I love The Waltons, a television program about the life and trials of a 1930′s Virginia mountain family. Along with my grandmother, the show influenced me in my love of the mountains and all things country.
My grandmother had a house like theirs in the mountains of Virginia in a place called Headwaters. I loved it there. My mothers family would gather there. We would take friends and family on vacation there. I always longed to live there.
All of us cousins would walk the country roads and explore the countryside and the Cow Pasture river that ran through the property. Grandma would have a country supper and there was always cobbler or pie for dessert.
Each bedroom had 3 or 4 beds in them. The house used to be open to overnight guests. Grandma rented rooms during hunting season to pay her taxes. When the familys stayed there one room was designated the girl’s dorm and another the boy’s dorm. At bedtime we cousins would call out the “good night John Boy” thing.
There was a store like Godsey’s. It was called Miller’s Store. I loved the sound and feel of the wood floors and the creak of the screen door.
The home and property was named Spahr’s River Rest by a former owner. I took the name RiverRest from that wonderful old mountain house and use it for my own mountain paradise.
I feel like I grew up there. I think I was about 5 years old when we first went up there. I was 38 when I drove away from Grandma’s house for the last time. I cried then and 17 years later I still fight back the tears.