Thank God I’m a Country Girl

There's so much to do in the country, she said.

From: A Letter Home from the Family Farm

“…We took a long walk yesterday. We went a long way. Skipper went with us and he doesn’t need a leash. Grampa told me about him being a boy here when they didn’t have much. They planted corn with a mule and the big rocks they got out of the ground they made a wall with when he was little and they are still there under the leaves. He showed me. He said you moved some of the smaller rocks by yourself, so this is your wall too along the creek. Before I come home, I’m going to put more rocks on top.”

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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