“I fell in love, that is the only expression I can think of, at once,
Words, books, the actual feel and smell of a book - I inherited my love from my daddy. I hated reading when I was little and stood around waiting on him as he looked for yet another book, more times than I can count. He quit school when he was fifteen but he loved to read. He knew all the private book dealers in town.
I remember one such man named Danny Wheeler, who had an old house with tall high book shelves that had an attached wooden rolling ladder to reach the top shelves, just like the one in My Fair Lady. Cats ran around on top of his counters and his house was packed to the brim. It seems to me that I can still smell the cigarette smoke, of course that could have been from my daddy as we traipsed across the valley looking for books in his yellow Duster. I now see the value of all the interesting characters that he knew – book collectors, book sellers, book hunters and their stories, not to mention the many friends in the books themselves.
Now many years later, I too have a love of books. April, a friend and writer, heard of a memior from her violin instructor that she said I must read - The time Mom met Hitler, Frost came to dinner, and I heard the Greatest Story ever told. Most of my college years I was an English major, although in my last year I changed to PolySci. My love for writing and reading is how I began in the English track and this writer, Dikkon Eberhart, grew up with those writers in his home on a regular basis, that I read in my classes. Dylan Thomas had a crush on his mom and read him bedtime stories. He and Robert Frost had a conversation about the intentions of his most famous poem. Of course, I was hooked.
What kept me reading was this writer is not just a writer but a wordsmith. To me, being able to use words so the reader feels what you intend for them to feel and more; to paint a picture without brush or colors on a canvas – only using words - is an art. Also, his writing has a rhythm that keeps the reader moving ahead.
It is a memoir that ends with his journey to Christ from Judaism. Extraordinary, yes?
Since my first touch of that book, Dikkon Eberhart has moved from Maine to where I live. I have had the fabulous opportunity to get to know him first hand and he allowed me to ask him some questions at a restaurant the other day for a short inteview. If you have any interest in word crafting at all, I suggest that you read his writing. I can still smell the cigars on their family boat, taste the bourbon, and feel the movement of the sail boat on the lake with his father. (I have never smoked a cigar, I don’t like bourbon, and I have never been on a boat with he or his father but it is now a memory of my own because of the way he painted it for me in his book.)
When will your next book come out and do you have a title?
"If God, while intending Adam, should have created Satan instead, it would not have been a righteous creation; it would have been a clang. My father created me, molded me, and taught me, and once - when I needed it - he slapped me down. As he forced me forward, sometimes he slipped in his effort, and instead of making music, his effort went awry, and there was a clang.
For more about Dikkon Eberhart, visit his website at www.dikkoneberhart.com
I created this list on the Ward Haven Camp website. There I also included a few maps and more information so take a look at https://wardhavencamp.weebly.com/hiking.html
Hoop Lower & Upper in Craig Co.
Mill Mountain trails
Belfast to Devil's Marbleyard
Rt. 11 to 220
Sarver's Hollow in Montgomery County
Meadow Creek Falls in New Castle
Dark Horse Hollow
James River State Park
New River Trail State Park
Cedar Creek Falls
Big Rock Falls
St. Mary Falls - Staunton
Explore Park trails
Bottom Creek Gorge
Sharp Top and Flat Top - Peaks of Otter
Spec Mine Trails
Blackhorse Gap (to Camp Bethel)
Andy Layne Trail
Buzzard's Rock (Read Mtn)
Greenfield Trail System
Blue Ridge Springs Trail Loop
Woodpecker Ridge - Troutville
Apple Orchard Falls
Poor Mountain Natural Area Preserve
Waid Recreation Park
Smart View Loop - Ferrum
Craig Hall has thru hiked the AT, the PCT twice, the CDT, Long Trail, John Muir twice, Foot Hill Trail and worked in Yellowstone National Park. He currently travels the country as an ENO rep and is an awesome photographer. Listed below are Craig's recommendations of what to take on a day hike.
1 Footwear is the most important thing. A good trail running sneaker like Montrail, Brooks, New Balance, Vasques, Solomon,...
2 Shoe Inserts - I prefer Super Feet.
3 Socks - merino wool
4 Trecking Poles
Under layer - short sleeve of natural fiber
Base layer w/ hood
Outer layer - fleece with zipper
Outer shell - raincoat (Gortex)
Same idea for your bottom half (swim trunks, tights, fleece pant, rain pants)
6 gloves, fleece hat, ... depends on the weather
7 polarized shades
8 30-35 liter pack (Granite Gear, Lowe - if you are taking a big camera)
10 bug spray (doTERRA's Terrashield and Lemongrass in a spray glass 4oz bottle)
11 trowel and toilet paper (always burry your waste 6" below)
12 head lamp
14 map and compass
16 water and a filter if you will be out all day (Sawyer)
18 eno hammock and straps, of course. :)
19 I take a camera and tripod everywhere I go. There is always an opportunity for great pictures in nature.
Check out my facebook page for some of my photographs.
A reprint from the Heart to Heart Newsletter, July 2015 edition
The rain tapped lightly against the window glass and fell softly off the edge of the open pane. As I sat inside watching the clouds passing by, my thoughts all clambered together like the thunder and then I began to write...
I was first introduced to journaling when I was sixteen. I took a local community Journal Keeping class at Roanoke College. In that class I learned how to journal and the benefits. Sometimes our thoughts and desires all come together like one big roar of thunder. Writing it all down, helps us to sort. It helps us to see what is really important.
Write whatever you want to be, wish you were, glad you are, feel deep inside, think about your mother-in-law or boss. Write Who God is to you, Who you wish He was. Write him a letter. Write your thoughts on your reading in the morning or the night. Just write!
Journaling is cleansing. It promotes focus. It is a discipline.
