Thursday, March 17, 2011

Making myself write on this thing today as a break from my work.

I'm headed back to the mountains this weekend to visit with family and friends. I was getting very excited until I checked the weather and realized I will be leaving 80 degrees and sunshine for Bleaksburg drizzle. Good thing I haven't put away all my winter clothes just yet. Perhaps I will feel nostalgic for it all when I get there. I can hardly wait to be on the road.
One little problem concerns my car. It is illegally in nearly every possible way. I'm hoping to make it legal while in Virginia but I don't want to get pulled over along the way. I really hate it that it takes so much fuss to have a vehicle. The registration and taxes, the inspection, the insurance, the title. It would be different if there were other attractive options and the government was trying to discourage the use of cars. But there is no alternative. Just drives me nuts- so wish there was a passenger train line from here to there. Of course, then what would I do with my Daisy girl :-)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

And Six Months Later

Well, time just flies doesn't it? ... So much has changed in my life. First, I got a job in Louisiana and am now living down in the lowland south, or "the wasteland." I like my job well enough, but I miss being in the mountains so much. I miss being an easy drive away from my family. In addition to the regular social problems when one moves (i.e., I don't know anyone), the town is not so great. It has all the disadvantages of the city (e.g., factory stink, traffic, crime) without many of the advantages (e.g., sidewalks, good food, arts). In short, I don't like it here.

A very nice, unexpected distraction is that I'm in a new relationship with an old boyfriend, K. He lives in Texas so we visit often. Although the drive is somewhat long, I enjoy the drive to visit him. First, it feels so much shorter than driving in the mountains- presumably because the roads are flat and it feels less stressful to me. Secondly, I pass through Houston, and I enjoy seeing the city from afar, painted against the night sky. There is something wondrous about a city full of light perched on the horizon.

Daisy is adjusting to her new life, but I imagine that she is homesick as well. She has made a new friend, however, with K's little doggie. After 2 or 3 visits they finally started playing with one another. It's so sweet to see Daisy as big as she is with a 10lb dog; she's so playful yet gentle.

So that's a snapshot of our little life right now.... I'm really going to try to be more active this time!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I have finally finished my Ph.D. It was tough going this summer, but all's well that end's well! Next on my agenda is to find a job. I'm applying to nearly everything for which I am qualified. My personal life is going well. Still hanging out with B a lot. And why not? We have a lot of fun together and can be ourselves around each other. And besides I may not be around town for much longer so I want to soak up all the time with him that I can. There is one distraction... I am now a doggie momma to Daisy, the super duper 2 year old golden retriever. I have never really been a dog person, but I'm just in love with this girl. Besides these things I'm still trying to be mindful to take time to pray everyday, and do at least some hatha yoga and spiritual reading. Hopefully my next post will not be another update 4 months later.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Thinking Deep Thoughts

It's difficult to think that this might be my last summer here in Blacksburg. On the one hand I'm ready to go; on the other hand, I confess I'm scared about what the future holds. So much in my life has not turned out according to plan. I thought I'd be the mother of a big family full of little ones at this point. Instead I'm about to complete my ph.d., ending a third marriage, and do not have even one little one. Never thought anybody would call me "Dr." I could be anywhere this time next year. Though I've always embraced the unknown, with warm, loving arms, this time I am frightened.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Making Progress

I've been pretty quiet lately because I've been writing and reading all about Appalachia. I have lots of notes and hope to make some commentary on what I've been reading, which shouldn't be difficult to do since I'll be writing it up for my dissertation anyway.

Yesterday I wrote the first draft of my Findings from the interviews I did in the fall. It can be very difficult to write about some experiences, especially the not-so-nice side of family life. On the one hand I want to tell the truth about individual women's experiences; on the other hand, I don't want to be another researcher disparaging my home culture. So it's a tricky balance between the romanticized version and the warts and all version. In a way this is a psychological exercise, similar to that which anyone goes through when trying to make sense of bad things.

Here at Virginia Tech, for example, we have a wonderful community that has pulled together when tragedy strikes. However, we know there were serious issues in the way students' mental health issues are dealt with on campus- among other things. But life isn't a newspaper article with good guys and bad guys clearly delineated (as you can tell I am not a big fan of reporters!).

So in many ways, it's the same thing with Appalachia, whether you're thinking about the coal industry or any extraction industry, or negative aspects of the dominant culture. So that's my challenge, to capture the complexity of family life in the region, and the changes in family life, without relaying on simplistic stereotypes.

Friday, April 9, 2010


Today I joined B for Clash of the Titans. Though it is fetching some bad reviews, I thought it was fun to see. As B said: What do they expect, Shakespeare? After watching this, I'm thinking of Medusa. For who hasn't "accused herself of being a monster" when she heard the haunting laugh deep in her psyche?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sunny day, sweeping the clouds away

Ain't it the truth how the sunshine just burns through life's clouds. I only hope God blesses me to always have this experience. The experience of beauty. Because it isn't just something you see, or feel, or smell, or taste, or hear, but it is a deep soulful experience. I've wondered from time to time if we all experience beauty the same way. I think not. I think you cannot be a warmonger and experience beauty. Nobody's perfect, tis true, but I think there are those who are simply unmoved by the world's beauty... Or perhaps from time to time we all have a diminished capacity to experience beauty, but don't know it. That's a scary thought. I cannot be sure about these things, but I am sure that some of the time, at least, I am blessed to experience the fullness of a sunny day, and for that I am deeply, deeply grateful.