Friday, August 20, 2010

My Little Hill

Oh Little Hill!

When I was a student at Virginia Tech I would drive home to NOVA, (or Northern Virginia, for you non-Dominions.)  The drive took anywhere from 3.5 hours to 5 depending on your speed.  Somewhere close to Buchanan on the northbound side of Interstate 81, there is a little hill.

Now, in the late 1980's/early 90's that hill was a cow pasture.  It was a trim little mound of green that told me I was about an hour away from my dorm room, or apartment.  It stood out from all the hundreds of green Virginia hills.  I think it was because it reminded me of the hills near the California coast.  It felt comfortable to view.  Maybe there is a large deposit of iron within it and I am a little iron-hill magnet.  Whatever the reason, it became part of my journey to Virginia Tech.  (It was never very visible when I was NOVA-bound.)  I would slow my little green Honda down a little to see how he was.  "Hey! Little Hill!"

On my last trip as a student to Virginia Tech I was sad to see it fly past my window.  I wondered if I'd ever see it again.

In 2003 my son and I moved to Blacksburg.  I had a little apartment at Windsor Hills.  My mom was living in Mt Vernon and the old travel dynamic started up again.  Holidays and long weekends in the DC area.  Wally and I drove the I-81 and I-66 stretch back and forth, and our trips home always included a big shout to our Little Hill.  By this time, a good 10+ years later, he had a little fuzzy stubble of trees.  I took this to mean that the cows hadn't been around to trim the seedlings in a while.  He was still the comfortable little green beacon I remembered.

We stayed in B-Burg until 2004 or 2005, and then we moved to California.  On the last NOVA trip I made a special stop to photograph Little Hill.  It was overcast and drizzling.  I said, "Bye, Little Hill."

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