Thursday, August 28, 2008

Post Rain

I read today in the paper that Hot Springs got 2.35 inches of rain this week, and Mount Mitchell got 9 and something inches. It has been such a delight to watch people come back to life with the coming of so much water. It was like people's spirits were getting sucked dry this month as it got drier and drier. It is indescribably lovely to see water in the river again, and to see the plants standing up green and perky. My favorite part of the rain was watching Spring Creek rise. On Tuesday night the water was rushing around the series of cairns that was built on the edge of the little island in the creek behind mom and dad's house. By Wednesday morning the cairns were all knocked over and all the plants on the island were smashed down- I guess the water got pretty high during the night. I loved that those cairns got knocked over. It symbolized the end of a very dry spell.

On a personal note, the Airstream is moved down into the holler, and as of this evening there is electricity wired to it. Tomorrow I move in. Pictures soon- stay tuned.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Morning Notes

Life is good. I have poison ivy on the palm of my hand, a personal first. Yesterday I watched an osprey fly under the Hot Springs bridge with a fresh catch and perch in a tree to feast on something that looked like it had intestines. It was beautiful. The moon rose full and orange over Lover's Leap last night. Does anyone know the name of this moon? Soon I will move the Airstream down by the barn of the old home of Eleanor (Shorty) and Starling Gentry. It is beautiful there, and I will have electricity via a temporary power pole. The lightning bugs are all but gone for the year, and the river is the lowest it's ever been on record. But from Lover's Leap yesterday, the mountains and the valley were still a lush fertile green. We are lucky to stay green even in a drought.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ode to the Dirty Hoe

My last day as an employee of The Dirty Hoe was Thursday. Here is a brief cyber-tribute to those Hoes...good times, hard work, great people. I'll just "go ahead and" post a few pictures. I'll miss ya'll.

Outhouse update

Rest easy, doubters. The hole was dug with success. There were no signs of fecal matter, or any other form of nastiness. The dirt was easy to dig other than the weirdness of the angle (digging under the partly tipped over structure). You are all welcome to come poop in it.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Last Sunday, friends and neighbors gathered for a celebration of the beginning of the harvest season. Everyone brought food from their gardens or something else that represented a harvest. SG and I constructed a small raft out of bamboo out by the creek. The day was beautiful. People arrived at 6:00, and we ate potluck snacks from people's gardens. We drank a mystery mead that I made but didn't label back in the days of the garage apartment. As it got closer to dark, everyone placed their garden offerings on the raft, and we commenced a walking pilgrimage to the French Broad River. SM chanted in her mysterious dialect, and tossed a rainbow of brightly colored flowers on the bearers of the raft and in the road. At dusk, 5 of us waded out to the middle of the river and set off the raft, with the garden offerings and lit candles, in a gesture of gratitude for food and water. We floated down with it a ways, soaking in the glory of the feel of the warm current, the sound of the late summer crickets, and the sight of the tiniest cresent of a moon on the horizon. It was a most beautiful occurence, one to be repeated many times again if I have anything to do with it...

The tipping of the outhouse

I am getting very close to being about to haul and park the Airstream on the land- in the holler of Starling Gentry Road, Chapel Hill (Shelton Laurel), NC. Yesterday I went down there to start working on an outhouse for myself. The land is the old homeplace of Shorty and Starling Gentry, a couple who have both passed over, but who remain very well loved and fondly remembered. Their old house is still (barely) standing, and there are several outbuildings which are in decent condition- a barn, a corn crib, a woodshed, and, guess what- an outhouse! I cleared a path up to the old outhouse, which was leaning slightly, but still fairly solid. Over the years, soil had washed down the mountain and piled around the door- blocking the entrance, so I had to dig that out a little. When I was able to get in, I found to my delight a most palitable set up- a 2 seater in good condition. The only thing was that there were no holes under either seat. So I decided that I needed to tip the whole thing over and dig new holes. After all, it hasn't been shat in for over 30 years, so it can't be that nasty under there. This way, I won't have to build a whole new outhouse or even move the old one. Enjoy the pictures of us tipping the outhouse over and then S trying to remove all of the splinters I got in the process... Today I am going to dig the holes. Look for an update soon.