Drawing upon his diverse life experiences, David Umling carries you on an engaging odyssey as he describes the two lifestyles he has lived—his childhood experiences growing up on a small family hardscrabble farm in the Appalachian Mountains and his adult professional life as a City Planner. He recounts, in loving detail, the infl uential experiences and traditional folkways from his upbringing (a way of life that is rapidly disappearing) and how they shaped his understanding of the life he lived and the outside world into which he transitioned. David’s childhood stories teach us of the virtues and practical benefi ts of the self-reliant, homespun Appalachian culture and lifestyle that nurtured him, but that he never fully realized and appreciated until later in life. The story follows his journey into adulthood and the struggles he faced adapting to life in modern society and reconciling it with the core values he internalized as a child. Through his achievements, disappointments and personal refl ections, David compares and contrasts the two distinct lifestyles he has lived. His insights reveal how the lessons he learned persuaded him to pursue a simpler and more traditional lifestyle in the mountains of Pendleton County, West Virginia. In the process, he gives us an enlightening perspective on our society, how we live within it and how it ultimately defi nes us.
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