The drive along Kanawha Boulevard after the region's first snow sugar-coated the trees was another reminder of how wondrous it is to live in a state that is three-quarters forest.
Add to that Appalachian snow the blue and gold-leaf dome of our magnificent Capitol and you have a beauty that rivals any place on Earth.
West Virginia should do all it can to maximize this beauty, however, the reality is the state does the minimum to get by.
Legislators devote less than 1 percent of the state's general fund to the state park system.
When placed in the perspective of the entire state budget of $10 billion, including federal funds transferred to the state, that's four-tenths of 1 percent of taxpayer money.
Where does the other 99.6 percent of the money go?
Not to prisons. The state spends about $170 million a year on corrections, which is 4 percent of the general fund or less than 2 percent of the overall state spending.
But legislators keep carping on prison costs as they work to reduce spending on prisons.
Name a function of state government and there is a need to spend more money, but there are exceptions.
Highways get hefty funding, but after paying more than 50 cents a gallon in state and federal taxes, drivers expect roads cleared of snow in the winter and potholes in the spring.
Taxpayers support education; West Virginia beats the national average on spending per student. Also, taxpayers spend nearly a half-billion dollars a year to shore up the nation's most underfunded teacher pension plan. A promise is a promise, so that funding must continue.
But politicians can and should slow down the fastest growing expense in the state budget: Medicaid, which chews up $2.7 billion a year and is climbing.
That is one-fourth of the state's overall spending.