When I mention where I live, Arnold's Valley, some people, even first-time acquaintances, roll their eyes. A doctor said, "You know, don't you, that rescue squads won't go there?" "You must be the richest resident," someone suggested (if you've met Karen then you probably know I am). "Found any moonshine lately?" several have asked. "Seen any snakes?" People from the valley ask me that, too, when the topic of our cabin comes up.
Welcome to Arnold's Valley. (Note: If you click on the photo it will enlarge.) Within the first clump of trees sits our farmhouse. The goat barn appears just above our investment bank; the bigger this pile of horse manure gets, the richer I feel. Thunder Ridge is the blue-gray mountain, under which Arrowhead Lodge nestles.
The people in this valley who share surnames may be proud to announce "we're not kin," but deep down they love each other. They'd probably like you, as well as the fire-yellers I've mentioned and even folks from the Big Apple (especially Virginia). If your car breaks down around here, you won't go long unassisted. If you take a walk, someone will offer you a ride. Pass anywhere and you'll get a wave. Even the ambulance drivers wave back.
We say, all of us residents, go ahead and talk trash. Enough people already call this home.
The top roofer in the county lives a half-mile down the main road. He's as busy as you may be if you're good at what you do. On Sundays he likes to show his shiny red Pontiac Solstice the Blue Ridge Parkway, up on Thunder Ridge. Yesterday he enjoyed the sunshine with a glass of goat's milk and a little soldering.
Keeping it simple
5 days ago