06 December 2015

On this day in 2008

Miss Lily and Mr. Fuzzy awoke on this day in 2008 to their first sunrise on Stratheden Farm. Miss Lily feasted on a can of especially odoriferous cat food for breakfast; Mr. Fuzzy had to go into town to the Blue Ridge Cafe since everything was still loaded in the back of the Penske moving truck sitting in the driveway.

But first priority, of course, just after crawling out of the sleeping bag, was to fix a cup of steaming hot tea (yes, a pan and tea cup had been packed in his luggage). Just one problem: the pilot light on the stove wouldn't remain lit long enough to ignite the burner. OK, bundle up and out to check the propane tank in 18F wind... well, that came as a revelation: the propane tank gauge was sitting on zero - with a blizzard and 0F night in the forecast. The sellers had run the tank to completely empty before moving out.

About midday brought a return trip to scenic, bustling downtown Floyd for some small items at The Farmers Supply hardware store at the stoplight. Screws, sand paper, a few more little things. At the cash register I reached into my pocket for a wallet and realized it was laying on the kitchen counter at Stratheden. Monte looked at me and said. "no problem, pay me when you're in town next time." He'd never seen me before. This was the first hint of how different a place Floyd is from mainstream America.

Then stepping out of the hardware store, the next move was to find a good position to observe the Christmas parade which was minutes away from starting. Ah, on a 26F day with blustery winds and nothing but a blue jean jacket & sweater for warmth (the parka was still somewhere in the cave of the Penske truck) a spot in the sun seemed a good idea. A village this small couldn't have much of a parade, right? It shouldn't take 15 minutes then back home to thaw out. Forty-five minutes later, the tail end of the float procession was in sight at last. Mr. Fuzzy had frozen in place.

That evening was the old "Dickens of a Christmas" celebrated in downtown Floyd and at the Jacksonville Art Center. Don George told me the first joke I heard about Floyd, I enjoyed the caroling and cookies, but without a decent coat, it was cold... off to the only restaurant people said would be open: The venerable Pine Tavern, wherein my first draught was consumed and my first good friend here, David, introduced himself [we marked that anniversary tonight by having another draught].

Night brought the swirling winds of an invading arctic cold front. Mr. Fuzzy had a bright little blaze burning in the fireplace, sitting on boxes of household goods, wearing several shirts, multiple sets of socks and The Sweater, sleeping bag draped across the lap with Lily under the bag, just her head emerging for oxygen. What a pair that night.

Its been a wonderful life here. A few road bumps but no interesting path is smooth. Thanks to you, dear readers, for remaining with the blog for more than 600 posts and seven years.

Lily (at center top) has to share the bed these days

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