“Yesterday during my forty-eleventh trip to the grocery store, I found myself in the checkout line behind an old friend I haven’t seen in several years. She asked what we were doing for Thanksgiving.
“Dearly Beloved and I are going over the river and through the woods to be with the kids and grandsons,” I told her. “We’ve all rented a house together in Nowhere, West Virginia.”
The cashier stopped mid-banana weighing. “Wait a minute,” she said. “That’s my neck of the woods. I’m from West Virginia.” She sounded a mite offended.
“Oh, we love West Virginia. We’ve just never been to this place,” I assured her. “Where we’re going is pretty, but it’s in the middle of nowhere. If we forget anything, we’re out of luck.”
To illustrate exactly how isolated it was, I told her the name of the nearest town. I’ve read that it is the county seat, population 2700. I did not tell her that the brochure directions say that GPS does not always work properly in the area and that those who insist on using it often find themselves at the top of a 1,000-foot cliff on the wrong side of the New River Gorge. The house even offers free long distance on the land line phone because cell service is so spotty.
It is a fishing/rafting/hiking/sitting-on-the-front-porch kind of place. Nothing commercial. The brochure mentioned “quaint shopping” in the closest town. I picture a general store. Thus, no temptations for anyone to run off shopping or to find a Starbucks fix.
The connection to the outside world is TV and internet service which, the brochure warns, “is not blazing fast.”
I’m talking full-time major togetherness. Our game-fiend Daughter-in-law has packed her stash of games. Son-in-law has packed footballs for the touch football the guys plan to insist on in exchange for any board game participation. EVERYBODY plays, they say.
I have looked online to find nearest emergency clinic.
I told the cashier none of that and figured the conversation with her was over. Even a WV native wouldn’t know the place. It is, as I said, nowhere.
“I know exactly where that town is,” the checker chirped. “That’s where my mama does all her shopping.”
What are the odds? I mean, REALLY…? What are the odds? Eight lines in the supermarket and here I am with the town crier from a fly speck on the map of WEST Bygawd Virginia.
I told her I was relieved to hear that there are stores in the town, in case we forget something… like the turkey.
“PLENTY of shopping!” she assured me. “There’s a big Wal-Mart center with anything you want.”
I’d better not tell my girls. They may decide to make a Black Friday shopping run to WallyWorld.
They could raft over.