Friday, October 17, 2014

Where's Willow? - West Virignia (Day 4)

It's been a nice relaxing day.  It felt good to be in casual clothes.  My host mom had to go to work so I spent the day with GG (great-grandmother) and my host dad.

GG made apple dumplings and I watched.  She showed me how to roll out pie dough.  She cut the dough into squares, placed half a Cortland apple on each square, wrapped them up and baked them. The whole house smelled of cinnamon sugar.  Yums!

My host dad is retired.  He is a history buff and loves to collect toy soldiers, flags, stamps and coins.  He showed me his American Revolution soldier collection.  He had so many, I couldn't count that high!  
I learned that the blue corner of the American flag is called a canton and the striped part is called the field.  Wasn't it nice of him to give me one of my own to take home?

He is also a member of the American Chestnut Foundation.  There aren't many living chestnut trees in the Appalachian Mountains any more because they became infected by a blight (disease) that made its way to the US from overseas back in the early 1900s.  The American Chestnut Foundation is trying to save the tree by breeding it to be blight resistant.  It is all pretty complicated. For more information about the foundation's work you can google

I joined my host mom for lunch and she gave me a tour of the church where she has been secretary for almost 30 years.  

 Here I am standing beside the cornerstone.  Just in case you can't read it, its says "Falling Waters Presbyterian Church erected and dedicated to the service of Almighty God  A.D. 1834".  That means it is 180 years old and still going strong!!! 
Guess what - GG is a jigsaw puzzle lover just like me.  She gave me a little tip - if you assemble the edge pieces first, filling in is easy peazy lemon squeezy.  Grandson got in on the fun when he got home from school. 
On the bus ride home from school Emily, Corrine and Cathleen planned a farewell celebration for me.  

We had pizza, grapes and Coke for dinner.  They like pepperoni as much as I do.  
Then we cleared the table and made friendship bracelets.  Whenever we wear them, we'll remember the time we spent together. 

I've had a super time in WV and made three new BFFs.
I miss you Mom.  See you soon.


  1. This was really fun to read about. What a neat idea to have Willow travel to different host families. I especially enjoyed reading this because I am originally from the eastern part of WV so I knew a lot of these locations! Happy traveling Willow!

    1. So happy you enjoyed Willow's trip. The Eastern Panhandle is a lovley place to live for sure. Thank you for your kind words.
      Willow's Host Mom

  2. It was odd to read about the chestnut trees, since here in Germany they are so frequent.
    It is a popular fall pastime for children to go gathering horse chestnuts and make figures with them. I live close to the town where the HQ of the Haribo gummy bears factory is, and they have a tradition that children can trade in 10kg of collected chestnuts (or 5kg of acorns) for 1kg of gummy bears. Haribo then uses the chestnuts to feed wild forest animals in winter.

  3. Willow, what a great time you seem to be having! A few years ago I went on a cruise with my husband and friends. They brought along Flat Stanley and we took pictures of him at all our ports of call. It was a lot of fun!

    1. If Flat Stanley had as much fun as I did, he was a lucky boy!
      Maybe someday I'll get to go on a cruise too.