Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I've Decided on My 2010 Challenge

Thank you for all the suggestions.

As Hillbilly Debutante is linked to my facebook status, many of my facebook friends also left comments/suggestions on what my 2010 Challenge would be.
The winning idea, though, came from one of my fellow bloggers.

(see right)

Here are a few of the suggestions:
Gracie Beth at Preppy Southern Princess, and my facebook friend Sasha both thought I might like knitting. Seems like everyone is doing it these days, including my daughter. Yes, 'knit happens', but not in my house. zzzzzzz...lookin' for somethin' just a little more excitin', thank you very much.

English Cottage in Georgia thought it would be fun to switch places with someone for two weeks and have their life. Um, ECiG, I think you've been watching too many episodes of Wife Swap. I'm being sarcastic when in actual fact I think that would be so much fun! But alas, Mr. T nipped that idea in the proverbial bud when he caught me sending off my application and a secret video to NBC. I told him with any luck I'd get switched out with a Playboy centerfold. He still said 'ixnay on the apsway.' Sometimes he is just no fun.

So, after much thought, the winner is (drum roll, please) .....Debbie at Trash Talk. She suggested that I take the back roads and travel different states. Hmm, that sounded promising... when I suddenly had an epiphany...

Why not "Meet Virginia". You know that song, don'tcha? Meet Virginia...loves babies and surprises, wears high heels when she exercises, Ain't she beautiful...Meet Virginia..

Yeah, yeah, I know I can't sing, but, really...it is a cool song.
Yes, I have lived here for 8 and 1/2 years, but unfortunately I let what happened to me when I first moved here (see stalking post a few down) ruin the dream that I've had since I was a young girl.

My family (on both Mama and Daddy's side) were some of Virginia's first settlers. As a matter of fact, my Dad is the first generation to not have been born here. Growing up, Grandad always told me stories about Virginia and the Appalachian mountains. They could always tell who was an 'outsider' by the way they pronounced "Appalachia." (Southerners pronounce it "Apple atcha".)

At 14, my parents allowed me the choice of where to vacation. Naturally, after hearing so much about her from Grandad, I chose Virginia.

Even at that tender age I was very intrigued by her rich history. I mean, who wouldn't be? Virginia is the site of the first English settlement of what would later, of course, become the United States of America. She also played a major role in both the American Revolution (two of my 6th great-grandfathers participated) and the Civil War, or as we call it here, The War of Northern Agression,(in which another Grandfather and a handful of uncles and cousins fought valiantly.)

Virginia is also the birthplace of eight U.S. Presidents.

including my beloved George. ((swoon))

We have everything! Beautiful beaches, mountains, countryside. Big cities, medium cities, and small towns dotted along the way.

So, at 14, sitting in the back seat in complete and utter awe of the rolling hills, I begged my Dad to slow down so I could take it all in. Horses nibbling on emerald green grass, pastures enclosed by acres and acres of either white or cast iron fencing, the main estate manor/farm house sitting back in the faraway distance at the end of a long, tree lined drive. An Anglophile since birth, Virginia reminded me of every picture I'd ever seen of England. As Dad dutifully slowed the car down so I could get a better look, I secretly vowed to live here one day.

(Later in my early adult years after living in England, I found that I'd been right. The Virginia countryside is synonymous to Great Britain's.)

I never forgot that vow. And years later, an ecstatic me, now a grown woman, found myself (thanks to Mr. T's job) living in Virginia. Northern Virginia. Not near as quiet and bucolic as ROVA - the Rest Of Virginia, but still beautiful in it's own right.

Perfect. I thought I was home.

Alas, Virginia, we didn't get off to a good start, you and I.

What I thought was a perfect neighborhood ended up being a nightmare. It's not your fault. It could have happened anywhere. It's over, I'm better for it and it's time to move on. Nonetheless, it was stupid of me to let it ruin the way I felt about you.

The fact is, we belong together. It's destiny. My DNA is in your soil - put there by the blood, sweat and tears of many generations before me.

So, it's time you and I got to know each other.

One weekend per month....

I will steer clear (pun intended) of the major highways and byways and take the road less travelled. No Wal-Marts, McDonalds, or chain-store-franchise-anything. Nothing but the fruits of the hard-working, sweat of their brow, down-home folks of each community I visit.
After 8 long years, it feels so good to let go of the hurt, the anger and the anxiety, and just breathe
It feels good to just be
and know that I am indeed,


Bella Della said...

Wonderful post! Can't wait to meet you on your journey!

gCe said...

Perhaps I will do a couple posts about the local attractions of East TN while I am at school1

James said...

Sounds great, can't wait! Happy Christmas!

Farrah said...

How exciting! I live in Georgia and have considered driving the back roads the entire way home to my parents in Kentucky. Maybe we can both do this in 2010! Merry Christmas!

trash talk said...

I cannot wait until I hear the crunch of gravel...Road Trip, baby!
I keep hearing that song "Carry Me Back To Old Viginny" in my head. I'm so excited to hear about the people you meet, the sights you see, and most importantly the food you will eat! I want recipes...do I smell (pun intended) a new book? I sure wish there was a way to do a really wide U-turn thru Texas, but I'll just live vicariously through yours travels.
There's a television program here in Texas where Bob Phillips travels the backroads and chronicles it. It's called Texas Country Reporter...google it. I think you may find it something you could get on board with...more 2010 plans! With your background, the sky's the limit.

The Vintage Kitten said...

Have a lovely Christmas! Lots of Love TVK

Nezzy said...

Let us know how the journey goes. You have yourself a wonderful Christmas.

God bless ya'll!!!

FarmHouse Style said...

Sounds like a wonderful adventure!

Hope you and your family had a very Merry Christmas:-)


Eclectic Pink Rose said...

I have missed you my friend, but I am back in the blogosphere and hope you'll come by and stay and visit so we can catch up again!!
♥ Teresa

English Cottage in Georgia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
English Cottage in Georgia said...

I am so glad you chose NOT to go on to Wife Swap:-). I am not sure about it being fun, but would have been very enlightening.
-so excited to read about your road trip experiences in Virginia.
Sorry about the delete, I hit publish, instead of preview.:-(

Old Centennial Farmhouse said...

Now that's some good writin', Kathie! I'm so happy you found the love you needed in your new "home" state!