There is a wonderful pond behind the house. John built a wooden walkway from the upstairs bedroom to the pond. Because a man can. The walls of John's house are a wonderfully eclectic browse. You can find almost as many fun things hanging around outside. Some you really have to look for, like the face in the tree.
Everyone needs some time off. Even when you live in paradise. They call it rock fever. St. Thomas is beautiful, but ya gotta get away every now and then. George owns a wonderful restaurant on St. Thomas called Room With A View. I have been working there since November. The business can make you a little crazy so working in a place that closes for a month is wonderful. RWAV served the last meal of the season on July 24 and I learned what it takes to close a restaurant and a house before leaving during hurricane season. Luckily George's daughter was visiting with her friend so we had a reason to do some fun and relaxing things. Like a couple of days on St. John. Finally, we flew to Charlotte, NC on August 4 (Wednesday) to start our vacation. Thursday we drove from there to Hamlin, West-By-God-Virginia to visit John and Gail. They introduced George and I last year in August, so this visit is rather special. I have never been to John's house. It is quite remote but lovely, quiet, peaceful and emersed in nature. There are a lot of these places tucked in the mountains and hollars in West-By-God. The house suits its environment. It is the kind of place where man can plant things.
Where you can shower outside if you want to.
Where cats can be cats.
Where men can be men.
Where you can just sit a while. There are lots of sittin' places here, inside and out at John's place.
As good as sittin' is, sometimes you have to get up and go do something. Like go to the PO.
While you are out, you might want to stop and say hello to your neighbors where they work. This is Charlie Ott.
We thought we would also take a drive. George has a farm in West-By-God. He had someone bush hog it a little so we could walk around part of the property. George's farm is even more remote than John's. Remember the long covered wagon ride Laura Ingalls and her family took to find their little house on the prairie and how remote the farm was? Well, that is George's farm. And he must have lived like a pilgrim. I am not making that up. I know for a fact that a lot of hippies started their life out that way back in the day. I don't know that I was ever made of the stuff to enable one to do that. It takes about 40 minutes to get from Charleston, WV to John's place. A lot of the drive is a one lane road. George;s farm is another 40 or so minutes further out than John's. Nearly the entire drive is a one lane road. There used to be a house and several outbuildings on the property. There is not much left to tell you that any kind of life lived there but the remnants of an old tobacco barn and a couple of very small outbuildings. Still the hippie at heart, George would never sell the farm. It is his insurance policy against a world that could turn nasty. It is his go to should he have no place to go to. He has this farm where he could exist far away from the cruel world. It would be rough, but man could.
So, George needed a farm fix and Gail and I wanted to see the place. John drove us 20+ country miles further into the mountains and hollars, which is about 45 minutes from John's house. I mean to tell you this place is tucked away. John and George marveled at the condition of the one lane road. Most of it has now been paved and the dirt part now has a nice layer of gravel.
After a short walk, we approach the gate to the property, which boasts a posted sign with George's name on it. Can a man be any more proud?
This may not look like much to most of you, but this is a guaranteed fresh water supply. Man could survive.
There is a pond that attracts snapping turtles, frogs and dragonflies.
We soon came to what is left of the old tobacco barn where George used to dry the tobacco he grew.
I soon discovered a certain beauty here. Even in the old tobacco barn. It is a fallen down kind of beauty that hides its history in the rubble.
I noticed the beautiful maple trees, black walnut trees, pines, butterflies, mushrooms, moss and ferns.
There is definitely some redeeming quality provided by mother nature in this once upon a time place. While it is too remote, I left with feelings of guardianship. Whether it is your go to place or not, it should be nurtured and protected.Back at John's, we visited with a neighbor and long time friend of John and George. Gail and John prepared a wonderful dinner. Linda joined us at the handmade table that very comfortably seats 8 people. I love it. I love the people. I love the place.
I think I will take my shoes off and sit a spell.