Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Weather

I started rolling my eyes on Thursday when reported 1-3 inches of snow on Friday and locals were inflating the numbers to 8-10. People here are forever exaggerating the predictions. (Granted, they don't have the first clue how to drive on snow either. My husband and I are frequently appalled at folks who ride their brakes the whole way down a twisty mountain road so they're sure to go slow -- therefore are more safe.)
There wasn't a flake on the ground anywhere when I got the automated message from the Superintendent of Schools announcing an early release from school on Friday because of forecasted snow. Mind you, I grew up in the snow-belt southeast of Lake Michigan where school wasn't called off unless there were 8 inches of accumulation between 3am and 6am and the plows simply couldn't catch up before the buses had to run.
And here they were, calling an early release almost 16 hours before the first predicted flake. Not only that, Friday was a 1/2 day to begin with... which meant the kids would be in school from 8am to 10am. Ridiculous. But true to form, they cancelled school on Friday morning. (Or maybe it was just a 2-hour delay.)
However, it did start snowing and didn't stop for the next 24 hours.
By Friday afternoon, I'd shoveled a few inches off the drive and salted it so the good Dr. could make it up when he got home. We lost power for a few hours on Friday night, but we just snuggled under some blankets next to our gas logs and read Harry Potter. And it came back on before I went to bed. (Some around here didn't have power for 48 hours.)
By Friday night, snow was heavy on all the branches. There wasn't a bit of wind to blow it off -- it just came straight down--kept coming down.
Saturday Morning was a winter wonderland. The limbs of my Japanese Dogwood were all bent to the ground--a predicament it couldn't seem to get itself out of, so I rescued it by banging the limbs with a broom stick and watching them spring back up. Yes, the avalanche of snow inevitably fell on me.
The overnight accumulation also meant we had a lot of shoveling if we ever wanted to leave our place. We estimated that there were about 12 inches on the drive.
Really, it's not Darth Maul under that hood, he's just sporting his new black ski-mask. Regardless of his acts of kindness, the kids were calling him "Arch Enemy" and pummeling him with snowballs from the fort we built for them. Sometimes the orchestrated simultaneous attacks from opposite sides, but they never came out the victors.
It took us about 2.5 hours (with the two of us) to shovel the drive on Saturday. (Myself spending more time on the fort and picture taking, though.) But then I shoveled another 3-4 inches off the whole thing by myself on Sunday. (Even my toes are sore from clenching them to keep from slipping on the slushy slope. Not to mention my back and glutes.)
All told, most of my neighbors and friends are estimating around 22 inches... and I'd say I fully agree with about 18 of those. Regardless, it is unquestionably the largest snow we've had in the seven winters I've lived here. So I'll try to keep my eye-rolling in check next time.

Football Update

It's hardly an update... being so late, but the MHHS football lost the state game. All reports were that they played their best, though. It's one thing when you know you didn't play up to your potential, and I think it's another thing entirely when you play your best and the opponent simply plays better.

Congrats to the coaches and team, though. Y'all have really given Yancey County a boost of pride.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Mountain Heritage Football -- State Game

There is nothing like a small high school making it to the State Championship to make a community go crazy. Frankly, I think it's great! For one, it's given our little Appalachian town an infusion of pride. The kids and I are even planning to wear green and black today--as, I'm sure, everyone is. There are signs all over town, balloons, people with their faces painted... And school has even been cancelled so that everyone can make it down to the game. Local shops and restaurant are closing too.
Monkey Business Toy Shop supports the Mountain Heritage football team with a sign in front of their shop in downtown Burnsville.
photos by John Fletcher of the Asheville Citizen-Times
read their article here
(FYI, that long gradual hill behind the credit union is the end of the 5K I ran)
The team plays tonight in Chapel Hill. I won't be there, but you can be sure I'll be following updates. Mountain Heritage High School has never won a State Championship in any sport in the history of the school. Seems like it'd be an excellent time to change that!
As an aside: I would have to agree with the woman on FB who commented, it's been great to see so much excitement about middle-aged women.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

God willing and the creeks don't rise

But the creeks do rise. From the house or the car, noting that water is up four feet from normal is a mathematical calculation. It is another thing entirely to watch it seethe, only feet away from its brown currents as I wait for the school bus: It roars, leaving the grass flattened as evidence of its volume. Occasionally a dark limb will show itself among the opaque ripples to be sucked into obscurity again. What else might lurk there is an unspoken threat.
We have a new railroad tie on our bank.
Winter rains are a different beast: with nothing growing to drink the water and the ground already saturated with a week of drizzly days, 16 hours of steady rain just ran down slopes, filled ditches, funneled into branches, poured into creeks... and I can't imagine what the Toe River looks like.
It is a temporary terror this time, though.
They are already falling again, the creeks, sweeping the topsoil and stray twigs to new locales. And this morning a rare sun burned off the mists and reflected in a thousand puddles, brighter for all the darkened earth and wet trees.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas Wanting

In the backlash of finding my Christmas present early, (a not-very-well-hidden vacuum cleaner), I have reverted to childhood wishing. The wanting of things you don't need, might never use, or play with--just wanting to want. I could write a list on a roll of cash-register paper.
From qacreate's etsy shop, these are my current favorites:
Number 8 - Typewriter Key Charm Pendant and Necklace - Black or White Available
Initial Letter B Antique Typewriter Oak Leaf Ring - Black or White Keys - Fully Adjustable
Tell me these aren't cool! They're made from old typewriter keys. I love, love, love them!