My husband and I courted in the hills of Appalachia. We backpacked in the southern Smokies when I was still a student at the University of Georgia. We took weekend trips to Panthertown Creek in North Carolina, or Chattanooga, Tennessee, and when he and his hiking partner trekked 500 miles from Georgia to Virginia on the Appalachian Trail, I sent him care packages of homemade trail mix, and met him at little towns on the weekends, where we’d stay in B&Bs and eat breakfasts of hot biscuits.
As we got married and grew up, we moved further and further from the green hills and soft forests of our courtship. We moved to the D.C. metro area, where we sat in traffic on the beltway. In four years we never made it to Shenandoah despite a thousand proclamations, “We should head to the mountains this weekend.”
Then we moved to coastal Florida where we sweated it out in the flatlands for eight years. We bought our first house there, and bore our children there. We learned out how to be parents there, and with a seven hour drive just to get out of the state, we lost touch with the mountains, and our younger lives, completely.
When we moved to Minnesota, where we shivered and shoveled through three winters, we had no idea where our lives were taking us, or where we would end up next.
Then, as my husband’s postdoc drew to an end, and he began applying for faculty positions in Arizona, Mississippi, Missouri, Texas, and Arkansas, he applied, and interviewed, for a position at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Back in the Appalachians, in the green hills where we met, in the soft forests where we fell in love. Back in the Appalachians where it’s not too hot and it’s not too cold, where it’s emerald green in the summer, blazing copper in the fall; where the world turns bleak in winter, and bursts into blossom in spring.
Back in the Appalachians where we’re raising our children – where we now live. Back in the Appalachians where we’re home.
This is my kickoff post for Photography 101: Home. My ambition is to post a photo a day as part of the course – I’ve got my fingers crossed that I can do it.