Wolf of Winter at the Door

barn_campbell_draft240A sign of a shift in the promise of six months of wood stove tending: I used to look forward to it. Now, not so much. But, with the exception of a few freakish warm spells like the January thaw, I’ll be writing of a morning with the swoosh and crackle and tick and flicker of this beast eating its breakfast.

Today and tomorrow, I’m following through on a niggling recurrent promise to myself to do more with visual art: I’m taking Ron Campbell’s pen and ink drawing class.

If you’re from Floyd or pay attention when you visit here, you’ve seen Ron’s work at Bell Gallery, the Country Store, Jacksonville Center and the Floyd Artists’ Association studio in the Station.

This image of our barn is a draft of the original. We have a Ron-framed reproduction over the piano, and for some reason I don’t remember, it made its way onto a T-shirt, that is, of course, one of my favorites.

I’m also joining the Fitness Center today, even though, with the exception of flexibility, cardiovascular endurance and core/extremity strength, I’m in good physical shape.

So shoo, wolf. Git away from my door. I’m still in the fight, and some fine day, might even write.

About

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.

1 Comment on “Wolf of Winter at the Door

  1. This post had all the elements one would expect from an old retired guy! I’m glad to read about the drawing and the gym. Both excellent ideas for a man of your time of life. I hope you can keep up the wood cutting. My granddad cut wood for a large house in Madison, WI until he was in his 80’s. His 100 foot long woodpile made the front page of the paper one year.

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