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Monday, April 27, 2015

POST 1454; CHERRY HOLLOW, WV; 4/26/15


This weekend I was given the privilege to walk some 16 miles from HURRICANE, West Virginia to PORTERSVILLE Baptist Church near the home of Sally.  Following MUD RIVER, Mud River Road leads South toward the village of HAMLIN.

The roadways in this region are said to receive maintenance every six years or so, leaving pot holes, crumbling asphalt,and general disrepair.

Having not walked a long distance for several weeks, my old body still performed well, maintaining a bit over 4 mph, reaching Sally's church in 3 hours - 59 minutes.

Some photographs along the way help understand the endless hills and valleys predominating this region...




Private suspension bridge spanning the MUD RIVER.




Two weeks ago the trees were void of any leaves.




"Hillbilly" homes are found at close intervals along Mud River Road.  "Hillbilly" is used loosely.  Residents are of upper middle class...many properties truly beautiful and well maintained.



















Limited agriculture is visited with a few ranches offering cattle, goats, fowl an other smaller animals offering comfortable subsistence.





Roadways are all too often in need of attention. 




Mud River is often turbulent, although the muddy waters are often tranquil slow moving.



Older barns and smaller out buildings abound.




Once  thriving Country Stores here and there remind of bygone days of penny candy and pickle barrels.





Local dogs love to make like they aim to enjoy a bite or two as I walk past.  A few kindly inviting words quickly turn them into curious friendly critters.  NEVER has any animal threatened me.




Churches are like beads on a string-along Mud River Road...spaced 4 to 5 miles apart .




Intersection of Salt Rock meeting Mud River Road.









A new bridge being built over Mud River.



Suspension walking bridge to a private residence on the opposite side of the river.





(r. - l.)  Sally, Daughter Suzy, and Grand Daughter Anna preparing after church family dinner.  I was allowed to prepare the green salad, mix up the corn bread fixin's, and wash the dirty dishes and clean up after.

* * * * * * * * * *

Tomorrow - Tuesday, I travel to Columbus, Ohio, driven by our friend James, to travel by air to Portland, Maine, to fetch SPIA.  Driving back to West Virginia, will stop at a number of interesting places in Massachusettes, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington D.C.,  and Virginia; photographing and blogging as I go.

Should return to Sally early next week. 



Friday, April 24, 2015

POST 1453; APRIL 23, 2015; CULLODEN, WEST VIRGINIA


Seems my life has been topsy turvy these past months wintering over in West Virginia.  'tis now Spring time, albeit still unseasonally wet and cold.  It has come to pass that SPIA (1995 Mazda MPV) must be fetched from storage in Portland, Maine.  THIS I will do in the next few days...perhaps flying to Portland...perhaps taking the Greyhound Bus...perhaps walking SAM and ME.  One thing is certain:  I WILL return to West Virginia where awaits a beautiful lady with whom I have come to know and love without measure.

A pictoral story line follows taking us through recent days during which I have risen to highest highs and fought to hold on by fingernails during those blissful moments.




Most recent snow storm...barely melted by Easter Day.




The home of my Host, Dallas Lovejoy...who has found love and tenderness at 79 years...a lady "sent by GOD" to fill their Senior years...




Dallas enjoys wide ranging contacts





Dallas (r.), James (l.) of the 81st Airborne Glider Fighting Force, who landed BEHIND German lines in France on D-Day, 1944 ...  James is 96; ... and Rob, our mutual Senior friend enjoying quiet moments at HURRICANE (village) Senior Citizen daily Lunch



Oil train from North Dakota passing through HURRICANE.  A 100 + oil tank car train recently exploded not far from this spot.  Senior Building is behind the camera, only a hundred feet or so from the train tracks .





Dallas is DEACON of this Seventh Day Adventist church located on Pea Ridge, Huntington, West Virginia.  I often attend services with Dallas each Saturday here, which is to be the site of his marriage to Carol in the near future .



CULLODEN OPRY HOUSE Saturday Night Dance.  Final dance includes a circle of dancers holding hands to a musical prayer. 




4th Avenue passing in front of Dallas' home.  White area is remnent of 8 tons of gravel which I used to build a turning and parking space.  Yes, shovel full by shovel full.




Near Centurian next door neighbor to Dallas.




CAROL...Dallas' Betrothed.





KAREN..., close friend of Carol.













(r. - l.)   Carol and Dallas; Joe and Susan, and Johnny, Carol's Brother.




