LEON - This summer's wet weather has taken a toll on the gardens at Thankful Valley Farms in the scenic landscape of Mason County.
"Everything rotted because of the rain," Sherrie Taylor said. "The zucchini and squash rotted at the root."
Her husband, David Taylor, estimates the family has lost $25,000 in production this year.
Tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and corn all suffered in the wake of rain and overflowing creeks. Some vegetables were destroyed while others did not grow to their full potential. Deer ate the beans.
All is not lost. Seven varieties of hot peppers are flourishing, the potatoes are doing well, and the animals are healthy.
Those running this family farm know how to focus on the positive. They have overcome greater hardships and fought bigger battles.
"There are four generations living here," said Sherrie, who added that everyone works the farm according to his or her abilities.
Sherrie, 50, and David, 43, both previously married, have seven children and eight grandchildren between them. They were living on the outskirts of Columbia, S.C., when they met and fell in love.
She had a son and was caring for three special needs children. He had a daughter.
They married in October 2005. On Dec. 5, 2010, they lost everything they had in a fire that destroyed their home and every Christmas gift.
As they tearfully sat in their van feeling defeated an empty egg carton popped open with these words inside the lid: "This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Leaning on their faith, they set out to piece their lives back together.
"I take pride in being able to provide for my family," David said. He took his ID and headed to the Salvation Army in quest of immediate assistance.
Then they decided to completely reconstruct their lives and go into farming. David grew up on a farm in South Carolina and Sherrie on a farm in Lincoln County. After pricing land in the South, they decided to look in the Mountain State where they found affordable acreage and a fellow willing to offer owner financing. When David stood in the midst of a secluded area and realized he had no cell phone service, he knew he wanted the land.
They moved to West Virginia on Dec. 4, 2011.
"We looked like the Clampetts moving here," he said, referring to the characters from the 1960s show "The Beverly Hillbillies." "We had our big family van, the largest U-haul you could get and a popup camper."
She left behind her job as a parts and service director for a car dealership and he left his position as a network engineer for the Department of Energy.