Even though we lived in West Virginia for fifteen years, we aren’t from West Virginia. And, even though we moved to that mountain state from Arizona, we weren’t from the southwest either. My husband and I are Midwesterners, born and bred. Geographically, I’m not sure how the upper Great Lakes state of Michigan qualifies as the middle west, but it’s an attitude not a latitude.
After all those hilly years, the flatlands of the prairie still seem strange. Nebraska and her people feel, if not like home, at least familiar.
Our older son, who at age two-and-a-half was climbing 200 steps up to see Anasazi ruins just outside Flagstaff, couldn’t wait to see the world when he set off as a foreign exchange student to Germany at age sixteen.
Later, though the conversation details are fuzzy, I’m sure he told me he’d learned the lesson that you don’t really appreciate what home is until you leave it.
To me much of life can be summed up by lessons Dorothy learned in The Wizard of Oz. My sons never shared my devotion to that movie, watching it year after year as I did. I think it’s a girl thing, but I wouldn’t trade my boys for all the pink in the world.
These sons of mine grew up ‘back east.’ Someday I will ask them where they consider themselves ‘from.’
This week a tragic mine explosion rocked the state of West Virginia. The death toll is horrifying. In the last year, the company was fined a huge amount for safety violations.
Please pray for the miners and their families. We all have a little piece of West Virginia in our hearts this week, whether we’re ‘from’ there or not.