the hills and hollers. Lawn mowers, 4-wheelers, garden tractors, children playing, birds singing and pasture fields encompassing frolicking horses.

My garden space got plowed/turned by my brother-in-law. Another neighbor came with their farm tractor and furrowed out rows to plant potatoes. Saturday morning Jason, Lisa, Courtney, Cara, Adam and Levi showed up to put the taters in the ground. Things sure go faster with a crew of seven people. I have wonderful neighbors and a wonderful family. God richly blesses me daily!

People with their campers in tow pass by my house. West Virginia has so much to offer with camp grounds as well as scenic traveling, hiking trails, playgrounds, river adventures and mountain climbing.

There is bustle in the air with preparation and anticipation of the soon coming Calhoun County Wood Festival. All things change with time. The Wood Festival is no exception.

It is a good thing to not get stuck in a rut, but expand and try new ideas. I tip my hat to all the good folks who work year round to bring a few days of fun and celebration to our small piece of the planet.

On my home front recent updates include a new home for Dixie. I struggled with the decision! The first attempt to let her go, I reneged on. However, I found my senses after a long deliberation about what was best; for me and for her. A wonderful family with two beautiful little girls now has a new member. Her name is still Dixie. She has a family cat for a play mate. Sometimes she gets to sleep on Mom and Dad's bed. Is this 'heaven' or what? A large yard to run in free without the danger of passing cars. Then there is Saturday baths for all the 'girls'. Latest news is that the family has horses and Dixie has extended her playground into the meadow.

An added benefit of being part of this family is that Dixie gets to host her own slumber parties with a playmate getting to spend the night. Every dog needs a special friend you know! So I am at peace with my choice to transplant Dixie into a wonderful new home. I have been invited to visit too. Now, how special is that! I have the best of all worlds. The option to visit my little pal in her new and improved living environment, while being free to pursue my own interests without having to bring in a dog sitter.

Speaking of pursuing my interests, I have taken a couple of trips lately around our wonderful state. The mountains and the wildwoods of West Virginia are intoxicating. The sights and smells of nature keep calling me. "Come and Enjoy" they beacon.

Also, I was introduced to another attraction in our midst aside from the natural wonders. A recent visit and personal tour around the grounds of the famous awarded five diamond luxury resort and hotel "The Greenbrier" was a special treat indeed. A hidden away paradise in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia!

An occasional trip down fantasy lane is good for what ails you. Yes my friend. Even you!

Presently underground construction is in progress to house a first class casino as an addition to the already renowned resort. Of course this will be an added attraction to many more of the rich and famous. So if you suddenly feel compelled to go to Vegas on vacation, maybe a visit to 'The Greenbrier' will be an alternative choice for you.

After a time of being somewhat secluded from 'common folks' The Greenbrier is under new ownership and more people friendly. My next visit in that area may include an inside tour. This promises to be a one-of-a-kind unique experience. Do I sound excited?

Now back to the real world. I have been reminded of the responsibility one carries when writing a column. I weigh the choices of picking subjects to write about. I am pleased when I get good responses from people who have been immensely touched by something that was written from my heart. However, hesitation comes as I choose my subjects and how I present them. I may take the chance of scaring off or ticking off someone verses arousing feelings to move a person out of an otherwise stagnant state of mind.

Some may say that I 'spill my guts'. Others may call it 'baring my soul'. I don't really care what it is called if the end result is positive and improves a life. My bulldog tenacity pushes me to the extreme sometimes, but it is my way of survival. It is never my intention to tromp on a sensitive soul.

And that is where the heart is.

Hur Herald from Sunny Cal
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