One of the major differences between North Carolina and my previous home state of Michigan is the incidences of freezing rain/ice storms during the winter months. My memory of Michigan is that the sky clouded over in late October and you didn’t see the sun again until almost May. Then it would get cold and the snow would snow on top of snow and everything eventually looked gray and unappetizing—not your “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas” kind of picture at all.
Not that winter was all bad—when I was a kid I earned a lot of money shoveling snow on those days when it dumped a bunch and we didn’t have to go to school. We’d walk around the neighborhood and knock on doors and sometimes we wouldn’t get home until late in the afternoon. I never thought about it this way before, but I bet my mother was glad to see us pick up the shovel and head out—you know how kids can get when school is out there is nothing to do.
By my late twenties and early thirties, I had also discovered all the many recreational types of things you could do during the long Michigan winters. Since there were lots of state parks, cross-country skiing became one of my favorite things to do with my not yet wife Sandi. We still talk about those days. Instead of letting her teach me how, I bought a couple of books and read up on the sport and since I was a purist the skis I purchased were very Nordic and wooden and were the kind that needed different kinds of wax applied to them depending on the type of snow you would be skiing in. Sandi’s were fiberglass and had little ridges on the bottom and worked in all types of snow and actually worked better than mine most of the time. But that is the way life was back then—I would like to think that I have changed for the better.
We have been in North Carolina since 1978 and have seen our share of ice storms and freezing rain. Back in the day, whenever we had freezing rain, the power would go off for an indefinite period of time and so I bought lots of kerosene lamps and we always kept water in jugs handy. There were many times I would fire up the old Coleman stove just outside the door in order to heat some water for coffee or soup. Ah…those were the days my friend!
The first seven years in NC we had a wood cook stove as well as a wood heater and when the power went off nothing much really changed—life went on as almost usual.
But we don’t lose our electricity much anymore. Our power comes from Blue Ridge Electric and all during the spring, summer and fall months you can see trucks all around the county cutting the tree limbs that could potentially fall on the power lines during one of our freezing rain periods. They have done a good job and I am typing this story while everything around me (outside that is) is covered in up to 3/8ths of an inch of ice from the freezing rain we had last night. The temperature is hovering around the 34 degree mark and my driveway is a 30 degree pitch of solid ice.
I may make it into work after a while. I have only heard one vehicle leave the neighborhood since I have been up and I will probably throw some ice melt on the driveway in a bit to help it along.
Since I can’t get out and about to show you what things look like, I took a picture of my bird feeders out of my kitchen window. At least you will get an idea of what it’s like outside on this first of February in the mountains of North Carolina.
I am going to feed the fire and get another cup of coffee. Enjoy your day wherever you may be riding.
You’ve given us some great imagery, with the writing and the picture. It’ funny that those were the days my friend memories are so pleasant, even though they happened in the midst of relatively adverse and uncomfortable circumstances, compared to our warm, convenient environment today. I think your sharing indicates an intrinsically optimistic (faith-anchored)perspective on life. That’s what I like about your blog. And you always work it back to the Enjoy your ride!In that great picture, however, my mind wanders to the background (since I know what is back there) and my imagination wants to see that 3/8″ ice on arbutus leaves or juniper, next to artfully arranged stones.Thanks for the lift.C
Carey: It is great having you as a “biking buddy” even though we have never been on two wheels together. However, I will always remember the trip to DC and how sore my fingers were after playing mandolin to your guitar for hours and hours. Even though the miles we log together now are more cerebral…I will take what I can get. Also: I will see what I can do about the “artful” picture.
I am connected to the way you write about my world. It is hard to describe how your words make me feel…I’m at a loss, but somehow your post capped a “perfect” day for me.
I think it is as you have always thought—we each carry a part of who the other is—in HIM. In some mysterious way, we each complete a part of who the other is. It definitely transcends what we normally think of what relationship means—it is not sexual but intimate in the same way we are the bride and Jesus is the groom. I don’t have any more insight than that tonight. Thanks for the ride.
Maybe recognizing and honoring such spiritual connectedness is a missing dynamic in much religious rhetoric. It is more than a loss for the whole of the brethren; it is a loss of being brethren and explains why Christendom has allowed itself to become so badly splintered.What a huge blessing to be in a community of brethren that is beginning to understand such!
I am reminded that unless the Lord builds the house, we labor in vain. Yet in this statement I don’t see that we never pick up a hammer and some nails. And unless the Lord shows us, we can’t even see our own hearts or motivations. Hopefully our ride today will be one of thankfulness and appreciation for His strength made perfect in our weakness—and that what we say and think will truly be how we live out our lives with each other. I do see in this community being built—as you do—an approach being made to create a friendly landing strip for all types of planes.