still settling in; a second visitor

Well, I lied when I said there would be just one more post. There will be a couple, it seems.

My dad came to visit immediately upon Liz’s departure, and we have continued the projects that Liz started/helped conceive. We put my mattress up on a platform of plywood and milk crates. We repaired the screen door. We’ve been documenting a few maintenance requests. And walking the neighborhood, and exploring the town (a local Italian place turned out excellent! craft beer here is more expensive than I’ve seen it, ever!), and exploring a little further away as well. We spent a day in the mountains and today we’ll spend another. I’ve had a few more bike rides with new friends! It’s all very exciting.

We also celebrated Hops’s 11th birthday at a brewery after a good day of hikes – he napped well.

I am still touristing, a little, in my new town. As soon as Pops flies out, though, it’s back to work: I’ll have less than a week til orientation starts at the new job, and my syllabi need work. Busy busy…

winding down

Well, friends, we’re nearing the final hours of Foxy livin’. I’ll try and review a few things for you here, but it’s busy times (when I’m within cell range in these lovely mountains).

Since I last wrote to you, I headed into the town of Elkins for a day and a night, to see some friends and do some conferencing about my upcoming new JOB (eek). From there, we drove up to Spruce Knob, the highest point in the state of West Virginia.

We had a couple of nice nights of camping, with weather cool enough that we had a fire one night, and hiked a bit up in the hills.

I’ve been reading & writing furiously, and doing some planning for the move coming up, and a couple of visitors right out of the gate. I know I keep using this word, bittersweet, but truly… I’m excited for all the change, and I’m going to miss this here.

Elkins & Buckhannon, WV

I am feeling very much at home in West Virginia – and also feeling how far I have to come before I can claim a home here, too, because I respect people’s earning of their homelands. But I have high hopes for this place. I love the people whom I know here.

I visited with my friends Doug and Melissa at their home. Hops got to know their Italian greyhound, Geno – Hops’s curmudgeonliness in full effect, but they did soften up at the very end there.

not quite touching though (photo courtesy of Doug)

It is such a treat to be with Doug, always. He was one of my earliest, best friends in this state, and I’m so excited that we’ll soon be neighbors (more or less). He’s also my official teaching mentor for the coming year. I’m a lucky woman, again.

One of my nights in town, I attended a fundraising event for the Nikki Giovanni Scholarship at the Hindman Settlement School. We enjoyed readings by Doug Van Gundy, Ann Pancake, Crystal Good, Glenn Taylor, Bill King, and Jowhor Ile, and music by the duo Born Old (which is my buddy Doug again with his friend Paul). I also got to see Vince Trimboli, whose new book The Book of Rabbits is fresh out, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Finally, on my way out of town, I stopped to look at a home I hope to rent, very near the campus of West Virginia Wesleyan College where I’ll be teaching. Fingers crossed!

Somehow I did all of this with no pictures for you. Sorry! More to come as I head north to Pittsburgh. Pictures, promise.

West Virginia, part 1 of ?

I’m loving my early days in West Virginia. Hops and I have had a lovely visit at a park in Davis, where Ritchey’s ashes joined the Blackwater River.

In the Monongahela National Forest, we found a great campsite, and hiked a little bit of Allegheny Trail No. 701.

Moving on the next day, I stopped to visit (from a safe distance) this gnarly prehistoric-looking snapping turtle. What an impressive creature! And some beautiful scenery, always.

Then I met up with a dear friend for a little visit and some beers at a brewery I’ve appreciated before. It felt like coming home.

I’m glad I will be spending more time in these parts.