Home. Whether we have lived in a place for generations, or, are just passing through. Home as a place of comfort, safety and security, is a basic human need. The desire to understand this need and to find our interconnectedness through memory, place, history is always at the heart of my work, and my adventures.

As I write this post from West Virginia, a state with the motto Wild and Wonderful, it is also a place that has recently been devastated by flooding with lives lost, and many more, without their belongings or homes. The tenuousness and tenacity of a physical place and the human spirit is clearly apparent. Here with Nate and his team for US Soccer Regionals, we are hours from the area affected by the flooding but it is apparent that this is a place that with grit and authenticity, despite its environmental and economic challenges. People are warm, friendly, and gracious.

photo of soda fountain counter at Griffith & Feil, WV photo:NanciHersh

Andrew and Hayley behind the counter at Griffith & Feil, Kenova, WV

Yesterday before the game, Garbiñe, (our returning Spanish “daughter/sister”) and I went to visit the small town of Kenova, home of Griffith and Fiel Pharmacy.  Like stepping back in time, it is a true old fashioned pharmacy with the original soda fountain workings, counter, and decor.

Griffin & Feil Pharmacy photo:NanciHersh

Garbiñe looking over the menu at Griffith & Feil in Kenova, WV

Garbiñe sampled her first American root beer soda, I had grilled cheese on white bread (!), sampled a thick rich chocolate milkshake and chatted it up with the super friendly folks at the pharmacy and local stores.

Later this evening returning to our “suite” at Marshall University dorms, Garbiñe and I sang along to the John Denver classic Take Me Home, Country Roads

Almost heaven, West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River.
Life is old there, older than the trees, younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze.

Whether you’re from Pennsylvania, Basque Country in Spain, or West Virginia… we’re all searching for the place we belong.


Sign up to stay connected, inspired, and creative.

You have Successfully Subscribed!