and so we drove. again. all of us. through rolling hills and valleys of the blue ridge mountains. we drove. layers of smokey blue and pink hues that stretched into the horizon like a tide for as far as the eye can see. breathtaking. on our way we sang songs of course, my little passengers love to sing, we stopped along the way here and there to walk a while and take in the scenery along with plenty of pictures. we went thru some caves where we stood completely enthralled at it's sheer beauty as old as the earth itself. we stopped at many historical places along the way and paused in remembrance. It was hard not to think about a time when this earth ran red with the blood of the husbands, fathers and sons of the Civil War. they were tenderhearted, naive, awash with bravado and terror. how many marched away and never returned? too many. everything I saw was new, yet so familiar, like a memory, or a deep knowledge that I had long forgotten that now stirs within me. the kindness of strangers, but most of all those mountains. I will hold on to those.