Hug for Tim
(WordPress Prompt for November 30, 2013)
I hope you have a recipe for humble pie . I need you to bake one for me.
Let me explain.
We, as fellow writers, have been friends for many years. Once we discussed starting a writing group together. However, the Foothills Writers Group only began when YOU took the initiative and set up meetings in Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania.
The group met successfully for more than six years. Then you had too many obligations to continue it, and I was relocating to another community. Thus, the Foothills group of loyal writers became discontinued.
Yes, we were friends. However, there was an issue on which we always conflicted. It was an issue that brought out my…well, my frustration with you, and perhaps a hint of anger…because you never seemed to consider my background, which differed from yours and all the other group members.
The conflict was based on your great pride about living in the mountains, in the rolling hills, of Southwestern Pennsylvania. You speak of your ancestral home providing you with a sense of place. Thus, whenever you set up a prompt, it was related to Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Tim, you knew I couldn’t relate to the hills, the topography, the place of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Yet I believed you expected me to write impassioned responses to your prompts. After all, everyone else could do that.
I kept reminding you that I couldn’t write these prompts, that I have no connection to this region, that it felt like being on Mars to me. After all, I am a New Englander. I’m coastal.
I always told you that I would do the writing, but I’d change the location to the New England coast. Still, you didn’t seem to get it.
When it came time for Monte to retire we changed our 18-year retirement location plan because Slippery Rock (our original plan) was near neither of our children, our only family in the area. Our daughter lived in eastern Westmoreland County, and our son lived in Cleveland, but, since he was looking for work, he might move elsewhere.
Given our son’s uncertainty and our daughter’s need for help caring for her young daughter, we decided the best plan was to move where she lived. A tiny community east of Ligonier at the foot of Laurel Mountain would be our full-time home when Monte retired in 3 years.
Eighteen months after purchasing a home there I received an updated genealogy from my father’s cousin.
“Monte, someone’s playing games with me,” I said. “Someone grafted a strange branch on this family tree. It lists Hempfield Township (in Westmoreland County) and Blacklick Township in adjacent Indiana County.”
It just didn’t make any sense.
I contacted my father’s cousin and received an explanation.
Descendants of both the New England Cornell family and the Westmoreland County Rugh family had met in San Francisco, fallen in love, wed, and moved to Brocton, Massachusetts. There was no indication on any of my other genealogy material that made this connection.
What did this mean in regards to the Foothills Writers Group?
I should have worked harder to prepare to write your prompts.
Tim, I owe you an apology. I do have roots in the hills of Southwestern Pennsylvania. I’m not living on Mars, but am living near where, in 1770, my ancestors settled.
Whenever you finish baking that humble pie call me. I will humbly eat my slice. And, since I know how good a cook you are I’m certain I will enjoy it.
NOTE 1: WordPress Prompt for November 30, 2013: Tell us about a time you found out after the fact that you’d been mistaken and you had to eat a serving of humble pie.
NOTE 2: Recipe for umble pie: Two Holiday Recipes: Hors d’oeuvres and Umble Pie