If you consider June, July and August to be the months of summer, we are now almost 2/3’s of the way through the year 2007 version of this annual event. And it certainly has been a most interesting one from several different angles.
Not the least of which has been the lack of rain in this part of the country as well as other places across the nation. I read just the other day that Asheville, North Carolina, a town close to us has only had 17 inches of rain since January and that is about half of what it normally gets during that same period. What this means is that there is a lot of beef cattle looking for food and not finding a whole lot. The hay crop is only producing about a third of what is normal and farmers are having to go out of state to purchase what they normally grow on their own.
I have also noticed as I cycle along one of my favorite roads which runs alongside a the New River that the water has been low almost all year. We will get a big rain from time to time but the streams that feed the river don’t have as much in reserve as normal. I have seen a lot of people tubing during my rides but very few people in canoes due to the low water table. However, the lack of rain hasn’t slowed the tourist’s from coming to the mountains as any trip outside on the county’s roads will afirm.
The past couple of months have been spent—mostly by my wife—in preparation for my son’s wedding which took place this past weekend. Sandi was in charge of the flowers and so we had planted a lot more than usual in our garden spaces and trusting mother nature to hold up her end of the deal is a little testy at times. In addtion to this, we had the entire wedding party over to our house for the rehearsal dinner and you know what that means—weeks spent getting the house clean and in order along with food planning and so forth. A good time was had by all and we—my son and several of his buddies—finished the evening off in our outdoor living room with cigars and lots of stories about him growing up.
The day of the wedding was warm and slightly overcast—an almost perfect setting for an outdoor wedding. His bride was radiant and we have never seen our son so happy in his life as his wife to be walked down a long flight of outdoor steps with her father. It was a very nice simple wedding and we had the reception dinner on the large patio next to the conference facility where the wedding took place. The next day they were on their way to the beach and a week long honeymoon.
Somewhere in the mix of all this taking place fits my sister and her husband visiting us to attend the wedding and to have a memorial service for my mother who passed away recently. As we did for our grandmother several years ago, we met on a mountainside and spread my mother’s ashes at the same place and made our peace with her passing.
As you can well imagine, it was a weekend filled with all sorts of emotions—of highs and lows and somewhere’s in between. Familes gathering to celebrate a couple’s new life together and a family unit gathering to say goodbye to a very special person. In all of this we made it through and are the better for all that we experienced.
Yesterday, I went swiming for the first time in several weeks, took a long walk with my wife, helped some friends put up a couple of hundred bales of hay and then took another long walk with my wife and our friends Carter and Jeannie. Suffice it to say, bedtime couldn’t come soon enough and I awoke this morning to a light rain that had been coming down most of the night.
This morning I took care of all the old mail that had been hiding in several places and this afternoon I might even tackle organizing some of my books which seem to be laying everywhere but where they should be. It is overcast outside and not raining for the present and whether or not the sun breaks throught the clouds today is up in the air. Tomorrow we take a day trip to Asheville and what the rest of the week holds has really not been revealed yet. I am just glad to still be riding. Enjoy yours.