Happy holidays to everyone!
My family and I are leaving tomorrow to return to the hills of Appalachia. I’m both excited and saddened. I’m excited to see my family and friends, but I’m also saddened at the prospect of seeing further proof of how much the area has changed. And the change has not always been good.
My heart clenches whenever I return home and see that a beloved business has shut down, natural landscape has been destroyed to build rental and commercial buildings, cleaning efforts have been de-prioritized in some areas, and the nightly news reports lament the growing drug traffic in the cities and shadowy hollers of the hills.
THEN, my spirits are always uplifted at the generosity of Appalachian people, the richness of Appalachian food, and the shared pride in how we have all survived, regardless of how things have changed.
Enjoy your friends and families this holiday season and may your new year be ripe with blessings and abundance.