During the years we were looking for a place to live in West Virginia, we looked at many places, in the country and in town.  It became a running joke with my brother that all of them were too close to the road.  And then we bought this place, with just 25 feet or so between the front door and US Route 19 (although it is a two-lane street, with sidewalks, in town).

Once we were living here, I came to realize that it was not that all those places were too close to the road.  The only other one that appealed at all was on a mountainside in Clay County (a lovely spot, but the ceilings were too low).  I grew up on a ridge outside Spencer, before we moved downtown when I was 9.  The chemistry classrooms at Glenville State, high on the hill, looked west and we could see the weather coming in.  When I was just past 20, I bought my great-grandparent’s house, on a hill in town, looking out over Tanner’s Run to Rumpus Ridge.  My favorite spots in Texas were Devil’s Backbone, the top of Enchanted Rock, and the Gulf Coast beaches, and in West Virginia, any boulder on the side of a mountain, but especially one at Dolly Sods looking out to the Allegheny Front.

I wanted a far view.  All the other places weren’t too close to the road – they were in the valley.

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