24 April, 2019

True Confession


True Confession

Okay, here it comes. Real dirt. On July 27, 2018, I stepped out on my Husband John. I feel no remorse or guilt.He had been warned, and even invited to join me for my heavenly encounter.

Fact is, I had hoped to make a "polite orgy" of things. Minus the debauchery, of course. The time had been prearranged, and because my date has such a structured calendar, could not be changed for my convenience.

Wanting to share in my ecstasy, the emotion not the drug, a mock invitation was run up the flagpole. To be held at Hamilton Gardens at Lake Chatuge, hot beverages, a nibble or two, and activities for a dark summer night were planned. The mock invite was nixed.

Though disappointed, I remained undaunted. Fifteen minutes before the appointed 2 a.m. tryst, I eased out of my bed as silently as possible and made my way to The Elixir of Life making machine.

Outside dew had fallen and the chairs on the deck were wet. A thick, folded towel took care of that. I lit a softly scented candle for the fragrance. No additional light was needed because the moon was at its radiant best. The stars often clustered around the moon, were timid and gave a wide berth. They seemed to sense that they shouldn't try to compete. With my hands wrapped around a mug of steaming coffee I spied him. Mars, my date, the fourth planet from the sun. His orbit path was swinging near Earth, something it does every 17 years or so. Named for the Roman god of war and sometimes called The Angry Red Planet, my visitor wasn't the least bit menacing. He was a charmer. His larger than stars size and his orange tinge won my heart.

What I had hoped to share with husband and friends turned out perfectly without them. I know I am not the only person in the world and am nothing special, but when Mars caught my gaze and held it, I was. He was there just for me. My date and I vowed to meet again in 2035. He'll be there for sure. I'll try my best.

The annual Perseid Meteor Shower (August 10 - 13, with the best days August 12 and 13) wll benefit from darker-than-usual sky, due to a tiny crescent moon. It should be prime shooting star viewing conditions. I'd love to share my stars with you. Of course it will be early, early morning, but The Big Sleep is coming soon enough.

John, I'll never leave you for a mere mortal (like there's a chance), but watch out for those kids of Zeus and Hera.

Dale

04 April, 2019

Scared Tickless


Way back in 1954 when The Creature from the Black Lagoon was released, my entire family piled into Kelvin, the 1951 Studebaker, our only car, and away we went to the movie theater.

The dripping reptilian-looking being that climbed onto the land to terrorize the countryside put my mother to sleep. Thinking back, the movie house was dark and cool (we had no air conditioning at home), and it was the first time she'd been able to sit for more than 20 minutes all day. My father, just a tall boy that shaved, loved watching the wet peril. My sister ate Raisinettes and planned her wardrobe for the upcoming week - always the princess.

Filmed in black and white, and as fake looking as Tammy Faye's eyelashes, that Lagoon Dude is laughable today. On that evening long ago he traumatized me. Later at home in our twin beds my sister dreamed of spotlessly polished Saddle Oxfords and I waited, wide awake, for that death-is-coming-for-me night to be over.

Fast forward several decades to my having seen and lived to tell about it - movies in which bats were dapper dressers speaking proper grammar in fancy British accents and all sorts of dead things returning with ravenous appetites. I hardly flinched.

The tick, tick, ticking of the clock in a dark and otherwise silent house doesn't bother me at all. Did I just say that ticks don't bother me? What a whopper. With warmer and hotter weather finally due for Spring and Summer, blood-sucking, disease spreading, disgusting arachnid relatives (ticks) will be making their appearances in all the contiguous United States of America and Hawaii. These terrorists are bearers of maladies known, and still being discovered.

I'm not ashamed to say that ticks scare me. Staying inside is not an option (for me). Insect repellents are strongly recommended by the CDC. Head coverings are too.

In trying to keep this from sounding like a sermon, it may seem I'm making light of a serious issue. Not so. People who have contracted Lyme's Disease from tick bites suffer long term - some for a lifetime. Protect yourself, your kids, and your pets.

We'll see you in the mountains.

Dale

11 February, 2019

Appalachian Roots



My maternal grandmother, a bright, beautiful Cherokee/English woman, was born in Dahlonega, Georgia in the mid-eighteen hundreds. In a region isolated by a wild and glorious terrain, natives and tenacious immigrants coaxed sustenance from rock. Deer, wild turkeys, and other critters supplied protein needed in diets necessary for hard work. Streams and rivers provided cold, clean water and additional protein of fish, frogs and turtles.

Hot and cool weather crops were eaten fresh in season and "put away" for tough winters. Initiatives to bring electricity to Southern Appalachia did not begin until the 1930's. Life sustaining meats and produce had to be canned, cured, or dried. No easy tasks. The multi-cultural settlers quickly adapted the beloved recipes from their motherland to their new homeland. Where different flora and fauna flourished and familiar ones did not exist, resourcefulness became an important commodity.

John and I consider our Southern Appalachian Cuisine breakfasts, served the third Wednesday of the month, an honoring of the past and an embracing of the future. Although all or part of the meals will be borrowed from Appalachian recipes, like Frank Sinatra, we'll do it our way.

Dale