Dateline: April, 2021….

I’ll set the scene – I’m sitting at a table. Now, these aren’t just any pieces of furniture that line the hallway of a beautiful bed and breakfast that my Scooter and I are staying at in Oceana, West Virginia. A previous guest at the B and B described it as very European and the tables and chairs reminded her of an outdoor Bistro. Why West Virginia? Why Not? Actually, Scott is here on a business trip. The town was attacked by hail and he’s been itching to slow down with work at home and locate hail storms. He spends the better part of his days pushing dents from hail ravaged cars and trucks. Each week he is usually away from Tuesday – Saturday or Sunday. What’s more is he really enjoys when I travel with him. “Would you come with me?” Excellent idea. When I don’t have my own commitments, I tag along. And, as the saying goes – have laptop, will travel. I can continue with my writing in any neck of the woods.

Getting to Know You….

And now I’ll set the stage – The owner of this quaint Inn is Jima. She and I hit it off immediately. When I take breaks from writing, we get into all kinds of conversations. I sometimes, even lend a hand in the kitchen. Anyone who knows me well will say, “What? Please tell me you’re not cooking!” Nope. KP duty is my thing. She taught me the ways of doing dishes that would make the health department proud. She and I have developed quite a camaraderie. She began her career as a teacher in the public school system, but never stopped developing new ideas and businesses. One, an antique store that is now the bed and breakfast. This amazing woman is planning, in the coming months, to open a restaurant across the street. Jima restores furniture and believe me, the list could continue on and on. She loves to serve an array of cuisines. Some of them, I am not able to chew. Nevertheless, she will ask me to partake in the feast. Every now and then I am able to enjoy the meal with everyone. I am, however, prepared with my own easy to chew provisions. What I love about Jima is the fact that she does her best to keep us all comin’ back for more.

The Hills are Alive….

Of course, the Oceana WV, Bed and Breakfast is the only place to stay. I gave myself the go ahead in calling it my home away from home. Scott and I can’t wait to get to our digs as we embark on the voyage. From one side of the mountainous terrain to the other – the vision is awe inspiring. In the evening, as the sun closes its weary eyes for the day, a different story. Are we in the Twilight Zone? The Hills Have Eyes, perhaps? Get us off of this roller coaster. Twilight sets in with every curve of the rolling hills. As I hold my breath, one more time – Ahh – light at the end of the tunnel and we are moments away from our country inn.

Connections….

Scott is working for a lifelong resident of the area. He owns an auto body shop in town. A self described hillbilly with a southern drawl to match. This humble fellow regaled tales about his momma and daddy. I could have listened all evening. A tightknit community that perceives my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, as the big city. How serene it is for the mind as it roams to the grass roots community unfolding the week with church, Sunday dinners with relatives, bonfires and baseball games. Neither Scott or I realized how much we needed this. Our lives have been shaken and stirred for the better part of several years. Time to unwind. Yes, his work is keeping him rather occupied, but we have already been planning to come back and fish in the streams and creeks, a picnic in Twin Falls Resort State Park. Let us not forget the best part of the day – to lay our heads down at The Oceana B and B – AKA – Jima’s Place. One Final Thought – “My peace fills the building.” – Jima D.

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