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Don’t Wait To Make Memories

June 23, 2013
MIKE MYER , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

So, when was the last time you just got in the car and took a drive on West Virginia's country roads?

When was the last time you got up early on a Saturday and went to Blackwater Falls, just for the fun of it?

Can you even remember how good salty country ham, pickled beans, corn on the cob and wild blackberries taste?

More important, have you ever in your life told the kids to put down their iPads and lace up their tennis shoes because the family was going to take a road trip?

On Friday, we published a special "150 for 150" page in honor of the sesquicentennial. It was a list of some of the things we on the newspapers' staff love about West Virginia. Places, people, events and even foods were listed.

We could have included twice as many items on the list. West Virginia is just that good.

But as I banged away on the keyboard to submit my favorites for the story, I remembered being taken to many of the places, eating most of the foods and learning about nearly all of the people listed when I was young. It was not unusual for Dad and Mom to tell me on a Friday night that we'd be getting up early the next morning so we could go to Blackwater Falls. Canaan Valley State Park didn't exist then.

We'd tramp down the wooden steps to the falls and back up, stop at a roadside souvenir stand or two for some postcards, get a hot dogs with sauce lunch and an ice cream cone, detour to Cathedral State Park, then get home late Saturday night.

It didn't cost much. And in exchange for a day out of their busy lives, my parents gave me a lifetime's worth of memories.

But here's the thing: How many moms and dads - or granddads and "grammies" - do that these days? Fewer, I think.

We're busy, busy, busy, we insist. The kids have soccer practice or homework or, more likely, are just glued to their smart phones, tablet computers or laptops, becoming addicted to something we call "virtual reality." Was there ever such an inappropriate term?

Go back and look at our "150 for 150" story. Then start doing some of the things we've listed, with your children and/or grandchildren. One day they - and you - will be glad you did.

The day could be next Saturday.

Myer can be reached at: mmyer@theintelligencer.net.

 
 

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