Friday, July 23, 2010

Where I Work

This is where I work: Red Bird Clinic, located in southeast Kentucky. It is related to the United Methodist Church & follows in the tradition of healthcare provided in these mountains since 1922. It began with one nurse, Lydia Rice, followed by a physician and then a succession of medical professionals. The made their way on horseback into remote hollers--just as we continue with Jeeps & other four-wheel drive vehicles. The entire 3-wing building was built in 1956 as a hospital, which then closed in 1986. Today we provide outpatient services with two physicians, a mid-level provider (a Physician Assistant right now), Public Health, Dental serivces, & a Dental lab, & support staff. Our doctors still make housecalls, they attend the celebrations and funerals of community families & are well known & respected throughout the region. Ours is a fine staff & the Clinic is a very pleasant place to work. Some of my favorite memories were made at lunch as we laughed & shared stories as only friends can. Since the staff is mostly women, they have given me insight into the strength & resiliency of mountain women--awesome indeed.

Where We Worship

This is Covenant United Methodist Church, our church while here in KY. Located in Middlesboro, it is a mid-sized congregation with a great minister, wonderful music, a mostly professional congregation, & a wide outreach of service. We found the sermons of Dr. Philip Hill always inspirational and instructive and the music well-planned & excellent. I'll never forget "This is my Father's World" done on bells, guitar, flute, drums, & other percusives with a video of nature scenes surrounding us on 2 walls. We couldn't get to Covenant when bad weather made getting over Red Bird Mt. difficult; we missed much of Jan & Feb. Although we missed being more active, we were always renewed when we were there on Sundays.

Kentucky Horse Park

The huge "Big Barn" & paddocks of the former Walnut Farm, now KY Horse Park

We spent a day at the KY Horse Park, a place we'd gone years ago & knew we would enjoy again. They were hosting an exhibit from Saudi Arabia on the history & culture of the Arabian horse. The grounds are part of the beautiful blue grass area around Lexington famed for horse raising & racing. These lovely words were included in the Persian lore of the creation of the Arabian horse: “And God took a handful of south wind…and said I give thee flight without wings.” We saw Morgans in competition, the Arabian exhibit, a club folks with horses & carts/wagons, several old champions 'put out to pasture,' the lovely grounds, a parade of varied horses, & an assortment of horses in fields. It was a day to be up close & personal with these who fly without wings.

The Quilt Trail

above: This is my favorite Quilt Barn & it's located just a few miles from Red Bird.

There is a practice in Kentucky to paint quilt squares on old barns or other structures. This celebration of an old art form pops up in surprising places. It seems there is no road far enough off the beaten track that doesn’t have a barn quilt somewhere. They dress up many otherwise non-descript tobacco sheds into something rather wonderful. One can even follow a map of quilt squares around the area for a scenic drive.