When I was a child, I wanted to go with him every chance I could. I didn't care where we went, I just wanted to go. One of my favorite places to go was out the long winding roads that eventually ended with smell of coal. I loved when he would take me out to the mines. It didn't happen often, but it was a treat each and every time. I would beg him to take me. It never dawned on me that this man might want to have a few moments of solitude. I never once considered that he might not want to clean up the vomit that often times spewed all over his truck due to my chronic disease of car sickness. When he began to take photos out in the woods, it was only natural for me to once again invite myself to be his shadow. It was during those precious times that my love of the outdoors was sealed forever in my heart. With camera bag on his shoulder and tripod in his hand, he would call, "Julie Bell, do you want to come along?" I loved those times. He would wander off taking pictures, and I would be allowed to discover the beauty that God had created in whatever area we happened upon for that day. I knew that with one soft shout that he would be by my side if I needed him so I could relax and enjoy without having fear. We spent many hours hiking and exploring the banks of the Green River or the beauty of the Falls of Rough. We traipsed up and down areas of Western Kentucky that someday I would come to realize was my heritage. He would teach me about the history of the mines and if I listened real close, he would share his memories with me.
Those moments were always an adventure for me. I never knew exactly where we would be going. I just knew that I loved going.
That part of my childhood developed not only a love of the outdoors, but it also brought out my love of the old ways. I loved finding old buildings or barns. My favorite was an old church by the name of Hopewell Church. It was a place that I could actually go into and sit on the pews and dream of the days gone by.
Yesterday, I asked my own man child if he would like to accompany me to take some pictures. I am still a little unsure of being in the woods alone. That is one thing that I have never outgrown. He smiled and said, "That sounds like fun, Momma." We left in his truck with my camera bag slung over my shoulder. He asked me where I wanted to go, and he maneuvered the icy roads with great caution. We spent the afternoon enjoying the beauty of the outdoors while I told him stories of me being a child doing this same thing with his Papaw. This man child loves old barns too. He was quick to point out places that he saw as beautiful. We laughed and promised each other that we would do this again in spring. We would carve out his heritage right here in our mountains of East Tennessee.
The musings of a godly husband and wife seeking a simpler life in today's world. Pour a cup of coffee and spend time with us as we ramble on about spirituality, raising children, farm steading, politics, sports, woodworking, and all the other things in life we enjoy.