Country roads, take me home...

When I was 24, my brain still about the size of a pea, I left a good teaching job in Moorefield, WV, for the wild west. John Denver had just come out with his song "Country Roads" so with that tune playing on the radio, I drove away from West Virginia for my adventure in Denver, Colorado.

This memory has to do with fall in WV for two reasons: as an alumna, I watch or listen to WVU football, singing along with the fans as they joyfully and boisterously sing "Country Roads" after a winning game.

(fortunately for us, we've won the first four games this season so I've been singing and remembering that drive out west a lot.)

Denver turned out to be more of a misadventure than a grand experience, and it took me five long years before I was able to return to the east coast and even longer to get back to WV. One of my disappointments was the lack of color in the fall leaves; at least where I traveled, the colors of fall were the yellow and green of the aspen and pines. Beautiful but where were the reds, rust, and oranges?!

The mountains were majestic, but oh so far away and distant--my first nights in Denver were filled with nostalgic dreams of much-missed drives through the comforting mountains and valleys of my WV.

October is a lovely month...

When I owned my store, our fall customers from away were nicknamed "leafers". I am very glad to call myself that now with my weekends free to drive to the various locations I used to send my customers--"go to Watoga State Park and see the leaves at the lake!" or "I've heard the leaves are beautiful on the Scenic Highway!" Now I send myself and enjoy it as much as they did.

Though there aren't many flowers still growing this time of year, I have seen lots of squirrels for my dog to chase, an unusual sighting of wild turkey slowly crossing the local park road by the Greenbrier River Trail in Marlinton, and earlier some asters by the river. In the meantime, here's a sketch of a burning bush from in front of my Hillsboro home from several years back.

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