You did it and we cannot thank you enough! With our Razoo account and a few local donations, the total we raised for people living in horrible conditions due to Mountain Top Removal Coal Mining is $1,100. We would also like to take this opportunity to remind people that we fully support Coal Miners…just not the deplorable practices of the coal companies working unchecked as they destroy our land and our people. Coal Miners have a long, proud tradition of being the ones that bring energy into our homes. Sadly, the communities they live and work in are being ravaged by MTR but, we love and support the Miners in their fight for a better life, many of whom stand with us privately because to do so publicly would mean that they would lose their jobs and their only means of supporting their families. In many coal mining communities job opportunities are scarce and poverty abounds. In our household, every time we turn on a light switch, we think about the sacrifices made by men and women Coal Miners, their families, and their ancestors who did the same for all of us.
We want to take this opportunity to thank you all. Not only did you give to the cause, but you gave to the expenses for the journey itself. Along the way, we received cards with words of encouragement, headlamps, food, and financial contributions. You prayed for us. You told your friends to post and re-post our blogs and to “like”our Facebook Page, you laughed with us, cheered us on, and encouraged us along the way. Some of you opened your home to a weary traveler who just needed a bit of TLC and a hot meal to gather strength and continue on. My wife is a self-proclaimed “Air Force Brat” and she is strong and self-sufficient but, I also want to thank those that supported her emotionally over this 7-month separation. It was not easy.
We assure you that this is not the end. Christian has many stories and tales that have yet to be told regarding this trip. Eight notebooks of journal entries (front and back) contain thoughtful reflections, white knuckled, nail-biting escapades, and hilarity that we have yet to share. We will do so in this blog in future entries.
Finally, for local friends, we are planning an “Appalachian Voyage Homecoming” benefit concert celebrating Christian’s accomplishment with all proceeds going to Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. If you know any local bands or artists willing to lend their talents for free, fell free to message us on our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Appalachian-Voyage/339413656102651?ref=hl
“When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Wendell Berry, National Humanities Medal Winner, Author, Farmer, Activist, Christian, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth Member