Trudging Our Way Through Winter

Life in hibernation: a bleak mid-winter beech leaf in snow

Sorry for the temporary housekeeping glitches, wherein a few simple tweaks (once the gremlins were found, thanks once again to my server-host-guru-friend) has brought me back to my usual state of controlled disorder at fragments.

At this moment, except for the weather-induced cancellation, I would have been at a tourism public meeting at the Jacksonville Center, an obligation assumed when I became part of the “steering committee” looking at the tourism bigger picture for Floyd County and the region. To attend that meeting, I had to decline the opportunity to go for the third year in a row to the Roanoke Writers Conference taking place this morning at Hollins University. Darn and double darn. It has been a winter of aborted social events and, more than ever, I feel disconnected from the flow of things and ready for spring. No time soon, son, hunker down and find something useful to do with your weather-seclusion.

We will be able, for the first time in more than a month, to leave the house with relative confidence this evening for dinner in town with friends–who cancelled their usual late January gathering due to the predictable unpredictability established by weather patterns to date. Most everybody else we usually hang with is off some place south. Sissies. Get back here and suffer cabin fever with the rest of us!

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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. We are all (over here across the mountains) so glad to see your return and to see Fragments fully up and running again. Makes my day. Elora McKenzie