Thursday, August 9, 2012

Is This Thing On? Anyone Still There?

Hello? I will understand if you have given up on me.

Shortly after my last post, our area was hit hard by a derecho - an unannounced wind storm of unbelievable destruction. We were huddled in the basement with our three dogs for two and a half hours while things cracked and wailed outside in the pitch dark. No power for six days. A vacation up to NY was cancelled because the trains weren't running. We moved into my parents' seasonal place for the week - in The Big City of Charlottesville - and enjoyed the pool and . . . take out. The damage this storm brought to our beautiful part of the world kind of killed me and it was hard to come home and drive the country roads to see wires tangled in huge old trees - torn out by their roots, the tops of our beloved tulip poplars sheared off, and hear the constant drone of either generators or chainsaws.

And, the gardens. Oh, the gardens. The derecho dealt them a heartless blow, followed by insane, searing heat. For us country folk, when you lose power, you lose water - so things became crackly and singed right quick. But, miraculously, almost a month after the big storm, we had rain and cooler days and the gardens bounced back. And THAT is what keeps me at it. The garden's resiliency - a reminder to stay positive and keep it together. Zinnias are everywhere - as I had hoped. And blue morning glories are climbing up to Willa's second floor balcony. And the fig tree is about a third of the way up the house.

We have also welcomed two very mischievous barn kittens into our lives - Poe (camera shy) and Sulky (pictured). For those keeping track, this brings the furry creature count to five. Their favorite spot to hang out is, surprisingly, on the porch - with the dogs. They hissed their way into alpha animal status - even though they are puffs of fur weighing less than a pound. {An interesting aside: I almost fell off my chair just this morning when Willa announced that she wanted a pet. "Like a bunny." (?!)}

And there has been peach picking and just a ton of swimming. And ice cream making. And Olympics watching. Life is happening. So, I would say we are bouncing back and happily anticipating what lies ahead.

Fun things:

This quiet gem from Mumford and Sons.

Listen to the new Grizzly Bear single.

How to do the Simple Gibson Tuck.

I am listening to James Joyce's The Dubliners on CD. The readers include Frank McCourt, Colm Meaney, Stephen Rea and other Irish luminaries, artists, authors, actors. Hearing the different lilts in their Irish accents give me small but happy moments that remind me so much of my Grandma and Grandpa. If one story especially resonates, I re-listen to it - as a comfort and for remembrance.

We are preparing to make elderberry syrup this year. 

I want this Brooklyn Tin Tiles wallpaper somewhere in my house.

I am hoping to go see 'Moonrise Kingdom' over the weekend with my brother and eat here.


Deb said...

Hi! Just checked in out of the blue today and saw you've updated - good timing! :) Actually, I bookmarked your blog a year or more ago and check in every now and then. We're over the mountain from you and made it through the huge windstorm, too. Thankfully, our power was only out for 16 hours, but my husband who works for the power company was working for days and days!

My daughter vegetable gardens, and I flower garden. About this time of the season I'm about ready for fall but still enjoy the time outside among the flowers. I enjoy your photos and what's going on over in Charlottesville. We lived there for a few months back in '90 awaiting a home being built in Afton. We've been over in Staunton for 10 years now but occasionally make a trek over your way.

I enjoyed my visit here today!

Rohrerbot said...

Those kinds of storms are the best....but your shot of the kitty is truly cute:) Sounds like it was a pretty traumatic experience but glad everythign is getting back to normal. We get them here in Tucson during this time of year.....nasty business:)

Heiress Emma said...

I've missed you, Tracey! I'm sad to hear of the reason for your absence. Those kinds of storms simply don't happen here (our weather extremes tend to be fire and floods) and to hear of the damage caused is just heartbreaking.

But it makes me happy to see your resilience and to hear of future plans and a thriving garden.

I love zinnias. Glad to hear from you.

Les said...

Yes it is still on, and I believe I see Sherando Lake coming through. I am so sorry about the storm. I didn't know it was that bad up there and thought it was more confined to DC suburbia. We were spared here.

Tracey said...

Oh, wow. Thank you, *each* of you, for your comments.

{And for being faithful readers!}

More soon, I promise!

curious girl (lisa) said...

oh so glad you're back! i felt the same way about the derecho. it kind of demolished me too, at a time when i thought i had just finished the hard work and was due some rest and comfort. the derecho and the days after took me further down. in retrospect, it was a place i needed to go. i hope there will be zinnias and fierce kittens as results :).

very curious about the elderberry syrup, please post an update.

glad you're back and things look beautiful there.


Tracey said...


I always love hearing from you - will let you know about the elderberry syrup. {We went for a hike yesterday and I thought of you and your adventures.}

xoxoxo T

Anonymous said...

Pork belly from Brookville is amazing - hope you enjoyed eating there!