I had been considering this for a while but decided to go for it last week.
During times I am well enough I'd like this blog to reflect my life a little. More than work and illness and treatments, the things beyond that. One of the things that I truly treasure and which I am becoming more attuned to as I work in the most rural places imaginable is my Appalachian culture.
There are ways that I have been pulled away from the culture. Growing up with an English teacher I never used some of the slang, although I do/did drop the"g' from "ing" and have a number of characteristics of my speech that are pure Appalachian. However, I (sadly) worked hard to get rid of some of it in college because I wanted nothing to do with my past, and then in grad school my accent changed because people in Michigan talk very differently than how I did. For whatever reason I am totally unable to re-learn colloquial vowels,so that everyone thinks my name is some variation of "Jan" rather than Jen. I can't hear it, although others do, that last bit of Michigan in there. In college I had a professor from Appalachia as well and my roommate would tease me after his classes because I'd leave with the accent much stronger. There are other ways I'm "different": educated, female and educated, the level of education I have, female homeowner (especially back when i first owned the house in my twenties), unmarried, childless and intending to stay that way,and I've lived a significant part of my life outside of this culture.
But I also see it all the time. I have patients who speak traditional Appalachian, and I'll give you some of those phrases when my meds aren't kicking in sometime.
But for now, as soon as I get around to it, I'm going to start sharing some of what I see on my daily trips around the countryside. The trick is that all photos are taken from a moving car. I haven't looked so see what I've captured, and I know I missed one I really want: the camper with a portapotty where someone lives. That one I'll have to keep trying. I also have to avoid my patients' homes and possessions. However, there are still thousands of things to see. Some of what I want to capture is the beauty of rolling hills as far as you can see, the rural churches that are almost more frequently seen than farmhouses; the lovely colors as fall comes (although this is going to be a bland fall due to lack of rain) and hopefully I can find a way to show the craziness of the wealth that is interspersed with the poverty. There's literally one place I know of with a home worth at least $250000 HERE (lots more elsewhere) side by side with shacks. It's kind of weird.
I'll bring my camera in soon an we'll see what I've gotten so far.