Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Elemental Force Day Two: the Power of Good Neighbors

Moonpie offered good morale

brand new roof

the end of the day saw smiles, Busch Lite and truffles

"Bubba" and T fixed the Airstream yesterday! I can't believe it. They sent me out to South Asheville for supplies: a 4x8 sheet of aluminum from All Aluminum, some rivets and some Lexel (well and beer and chicken scratch and such...) By the time I got back with the supplies they had fixed the ceiling (!?!) and were waiting for the shade to come over the top of the camper so it wouldn't be too hot to work. Then they attached and caulked the hell out of the new roof panel and it was done in time for night. I seriously couldn't believe it. And I am so lucky to know such nice giving people. Thanks to everyone who called me and offered to help and offered me to stayed at their places. And thanks to my mom and dad who always take me in when stuff like this happens. I am getting sappy but I don't care. It's lucky I am alive and still have my home.

Elemental Force: Day One

Two mornings ago at 4:00, a large tulip poplar fell on my Airstream right over the bed where I was sleeping. This tree had been leaning and looking like it wanted to come down, so I had someone scheduled to come take it down on Tuesday (yesterday), which ended up being a day too late. With a rotten base and its rotten roots being water logged with so much recent rain (it was standing in the bank of a newly formed branch of the creek), it just couldn't stand up any more. Three things saved my life: a slow fall rather than a quick snap, some hemlock branches that sort of caught the top, and a big ass ugly ass disfunctional AC unit on top of the camper that caught the blow. I woke up when the tree hit and got out of there immediately, chanting my frantic mantra "I'm Ok, I'm Ok, I'm Ok." Then I got on the ground and wept in the cold dark, thankful for my life and freaked plum out. I went down to S and T's because I needed to go somewhere and I was in hysterics. I didn't want to wake them up, so I went into "the hut" (S's studio where I lived for a year) and freaked out for a while. Then I had the idea that I needed to go back and unplug the camper so there wouldn't be a fire or something- water was dripping in the caved in ceiling as I left it. I went outside and started my truck up to drive back up to my place, and apparently the starting engine woke S and T up and they thought someone was stealing one of their cars. S ran out to get the "robber." I saw her and got out. I was too freaked out to say anything for a minute, and it was dark and she didn't have her glasses so she didn't know it was me. She hollered out "Hello- Who is it!" Luckily she didn't have one of T's guns with her. I finally said "Hey" and she was like "Dana??? What are you doing here?" I told her what had happened and T came outside. They told me to get inside where it was warm so I did (after I unplugged the camper). We all sat around being quiet other than me kind of freaking out, and waited for the sun to come up.
At daybreak,after I dosed off for a few minutes and then woke up to a delicious omlet served to be by S, I went up to the camper to see it in daylight. I called Brian Newsome of Preserving Our Trees, and he came right away. S came up and we went ahead and had a toast of gardenia mead and honeysuckle truffles to calm the spirits and honor the forces of nature. RM came down and we waited for Brian. I was pretty shaken up from the close call on my life and the fact that I thought the camper was ruined.
Well Brian came down and cut the tree off that camper with such grace and efficiency RM and I were just standing there in awe. (It is awesome to watch someone do what they do well.) Fred, another neighbor, came down with his tractor to help lift the heaviest part of the tree off so Brian could cut it off without further damage to the Airstream. Once the tree was off, Brian could see from the top that the shell of the camper had someone avoided being smushed. Only the huge AC unit had bee smashed down into the camper and caused the ceiling panels to cave in. He thought it could be fixed and he wouldn't accept a penny from me. Oh, and the tree was covered with poison ivy that Brian ripped off and carried away by the armload...
MH and my Mom and RG came down from Hot Springs and brought food and moral support. At one point my mom said, " Dana, where's your whiskey because I think you should be drinking it right now." That was a good idea.
In the evening the neighbors convened and we marveled at the elemental forces and "T" and "Bubba" (his internet stage name) formulated a plan to take off of work and help fix the camper.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mid May

"RM" at Moonmeadow Blog (See link) inspired me to do a general update. I don't have any specific stories to write right now. I seem to be busy as hell, what with working, making life decisions, foraging for herbs and wild food, socializing, and now- container gardening (something I always thought was stupid until about 4 days ago...) The Airstream is pleasant in the spring- the little tucked away meadow I am in is getting nice light, and the branch is flowing strong. It's actually very very lovely. If you know me and you're reading this and you know I like you, come by for a visit. Gardening work is very busy this time of year, but it's very lovely as well. There has been an osprey loitering around the Laurel River, and I frequently see it fishing or just flying around for fun when I am going to work in the morning. My sister is well. We're going to Nashville next week for a mini road trip with Mom and Dad. That's the news for now. I feel like I just wrote a form letter. Dana

Friday, May 1, 2009

Birthday season

So this week's birthday season was a big one. My baby sister turned 30 yesterday! I am so so so happy that she made it to 30 and is happy and healthy. I wish her many more good years to come. We had a birthday bash last weekend at her house. Friends came from far and wide to celebrate. Jenna requested a chocolate cherry jubilee cake, which I think she made up in her brilliant mind. I combined a black forest cake with a cherries jubilee idea with my mom's moist chocolate cake recipe with the need for cream cheese to be involved and threw in an extra splash or 2 of Kirsh (cherry liquor) and the result was a delicious moist and cherry filled cream cheesy delight that is destined to become part of my cake makind repertiore. The weather at the party was hot and windy, and we all hung out in the way back part of Jenna's yard, where no one ever hands out and so it felt like we were somewhere else when really we were at home... Julie made a Dirty 30 Word Find, which was a hit, and everyone tossed birthday wishes in the form of pennies into Jenna's pond. The whole thing was great.

The next day was my birthday and the weather was perfect. First Mom fixed me a giantoid breakfast of wild ramps and potatoes, wild ramps and eggs and chocolate chip pancakes. It was delicious and fortifying. Then her cat caught an unsuspecting pine siskin (bird) while it ate seeds from a bird feeder. I took it from the cat's mouth and it flew but then the cat caught it again. I took it from his mouth again and secured it in a box in a quiet safe place with some water and seeds. I thought it would recover and I decided I was a good wild animal rehabilitator. I went for a 6 hour hike which included a nap, a dip in a pool at the bottom of a waterfall, some wild food snacking and many many beautiful spring wildflowers.

gaywings! (polygala)

I came back from the hike tired and hungry and the bird was dead. I still think I am a good wild animal rehabilitator... In the evening, SM and I went to Longnecks for a weird dinner that included Sierra Mist (with whiskey snuck in from the flask) and some slaw that someone clearly spilled salt into. I hit the pillow hard and slept like a rock.
Last night was Jenna's real birthday. We all went to Salsa's, where we ate things like Jerk Tofu Empanadas, and strange overly garlicky concoctions. I spilled a very large mojito into my lap and before I even cleaned it up Dad had secured me another. We had a great time and then ended the evening with ice cream sundaes and brownies at the Hop. It was a lot of fun and Jenna was happy. Here's to my sis!