George, Bell Ringer of the Portersville Church near the home of Sally.  Together with Sally, I have the pleasure to attend services Sunday and Wednesday.




SUZY, ANNA and JACQUALIN, Daughter and Grand Daughters of Sally




Sally and daughter SUZY entering church together.




My adored lady, Sally.  Sally and I worked an  entire day manicuring her property.  Sally, frail as she appears worked like a tiger with that weed eater.




Home of Sally with Cherry Creek flowing thru





Sally on her back porch...wearing her (my) (tiny) Birthstone Ring. 




Sally's view of Daughter SUZY's home some hundreds of feet away.




MIKE, Suzy's Husband (Sally's Son In Law) clearing away the rocks and soil which fell onto their drive from the steep hillside next to their home.




CHERRY HOLLOW ROAD taking the "back way" to the village of HAMLIN on the opposite side of BUFFALO RIDGE.




SOCCER Saturday on the fields of HAMLIN High School.  Anna and Jacqualin both play soccer...




SUZY (r.) and JENNIFER coaching their children's soccer team.   Jennifer with the song-bird singing voice.





Sally holding DOMINO...SPYDER at her feet.  Parrot, AUSTIN, is chattering away inside.

* * * * * * * * * *

Sally has become my reason to be.   Together she rises above a lifetime of hurt.  Sharing much of life's pains, our moments together have lifted us both ... me to a new understanding with GOD ... she, blossoming to a smiling radiance absent much too long.

I know not if Sally will accept me into her heart.  Her hurt is deep.  She says I am all she has prayed for. 

I have been taken to this place no less than four times in my 12 crossings walking America. 

Having found Sally, accepted or not, I will remain close by.

For Sally, I have learned to pray.

With Sally I have come to understand that all things helping me walk these 27,000 miles have been under the guidance and protection of GOD, where I remain as I strive to become worthy to share the short time we may be granted.





Tuesday, April 14, 2015

POST 1452; APRIL 14, 2015; HAMLIN, WEST VIRGINIA




HI, ALL....

Yes I am again guilty of SILENCE.
 
There has been no update because events have been limited and of such unbelievable substance as to be fearfully unreal.

Five years of roaming America has been about America...places, people, and events not to do with SAM and ME.  Arriving in West Virginia last September, all that changed.  I became the central figure for that which happened...i.e....

I met and fell in love with Sally, whom we all met some seven months ago...only to be summarily dismissed...dismissed with Sally's plea to find others.

The next 4 months resulted in meeting Betty (#1), who after one week invited me to join her in her home.  A new car was gifted to me along with Betty's plea to provide "protection".   Protection from whom or what I never discovered.  Betty emphatically dotted her "i's" and crossed her "t's" by producing her Smith and Wesson (gun) loaded convincingly assuring me she knew how to use it and would not hesitate to do so.

I departed Betty's home...having not experienced the pleasure of driving "my" new car.  She kept my $500 ...my contribution to begin our life together.

Betty (# 2) followed only to part ways after a few days.

In retrospect, I harbor no malice to either Betty.  Many lovely days were mutually enjoyed.  We simply did not seem to fit.  Both ladies gifted me new clothes  - shirts, trousers, jackets, etc which I proudly wear.

All the while, I have been a  supremely happy guest in the home of Dallas.  It came to pass that lady Carol found and engaged Dallas...becoming my friend in the process.  Dallas and Carol are to be married soon.

SAM and ME have prepared to return to the road...all packed, ready to Walk and Roll...

...and what of Sally...?

As agreed, I did not contact Sally until I recently learned that her relationship with Claude had run it's course; Sally once again retreating into her modest country home in STRAIGHT STREET HOLLOW (Cherry Street HOLLAR) , a single lane unpaved roadway leading from Lower Mud River Road to the village of HAMLIN, West Virginia.

Sally and I met once again during the Friday and Saturday Night Dances over three week's time.

Offering to help her with the chore of tending her small property, we cautiously began to reacquaint ourselves.  With the soil of Sally's home beneath my finger nails, I have become unashamedly her companion in church and in public.

Writing this update in Sally's kitchen, am pleased to discover VERISON Wireless service in Cherry Street Hollar.

Sally seems to be smiling just a wee bit more these days.

Her elusive sleep is returning as I have begun to read to her carefully selected passages from the BIBLE.

Without long term commitments, Sally says she is comfy wearing my ring...two old people looking to find acceptance together in a sometimes cruel difficult world.
\

* * * * * * * * * *

Photos and things falling from shaken bushes will return to our blog in regular updates to follow.