Chaos and Light: image by my daughter in South Dakota

Well this should be interesting: Mike, my college room mate (my freshman and sophomore year at Auburn) and his wife (who I had finally forgiven for busting up that comfortable arrangement a year before Ann and I followed their lead into martial bliss [sic] ) are coming for the weekend.

We’ve seen each other at a couple of high school reunions over the years, and that’s about it. And so there will be plenty of catching up to do, and time to do it, but with a major distraction that was not an issue when I first invited them to come last fall: there’s a new top dog in the house.

We’ll make the best of it, but I can say with certainty that it will be a more unpredictable and turbulent weekend than it would if Tsuga were still with us. Even if Gandy were well behaved at 7 months, she would require far more attention than her predecessor. She is generally not well-behaved,  or at least not reliably so, and is prone to jealous rage if she is not getting our, and especially my, full attention. She continues to have her overly-aggressive tendencies–jumping and nipping like she would with liter mates–that isn’t mean, but it is inappropriate. I predict she’ll spend far more time in the pen than she would if she was better behaved, though we’ll give her plenty of chances to learn to settle down in the presence of strangers.

Mike will be bringing his guitar. He had all the Beatles albums. And lots of sweaters to borrow back then. Maybe I should ask him to bring some for me to wear while he’s here? So there will be something that resembles music. And we will, of course, be doing Floyd County tomorrow.

Let’s just say that Mike and I have evolved into in two very  different worlds–small wonder for a biology major and a business major, I suppose. He and wife will realize this as they navigate their way down our road later today and wonder “where the heck do these people live, anyway?” They can’t even find a dirt road where they live. Or chickens in the yard. Culture shock. But in a good way, mostly.

Mike and I have diverged in our world views, both keeping true to our shared faith of long ago, but widely divergent in our politics. Even so, we have had some good exchange by email on economic and environmental issues, and I would classify him as someone who is willing to listen–a “persuadable moderate” as described in this interesting piece by a climate scientist who willingly engages with those who hold different world views. This is worth reading. Changing the Cultural Climate | The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media

Image above used without permission, but hey–she’s in North Carolina now, and we wish her well in her efforts towards a very desirable outcome for two grand parents’ family access purposes, perhaps more about this soon!

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. “Persuadable moderate.” Ha! Good luck with that, Fred. Enjoy your time with your old roomie, et al–I would think it’ll be a great pleasure for you to show him around your world.

    Wish I were at the Country Store tomorrow evening.

    (Good luck with Gandy, too.)

    Oh, and the image is simply stunning!