You Can Take the Girl Out of the Country but…

Published April 17, 2023 by Nan Mykel

You Can’t Take the Country Out of the Girl…or some such.  This is an autobiographical note.








I woke today with the realization that my heart is anchored to nature from my roots on my grandmother’s North Carolina farm.  My grandfather was there too, but it felt like it was my grandmother’s.  Just looking around my apartment [condo?] today:

This week I visited the local Rock Shop and bought a marvelous sheet (slice) of fossils which is on display in my living room, alongside my bowl of leaves, fungi on a short limb, skinny pine cones, and a couple of seed pods–(Google says they are  a sweet gum seed pod and an Osage orange (Maclura pomifera).  It was separately identified as a Hedge Ball tree seed.

One daughter just visited from Atlanta and spent a chunk of her time cutting strips of an invasive vine for ornamental purposes–and I mean beautifully ornamental.

Although I received my doctorate in clinical psychology, I majored in English with a minor in journalism as an undergraduate. I spent my Masters  on anthropology, which was really archaeology, and spent much of my time surface collecting, although I participated in many digs also, including the excavation of a Spanish well in Florida and a dig at Cedar Key. also in Florida. I have fossils from an Indian mound in Florida (legally collected with my Apy class under Dr. John Goggin); a fossil from the cliffs of Dover, a piece of fossilized lightning, a piece of fool’s gold, and mysterious melted iron pattern pieces from a local state park.  Plus a couple of pleasing shell collages–one which I made from a single brief vacation to an Oak Island N.C. beach.

I lost a couple of collections of  “Indian arrowheads” collected in adolescence from fields after a rain (they come to the top as if by magic).  I lost them because of our irregular moving growing up, and sometimes not being on the premises at the time.  I also mourn the loss of my piece of the Berlin wall, which my other daughter brought home from Europe after working as a nanny for a couple of years.  (As an O.U. student she had originally gone Over There).


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