Location: Groundhog Mountain, Virginia

After spending most of my life working in Food and Beverage I've retired with my wife to the mountains of Southwest Virginia.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

As the song said, "It's a long, long way from January to October" or "May to November" or something like that. And it's a long, long way from Baltimore to Groundhog Mountain. But being and being here is all the fun.

One piece of advice I have always adhered to is from Ernest Hemingway, "Never hesitate to kiss a pretty girl or open a bottle of wine". Another is from Joseph Campbell, "Follow your bliss". They have served me well, the first got me my child bride and the second got me my place in the world.

I am descended from the clan MacBeane. One Henry Beane settled in Wytheville, VA towards the end of the eighteenth century. Wanting to find out more about Henry I took the occasion of our wedding anniversary to book into a Bed and Breakfast as close as I could to Wytheville. I never have found out much more about Henry but I have found out a lot about myself. So my wife and I stayed at the Inn and we kept comming back untill one day we deceided to quit going back to the rough streets of Baltimore. Before we knew it we had sold our rowhouse, loaded into a U-Haul and moved to Groundhog Mountain.

About five miles down the Blue Ridge Parkway from Groundhog Mountain is Orchard Gap. It is there Randy, an expatriot furniture designer from High Point, NC., runs the Rand Gallery. While setting up for an upcomming festival, Randy looked at the several of us helping him and said, "We're all dead." He needed to add, "and we've gone to heaven".

It's not that we chose the Mountain but rather that the Mountain chose us. We had originally looked for a home around the town of Floyd, an old southern Virginia community where the "flower children" had put down seeds in the seventies. Those seeds took root and Floyd is known to many as "that hippy town". But we were led for not any perceptable reason about twenty miles south to our present home. But that's the way it is among the folks here. We are here because we should be here. Those who shouldn't be here the Mountain rejects.

Through no fault of our own, looking for an ancestor led to Southwest Virginia, led to Floyd, led to Groundhog Mountain, led to our place in the world. As our attack cat naturally finds her special place on the living room floor we have found our special place. A magical place where art and creativity flourish, where the meter reader gives us produce given him by the local farmers, where people wave and say hello and expect conversation.

So there it is and here we are where we should be. The excitement for the day is sitting on the deck watching the chipmunks and thinking what wonderful things happen when we "follow our bliss".


Blogger the business professional said...

Dancing With Spammers
Maybe, someday, I'll be able to glance at my inbox and--dare I say it?--receive e-mail only from people or organizations I actually want to hear from.
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10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dave: you are an incredible writer. i'm looking forward to seeing more...

1:32 AM  
Blogger benning said...

Nice post! You wrote it well, too. Now why is this blog - seemingly - dead? Sheesh!

8:46 AM  

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