May 10, 2017

My mother died the day she turned 55. 

This Sunday will be my first Mother's Day without her, but nearly a year after she died, I still find it impossible to be heartbroken over her passing. As I wrote in her obituary, she suffered from both mental and physical illness...

May 9, 2017

In Appalachia, our biggest export is people. 

I have heard that all my life. I continue to hear it from small-town politicians concerned about brain drain. I hear it from economic development officials concerned that the steady stream of young folks leaving town makes i...

May 7, 2017

As Psychologist by training and a Midwesterner at heart, marrying an Appalachian historian may have been more than I bargained for. When Joshua began this blog he invited me to author some posts as well. While I am certain I will be called upon to write about mental he...

April 27, 2017

Appalachia is a place. It is defined on maps, even when competing mapmakers disagree about its boundaries. It is also a culture, even though that culture is not uniform in nature across the region.

For generations, America's most talented writers have understood the pow...

April 27, 2017

A few days ago, I mentioned to my wife Betsy that I might take up blogging soon. "You said that last summer," she reminded me.  As I glance begrudgingly at the stack of essays waiting beside me to be graded, I realize that if I do not start now, she and I might be havi...

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