Another benefit that I have found is the discipline of thought. At times I am intentional about my gratitude or rather I need to be intentional. I write down things that I am thankful for each day and this in turn improves my attitude. Some people even have a separate journal for this; it is called a gratitude or blessings journal.
Journaling also helps us to track God in our lives. As the days busily pass and I remember to record a verse that impresses me or a word spoken, an answered prayer or unexpected detour, I can look back and see God's steps in my life.
Often I write down my prayers. There are two benefits to this. One, I must think through my prayer, rather than quickly spouting it out and secondly, I can record the answers which may be useful for encouragement for others and myself. Also, I can stop and record Scriptures that may go with that specific request.
Sometimes it is hard to know what to write. A good writing exercise is to put on some instrumental music and sit in a place you can relax. Set a timer. Write for five minutes. Just write whatever comes to mind. Your initial thoughts oftentimes are junk and then as you continue to write, the real issues will come out so don't fret about what you are writing at first.
Some say that stress and repressed or misplaced emotions cause physical illnesses. Journaling can also help relieve stress when you have no other outlet.
Journaling can benefit your life in so many ways. Why not give it a try?
Michelle Gill is a writer, barista, trail walker sometimes runner, disc golfer's wife, Jesus lover, book collector, mama, and old house explorer. Learn more about her story on her website www.maceyhollow.com.
So the sun rose again...
There was a time in my life when I dreaded waking up. There was a time in my life when I needed someone to tell me that I would make it too. There was a time when I needed to know what to do when I woke up in the morning again.
As time passed, I searched on the internet for someone, anyone who had been through anything remotely similar to what I was going through and survived. As a blog and website designer, I see postings all the time of loss and I have read many articles describing the grief process. But there are times when you can't think and you just need to be reminded to eat, to breathe, to make your bed, and it really doesn't matter what phase of grief that you are in.
So if today is your day of grief and you just need someone to tell you how to live for today, before better comes, and it will, then these are some practical things you can do:
1 Ask God to show you a future. You need to see that better will come.
2 Get up when the sun comes up. Rhythm, routine can be healing and you need to physically get up.
3 Make your bed! Yes, go make your bed. I am not going to explain all the reasons why but it is important.
4 Eat. Eat regularly. Eat well.
5 Read. Read stories from others who have had it worse and survived well. (Into the Deep by Robert Rogers is one that I read.)
6 Be. Be okay with just being sad.
7 Write it out. Writing it out, helps you to get it out. This may come later.
8 Drink lots of water. Sometimes we forget. You will think better.
9 Do something for someone else no matter how small.
10 Look for support. You will need time alone but alone is not good all the time. Try healing prayer, support group, mentors, pastor, counselor, worship night or prayer night at your church... Reach out in some way as a way to take action in your grief to care for yourself.
11 Cry. Sometimes we even forget to do this. Schedule a time, if it never seems convenient or if this is all you do.
12 Choose some verses that you need to believe, even if you don't now, and read them and reread them each day, until one day you will.
13 Give yourself time.
14 "Do the next thing," as Elisabeth Elliot said. Whatever the next thing that you need to do is, do it. Wash the dishes. Turn in a report at work. Whatever is next. Just take the next step.
Eventually, when the white sunlight peaks through your window blinds, you will look forward to the day. There will come a better. It is hard to imagine now. But one day you will even laugh and look around wondering if that was really you. Life will never be the same but there will be life and new ways of seeing. Hopefully, then, you can tell someone else to go make their bed, that it is important, and that their better is coming too.
"Blessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts and encourages us in every trouble so that we will be able to comfort and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as Christ’s sufferings are ours in abundance [as they overflow to His followers], so also our comfort [our reassurance, our encouragement, our consolation] is abundant through Christ [it is truly more than enough to endure what we must]."
Disc Golf Courses in and around the Roanoke Valley
Greenfield Disc Golf Course
Mayflower Hills Disc Golf Course
Fishburn Park Disc Golf Course (9 hole)
Walrond Park Disc Golf Course (9 hole)
Highland Park Disc Golf Course (9 hole)
Sontag Disc Golf Course in Rocky Mount
Moneta Park Disc Golf Course in Moneta
Falling Creek Disc Golf Course in Bedford
Golden Hills Disc Golf Course in Christiansburg
Mark, my husband
Fullhardt Knob is part of the AT that passes through Botetourt County. There is a shelter, outhouse, and water source on the second peak of Fullhardt's coming from Route 11. It was once a fire lookout for the surrounding mountains and community. A gentleman that has lived here for over eighty years told me that he remembered as a boy going up the mountain and an older man named Bage Shay lived in the lookout cabin during fire season as the lookout. He recalled Mr. Shay showing him a nine-foot pine snake that he had killed up there.
If you climb the cut-in trail from Mountain Pass, you can still see the remnants of the communication line for the lookout. The cabin is no longer there but there is a shelter. The mountain that was my great-grandfather Gibson's is part of two peaks that is considered Fullhardt. Fullhardt is the last name of a family that once lived in this area.
My great-grandfather bought a large amount of property in this area to farm. He left his family of moonshine and prostitutes behind in Franklin County and started fresh with his wife and children in 1905. He was the father of my grandfather. In the 1930s the mountain was taken for the creation of the Appalachian Trail. He was given a little money for it and was able to keep the field at the foot of the mountain, in which he grew tomatoes. There was a cannery over the hill and one around the corner.
When I first moved back from Florida there was a lady in her sixties who kept squatting at the shelter and the town would try to get her to leave. She had been in politics in Georgia and lost her mind. She would sometimes claim to be a queen. My cousins even put her on a bus and sent her home to her family but she returned. People would see her hauling her groceries from time to time up Fullhardt Knob. I can't recall where I got this picture but this is a picture of her.