Conversations in PA and WVA.

I had this conversation with this tour guide out in Arthudale, West Virginia. She said “no matter what you’re doing-scrubbing the floors or whatever, you still matter- you’re still important.” And as the breeze came blowing over bringing us a little relief from the heat I thought that only someone who has been through or seen some stuff would say this.


*Photo cred to Sheryll Smith

She was an interesting character. She was a nurse for twenty some odd years and decided to retire and become a tour guide of her home town Arthurdale, West Virginia- which was a town established by Eleanor Roosevelt during the Depression. She introduced us to her husband and asked us all what we were doing with our lives and seemed genuinely interested which sort of struck me because why would a complete stranger care?


During my week in Pennsylvania and West Virginia I went white water rafting on the Youghiogeny River (which marks the seventh river I’ve rafted down, yessss), I tried my hand at bouldering outdoors at Coopers Rock, WVA (which failed miserably), saw the HUGEST horse down in Amish country, took a scenic train trip through the Monongahela National Forest while chatting up with a couple from Ontario, and made a solo trip to a Frank Lloyd Wright house, Kentuck Knob.


(Oh yeah! It was the Fourth too!)

But after experiencing all that the rest of week I still couldn’t get my mind off the tour guide. I don’t even remember her name. I guess it goes to show that it’s how you make someone feel that really sets an impression- rather than what you wear or even what your name is.


I had a lot of conversations with people on this trip. The river guide was soft spoken but strong. She was a psychology major and worked in a girls home but decided to change up her life and become a rafting guide. The couple from Ontario on the train showed me pictures from their previous trips around the world and even urged me to keep traveling. They even said “ay” after sentences and “don’t cha know?” And I even learned that a certain Mennonite man didn’t know the english word for punishment.


*Photo cred to Sheryll Smith 

No matter what walk of life we come from, how much money we make, our beliefs, or what our names are we all still matter one way or another. It’s not about how much we have or even owe, it’s about what’s in your heart. You could be scrubbing the floors and you still matter. Your dreams are still valid.


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