Sunday, August 31, 2014

Awesome August 2014 - and it's a wrap!

A miscellany of items, many from Facebook over the past days, and a few last day of the month musings. Very stream of consciousness, so also a glimpse into how my brain does (or doesn't!) operate without much editing. 

The last week of this month has flown by. I knew I would have problems getting blog posts written, I am in the middle of a 5 day straight stretch at work ( Friday and Saturday combined I worked 20 hours.) I am not complaining - still so grateful for my job, and loving the people I am meeting and getting reacquainted with others I knew from my 4 year stint at Wal-Mart from 2002- 2006. Not just co-workers, customers as well.

One of the joys of rural life in the Appalachians of SW Va is the closeness of community. The person who inspects your car is the cousin of your hairdresser who is the high school friend of the mail carrier whose brother works at  the school where your neighbor's child is in first grade - that sort of thing.  The closeness of community is in great evidence this week (August  29 through September 6 I believe) of the annual Russell County Fair and Stock Show. The county residents turn out in droves, families and friends, co-workers and competitors, for a week of celebrating being who we are in this corner of the Old Dominion. I was told by a customer at the store last night that the fields were packed with cars and the mass of people milling about the rides, horse arena, exhibit halls and live performance stages was an awe-inspiring sight.

49 Winchester is a Southwest Virginia Folk Rock band fronted by the son of my dear friend, Debbie Necessary-Gibson. They were on stage last night. These boys are young, engaging, and so talented. Click on the link and check them out. Issac is so full of energy! I was not able to attend the show, but his mother reports they were very well received.

From Monday: 
Standing outside in the evening yesterday .. the sky a perfect blue baby blanket, scattered with cotton balls masquerading as clouds, fuzzy little circles waiting to be swept up and put back in their canister. Ah, the regret of turning and going back indoors, returning to the labors that pay my bills, when my soul longed to linger and watch the light fade from the sky, morphing to a dark dome littered with twinkling fairy lights.

I participated in a Positive Challenge on Facebook this week. Here are my posts, with my cumulative 15 things:

Day 1 of the "Positive Challenge" for me. Three things that I am thankful for:
1. The legacy of a love of reading from both of my parents.
2. Having had all 4 of my grandparents long enough to understand the resilient nature of my heritage. 
3. All of the tears and laughter (my own and those of loved ones) that have healed me when I thought I was broken beyond repair.

Day 2 of the "Positive Challenge" for me. Three things that I am thankful for:
1. My job at Cargo in Lebanon, Virginia. I had no income for 3 1/2 years, and the experience was not one I ever want to repeat.
2. Siblings. My sister Virginia Carol Hart and brothers Larry Smith, Steve Slade, Danny Slade, and Ed Smith. (and may my deceased brother Gary Smith ever be remembered)
3. My daughter Johnna and her husband CJ, but most of all the grandson that will arrive in November.

Day 3 of the "Positive Challenge" for me. Three things that I am thankful for:
1. Roger, my husband and friend, my mechanic and gardener, my confidant and protector, Meeting him healed me in innumerable ways, and he is the best person I know.
2. Having been able to meet people from so many diverse backgrounds in my life. 
3. Air conditioning. Sound odd? I lived in South Florida for a few summers without anything but a poorly functioning window unit -  believe me, AC is a blessing.

Day 4 of the "Positive Challenge" for me. Three things that I am thankful for:
1. Still having both the mental and physical stamina to work a job where I have to count money, be on my feet for 9 hours at a time, and deal with the public face to face.
2.  The honor of living in a rural setting, where wildlife is the norm and I can see the night sky without light pollution. Some people never see the stars.
3. Sweet Iced tea, my favorite beverage since I was a child. Hot tea to curl up with a book, or when I feel sickly, coffee to get me going in the morning, carbonated drinks on occasion, but sweet iced tea is what I truly drink most of the time.

Day 5 of the "Positive Challenge" for me. Three things that I am thankful for:
1.  Friends, and the kindnesses they show in myriad ways, I see and hear so much negative about Facebook, but the small community I have built for myself here has enabled me to maintain old friendships and foster new ones.
2.  My mother. She will be 82 in January, and I am aware every day what a gift and blessing it is that she is still living in the house we moved to in 1967. 
3. My incessant desire to write. Many words I form into poems and stories may never be read by others, but the process provides a catharsis and fulfills a soul-need that is as much a part of me as my ample build and love of chocolate. 
This brings an end to an interesting experiment. I have struggled with the three things each day, and life has thrown me a few curve balls in the process. Life is interesting. 

The challenges I mentioned on Day 5? The brakes went out on my car, and due to brake dust and road grime, it took Roger about 7 hours total, and retooling a hexhead bolt, to put on new pads. Thankfully, the rotors are not ruined. I drive across a ridge from our little acre to my job and the curvy mountain roads while very scenic are tough on vehicles, especially tires and brakes. And



The day after I listed AC as a blessing, the AC in the house
quit cooling

Roger tried, couldn't repair


Dale's in St. Paul once again came and performed HVAC sorcery, and though we are a bit lighter in the bank balance, we had the funds to cover the unexpected (again I am thankful for Gedie Cox and Cargo!) and we are once again in relative comfort. This is so funny in a not funny way because this week is the hottest we have had all Summer.

A thought I had, and posted at random on Facebook:

It is often just being there at that time that is our purpose - not to fix anything, not to exact revenge - just to be there, a shoulder to cry on or a person to laugh with, a hand to hold or an ear to listen.

Roger the Tall sits outside (weather permitting) everyday and flintknaps, feeds the outside cats, and watches nature in all of her beauty and complexity. He saw this occur this last week in August:

Roger saw an ant rappelling down from a poplar leaf using a spider's silk - it was a carpenter ant and he had killed the spider, had the spider in his jaws, and was using the spider's silk to go down to take food to his colony. Nature is incredible.He said it was like watching Army Rangers rappelling from a helicopter.

This is the final installment in my Awesome August 2014. 

Not sure what I will call September yet, I am thinking you will see more poetry next month, and hopefully more pictures of our little acre here on the creek. 

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