Blog, father, Fear, growing up country, rainy day

Storm Memories

Day 327

Yesterday we drove through a few ugly storm cells. Then when the storm moved, the dark clouds continued to linger above the highway. Seeing the clouds reminded me of my years growing up in the little valley we called home.

Growing up there gave us a lot of freedom. I had very little fear. I was not necessarily fearful of poisonous snakes, but I was aware and taught how to protect myself from them. Most every house could be found with the front doors open with a screen door to allow the mountain breezes to move through and provide a much appreciated breeze. I remember being afraid when my father went out as part of the volunteer fire crew to fight forest fires. And once or twice, we would hear of someone breaking into an isolated cabin ‘up on the mountain’ but it was a rare occurrence.

Weather was no different. We had plenty of thunderstorms with lightening, but I never feared the thunder or the lightening. We knew how to determine the distance of a storm by counting the number of seconds between seeing lightening and hearing a clap of thunder. All of the older two story houses were equipped with lightening rods with decorative glass balls on two ends of the roof structure. The lightening rods are connected to a grounding rod buried in the ground. The glass balls served a purpose as well. The theory was that if the rod was struck by lightening, the glass ball would shatter letting the owner know it was time to check for potential damage.

While we had thunderstorms, more often than not, we had rainstorms. Just saturating downpours which nourished the gardens and fed the creeks. This was the non-destructive rain that everyone hoped for.

Our home was nestled in a valley surrounded by four mountain peaks. If you were attentive you could see sheets of rain move across the mountains toward our little valley. As kids, we swam in the creek. We had three ‘swimming holes’ but the most popular was the one we referred to as The Millpond.

During the summer we spent most of our time swimming and sitting on a towel spread along the rocky creek bank. This is where almost everyone learned to swim, me included. I remember the older teenagers applying a combination of baby oil and iodine on their bodies in an attempt to get a tan. Yikes!

When we could see rain clouds and the leaves turn upside down, everyone headed home. The Millpond was in the holler which meant the trip to our house was along the road, across the bridge and on home in a u-shaped path. The closer the sheets of rain were, the faster we moved until we were in a full run. This became what we referred to as trying to outrun the rain. We seldom made it home without getting drenched in the cold summer rain. Such a great memory.

Later in life, I went home to visit. In this valley, almost everyone walked everywhere. I was alone, visiting before going to a training class in D.C. for my job. I started out on a walk one afternoon. As I stepped off of my father’s porch, he said “It looks like it might rain.” I nodded and continued on my way. I missed that freedom and wanted to take advantage of walking while I had the chance.

I was about 30 minutes into my walk when the rain came up behind me. First, a few heavy drops, widely separated. Then more drops until a solid sheet of rain was upon me. I was soaked. Then, I did as I had often done as a child, I stepped onto the covered porch of a house no longer occupied to wait out the rain.

Within minutes, I saw my father’s car driving down the road. He saw me on the porch, pulled up and motioned for me to come to the car. As he had tried to do so many times in my life, he came to my rescue.

Such a bittersweet but beautiful memory.

birds, Blog, rainy day

More Rainy Days

Day 257

Today we entered into what will be a long week of rain. Too much rain, unfortunately. It will be hard on the garden because we are predicted to receive between 5 and 8 inches of rain. Today we have already received 2.81 inches today.

Last year we had some horrible rainstorms and flooding. Unfortunately, we also had some loss of life. Our home is on a bit of a hill, so most of the water runs off. Most of the land surrounding our house has a good bit of trees and vegetation which helps prevent any erosion.

The prediction for the worst rains is supposed to be along the Blue Ridge Escarpment. The Escarpment is the line where the mountains are reduced to foothills. It is full of waterfalls and deep drop-offs. Since I do not understand it very well, here’s an educational video about the geology of the Blue Ridge Escarpment:

For now, the rain has held off but it will pick up again tomorrow and continue for several days. I am hoping the rain is less than what has been predicted and there will not be any damage or loss of life. The threat of mudslides is always looming when we get saturating rain that lingers for days.

In the breaks between the weather today, the squirrels, chipmunks, and birds were very active around the feeders. We always have an abundance of birds at the feeders when it rains which is the opposite of what I would have thought.

 

I managed to catch a little activity on some video loops which didn’t loop. I guess I need to download that app and update these tomorrow. Bear with me for now.

This weekend I am off to spend a week with my daughter-in-law and grandchildren while my son goes out of town on business. I’ll be blogging, but I would imagine they will be short and sweet, just like my loops above. Have a good weekend and a good upcoming week.

 

Blog, rainy day, windy

Lazy Sunday

Day 179

The Morning View Down My Driveway – Azaleas and Dogwoods in Bloom

The rain woke me at 3:00 a.m. and again at 5:15 a.m. I could not go back to sleep so I was in a quandary about how to spend my unexpected early morning hours. I decided to meditate. Unlike prior mornings there was a lot going on in my head. It was all quite clear to me this morning, but now I cannot recall much except I think it was an exercise in learning to forgive myself.

