Tuesday, November 03, 2009

"Lynn's Creek" and Little Debbie Cakes

This is a rather crazy example of what not to do with your iPhone. Driving WV roads is insane enough, let alone juggling a camera.

I took this picture of Lens Creek Mountain on the way back from dropping off my aunt Audrey in Seth. Oh Seth, what a pastoral hamlet!
For years, I thought it was Lynn's Creek Mountain. That's because of the WV accent. An accent, I might add, that Hollywood has never captured. Jody Foster as Clarice Starling was supposed to be WV, but the accent was not even close. You see, in West Virginianese, my name has two syllables: Gee-um. That should come to you with a little practice.

This is deep WV country. Creeks, narrow ever-winding roads, little shanties mixed with modest middle class houses and mountains make evening fall early in the winter. People drive these dangerous serpentine roads like they are on the Indy 500. Some of them, on a good Oxy bender, probably imagine that they are. West Virginia drivers are not slow pokes-hell no. They will push you and the envelope to the max. On the way back, a scary large truck decided to take his half of the road out of the middle. I had just enough room to avoid him and yet stay on the road.

The hills look tired, imperial, worn down and have a feeling of isolation. The scenery is very brutal and beautiful. That's what we are-extremes. Drive a few minutes from cosy cafeville of Taylor Books, which quite nicely mimics a big city coffee shop, and you soon see camo ball caps, trucks emblazoned with number 3 and gun racks and all the expected WV redneckanalia.

I rarely adventure out beyond my comfort zone, but when my batty (I mean that sincerely, but with love) aunt Audrey comes to town for her bi-annual Kroger shopping expedition, I get a little road trip to Boone county. Yep. The county seat of Jesco White. (For you non-hillbillies out thar, you have got to see "Dancing Outlaw." Priceless.)

Audrey likes to stock up and when she comes to town, she go a-Krogerin' in a huge way. It must take her at least three hours to snail her way through every aisle, talking to whomever will talk back, and thoroughly cover every perceived food need. For example, she decided one year that she would buy one of EACH kind of Little Debbie Snack Cakes. This year, it was juice and Pringles: one of every kind. She is batty, but methodical.
She thinks nothing of having me wait all day for her phone call. The elderly have no real concept of everybody else's time. My other aunts are the same. I have told the story of how my aunt Effie's request caused me to traverse the length of Kanawha City a total of six times. She thought nothing of it. Love them, but that's the way it is.
Sunday was beautiful and the ride was filled with her stories which usually follow no discernible connected train of thought. But I like the old stories of her childhood.. You'd never believe anything changes, but she'll tell you where once stood her home; now a park. She cheerfully talks about her funeral like it's a upcoming vacation. She's not afraid at all.
I don't have to load the groceries into her trailer. Oh no. No one steps a foot into there. Another eccentricity well documented. I load them onto the porch.
Then she offers me a check for my trouble and I am supposed to decline because she's family, but she hears none of it. Then, with all the swiftness I can muster, I wind my way back to Charleston. Boone County ain't for me.
Not for every kind of Little Debbie Cakes in the world.

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