Adult Day Care and Seasonal Affective Disorder Clinic


Honestly, it has been sort of nice being home-bound for a few days, with any travel obligations cancelled and not much that could be done outdoors after shoveling out the cars on Saturday and having both porches heaped high with firewood.

Today marks the end of our sequester as we’re having lunch in town with other humans, to try to regain our ability to speak in complete sentences in a social setting.

But I have been quite the tickles-my-fancy butterfly these past snow-bound days, flitting from one adult toybox to the next. [No, not THAT kind of adult toy.]

In one, the iPad and various drawing and photography apps to play with. I downloaded a new sketching app called Concepts. It is quite sophisticated but unfortunately  assumes that you have artistic ability. Same goes for Procreate, and I’ve come back to that fantastic art app after months of neglect. You can peruse those “art-like” images which I’ve cleared from the ipad to make room by moving them to a SmugMug gallery. Some of these I have shared here over the past couple of years; others (for obvious reasons) I have withheld until now. Lucky you.

Ah, and over in another corner of the play room, the old classical guitar I have had since 1966 and restrung only last fall. It gathered dust for the years of wrist and thumb dysfunction and the ones following surgeries to both hands. Then it sat for another year or two when I had the deluded notion that  I would be able to play a steel string again and bought a Fender that promptly ate my fingers for lunch.

So I am back trying to remember old tunes and learn a few new ones–from John Denver, James Taylor, Glenn Campbell, Harry Nilsson, Kris Kristofferson and such. I purchased Guitar Tabs Pro for the iPhone and am copying song chords and lyrics like crazy using OneNote clipper.

And there’s always the book corner, where at least four books are now stacked with bookmarks at various places in the first chapters of all: Thinking Fast and Slow; Dark Matter and Dinosaurs; the Invention of Nature; and Field Notes from a Catastrophe.

I am also working on a longish personal-ruminative essay that explains to me the relationship and importance of the terms well-being, ecology, economy, story and sustainability. There’s an ultimate purpose for this, and  might be I’ll share that at some point, but don’t find a great deal of resonance anymore for “serious” topics on the blog. So maybe not.

Meanwhile, we’re babysitting some chickens and a dog for a week that seems destined to end in mud–with temps predicted to be in the MID-FIFTIES!  At least some of the snow on south slopes will melt. And refreeze–through March. And so it goes.

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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. I’ve thought of you in the last few days, each time some news about the Snowmageden mentioned the amounts of snow accumulating in West Virginia. Do you imply that your rural roads are already passable? If so, I am suitably impressed. Here in Northern Kentucky, we had an inch or so but most of it has melted already. No street problems to speak of even though the local public works crew had to take care of the major roads around here before they got to us later. It appears you can stay busy so long as you have power for the chargers to all the electronics. I have them also even though I am advanced in years. I still love the Internet. Stay safe my friend.

  2. Yes Clarence, I’m thinking the local Dept of Transportation still has my wife listed as “hospital pharmacist” and perhaps we get a higher priority for that need to get out of here. Plows showed up the evening of the storm and again the next day.

    We are south of West Virginia in southwest Virginia and we got only perhaps a foot and that was not intolerable–especially not having to cross the creek to tend chickens.

    Yes, I’d not be as chipper if I’d been without power for the duration, but it never even winked. Consequently, we have to carry 20 gallon jugs back to the cellar since we won’t need them after all. Until next time…

  3. I am glad to hear that you got only a foot of snow and that you didn’t lose power. We didn’t either. Our new neighborhood has underground wiring (as the previous ones did) and we are lucky in that respect. But we only got 1-2″ of mixed ice and snow and we are still unable to get out. Cabin fever will sent in by tomorrow, I am sure.

  4. I looked at your gallery. My favorite was the snowy road at night. Lovely! Post that as an illustration of your snow posts this winter! The salamander was a good one for me, too.