I am always so calm when I meditate. I am finally reaching that sleep-like but not sleeping state. It is peaceful there even if the things my mind presents to me are sometimes chaotic. There was a time in my life when these thoughts might have been painful, but now they are just thoughts. Byron Katie would say perhaps I am learning to love what is.

It was a windy, rainy, and rather cool morning. I decided to forgo my walk and instead spent the day catching up on MasterClass. I finished Judy Blume’s class and started Neil Gaiman’s class.

Judy Blume strikes me as a very compassionate and feeling person. It was nice to learn she and her husband run a bookstore in Key West. It would be fun to visit — sure wish I had known that when I lived in Florida.

Her discussion on censorship was interesting. A few of her books were banned from public schools through the years. I appreciated how much time she spent on what happens after you decide the book is finished. It was very enlightening.

Her demeanor was quite a contrast to Margaret Atwood. I got the sense Margaret Atwood was a determined feminist. This is what I love about the MasterClass series – such diverse writers.

I decided to take an afternoon nap which is rare for me. It always leaves me a little disoriented when I only sleep for an hour or so. I like long naps, but that was not meant to be — not today anyway.

I had a quick video chat with my granddaughter which consisted of me watching her walk around the patio eating frozen yogurt. You never know what you will get with little ones.

Now, a quick reheat of some leftovers and then it will be time to bring some plants inside — we have a freeze warning tonight.

Blog, flowers, Love, nostalgia, rainy day

Random Thoughts on a Sunday

Day 136

It’s late and I decided to just throw out some random thoughts for tonight.

Flowers

I just spoke with some friends about our favorite flowers. Mine is an iris. Flowers bring up a lot of thoughts for me:

  • I always prefer natural planted flowers above cut arrangements.
  • My mother’s favorite flowers were portulaca, bleeding heart, and lilacs.
  • I like orchids and pansies because they look like they contain faces or figures.
  • I miss the yellow tab trees in Florida when all the flowers fall to the ground.

Rainy Days

It’s pouring rain right now. Some random thoughts about rain:

  • I love to walk in a spring drizzle of rain.
  • I love the sound of rain when I sleep.
  • I do not like threatening rain.
  • I remember my grandfather teaching me that when the leaves turned upside down it meant it was going to rain.

Love

I’ve been thinking a lot about love since Valentine’s Day. Some random thoughts:

  • I do not understand why it is so hard to love one another.
  • One should never be fearful of love.
  • Sometimes a bouquet of flowers doesn’t necessarily symbolize love.
  • As children, we used to break milkweed and if it grew back our love was true.

Nostalgic Items

The memory of some things make me smile every time I think of them:

  • Gum wrapper chains
  • Dotted Swiss
  • Marionette shows
  • The TV show Where the Action Is

Dreams

I love thinking back on the things I wanted to be when I grew up:

  • A Breck girl
  • An elevator operator (I thought this was the MOST glamorous job ever!)
  • A diamond cutter
  • An archaeologist

Tomorrow is my sister’s birthday. I want to be happy about the day and not sad.

Blog, jewelry, joy, rainy day

A Day of Simple Joy

Day 100

I just love days that are relaxing with little or no stresses–a day when you can let your hair down a little.

We have been expecting a storm according to the weather forecast. The predictions have gone from snow to rain to sleet to ice to heavy snow. When you get a forecast like that, it’s best to plan to stay home and let things just happen as they will. That’s just what we did today.

Last night, hubby made a huge pot of vegetable beef soup and I made a pone of cornbread. Tonight it was leftovers which were nice because that freed up the day for both of us. We managed to get our walk in before the rain started so we kicked the day off on a positive note.

I was overjoyed to receive pictures and videos of our 17-month-old granddaughter’s first visit to Disney World. She was quite enthralled with the characters–especially Tigger! What a joy to watch her experience all this joy for the first time.

img_7924 3A couple of days ago, I mailed a pendant I made to my cousin. She had seen it on Facebook and I wanted her to see it before she decided it was something she wanted. The pendant is sterling silver with a labradorite stone that I cut myself. Today I received a lovely note from her telling me how much it meant to her and how much she loved it. That made me feel great. I’m so glad she loved it.

I am making a couple of beaded pieces, so I hauled all my beading supplies into the living room from the storage area. My rolling case and the contents were SO cold I decided they needed a day to warm up before I start working. These are heartfelt pieces so I am anxious to get started on them.

Later in the afternoon, I decided to take in a show on Netflix that our daughter mentioned (she may be trying to tell us something). It’s a show on organizing your living environment–Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. She is well known for the book she wrote:  The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

We watched a couple of episodes and now I am anxious to go re-fold all our t-shirts and put them in drawers. My only worry is that we are both tall, so I’m not sure how well this will work for us! She is very joyful and calm. Here’s a peek of her folding method:

Now I am ready to get some rest. It has been raining for hours and I am doubtful we will get any snow but perhaps a trace of ice. Tomorrow will be another good day to stay home. Might be a day for drinking coffee and reading a good book.

I hope your day was filled with joy as well