Monday, September 29, 2008

Hunting Mushrooms

It rained almost the entire 9 hours we spent in the car driving from East Lansing to Elkins. By "almost" I mean maybe 8.5 out of the 9 hours. When we arrived it was foggy and still raining on and off. It rained the first night as we slept soundly in our dwellings, lulled by the river.

And when we woke up that first morning it looked like... another day of rain. But that was not the case! We ate breakfast out on the porch, trying to ward off the chilly fog with hot black coffee.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

West Virginia, Mountain Mommas

One of the classes I'm taking this semester is "Appalachian Literature and Culture," an "elective pathway" requirement within the RCAH that is being taught by Anita Skeen, a poet and West Virginia native. With the semester barely underway, she offered my class an opportunity to travel to Elkins, West Virginia for a weekend. The point of the trip was to be immersed in Appalachian culture and to get a feel for the place and history of an area we are going to focus on for the next few months. Of course, I couldn't pass it up.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Paying it Forward

Today as I was walking to class I noticed the sky darkening and the temperature dropping. I had neither an umbrella nor a jacket with me, and could see that rain was imminent, but it was too late to grab either at that point. Sure enough, by the time class was out an hour and a half later, it was pouring.

I must have looked really miserable, waiting in the rain for the bus in my t-shirt and jeans, because a girl walked over to me and said "You look really cold and wet," and proceeded to share precious umbrella space with me. It was really touching. There I was, a grumpy senior standing in the cold, winter-is-coming rain, thinking about how I should know by now to always have an umbrella in my backpack, and what looked to be a freshman girl offered me some shelter under her umbrella.

Once I was on the bus, I started thinking about the Hollies song, "Bus Stop."

Bus stop, wet day, she's there I say
Please share my umbrella

But it also got me thinking about the concept of "paying it forward."

Monday, September 01, 2008

Toad Paradise

By our driveway, my house has a basement window. It's small and protected, if you want to call it that, by a metal guard that is probably supposed to keep stuff out of there.

My mom and I can't really figure out how they get in and out, but somehow that small area has become a toad hotel. It seems like any time I look, there's at least one toad in there. I don't know if they can squeeze between the siding and the metal to climb out, or if there's a secret tunnel... but however they do it, the toads seem pretty happy to live there.