first snow

I like that they are naming winter storms now.

Our first real snow of the year came overnight, courtesy of Winter Storm Draco. It's only a dusting, but there is more here at the house than there was in Clyde. There were a few tiny snowflakes in the air for most of the night, but when I went out to get in my car I didn't need to brush it off. There was only a thin white line along the bottom edge of my car's rear window. I hoped, as I drove home, that there would be more at the higher elevations.

Tennessee got hit harder than we did, though, since we are on the leeward side of the Smoky Mountains. Strong weather tends to detour around us because of the high peaks.

The mountains were shrouded in falling snow this morning. I really love my morning drive home - the mountains look spectacular no matter the weather. It is especially nice when the sun is rising, illuminating the peaks before the sun is visible from the lowlands around the Pigeon River.

My drive (mostly) follows the Pigeon and the East Fork thereof. The East Fork of the Pigeon River is down in the valley below our house, and it joins with the West Fork to form the Pigeon about halfway between my house and job. Clyde is on the flats around the Pigeon. I do take a short cut between two mountains on the way to and from work, but other than that I'm following the river.

Water - creeks, rivers, ponds, lakes, oceans - is very important to me. Lisa felt the same way. On our last day of our visit to Florida last March, we went down to the park where we had our first date. It sits on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico. We both took off our shoes and walked in the water savoring the sensation of water on our feet and legs. Back in 1999 (if I recall correctly; it might have been in 1998) I went to Lake Ontario with my parents before I left for rehab. I took off my shoes and walked in the water.

Walking in the water is a different proposition here. All of the creeks and rivers are cold year-round. There are some lakes that warm up but I haven't been to any of them. Lisa finally got down to our creek a few months ago (no mean feat in her physical condition) and built a little rock dam (also impressive considering her bad back). She called water "the Mother's blood", referring to Mother Earth. Walking in water and swimming are both spiritual experiences for me.

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