Creek Jots 2011-01-24

☐  I wish I’d turned the rock and found a five inch neon-colored crayfish new to science.

☐  Not good to change insurance providers in mid-stream. An individual would never do such a thing; their employer doesn’t give a rip if you’re screwed. I was told by the new “provider” that I could see the one hand surgeon in my 30 mile region and be covered. Insurance coverage has become an accident of geography. My original plan was to see the best doctor for the surgery–in Charlottesville, fine with Anthem. “I could get tires from Edna and Bill’s Lube and Bait Shop down the corner” I told the Aetna Axe Lady “but I’d rather have the safest tires than the cheapest.” She was unmoved.

☐  You can read this essay here in a few weeks if you take a notion. Meanwhile, I recorded it using SoundCloud: Good Health is a Walk in the Park. Topic: the role that nature can play in our physical and mental health. Listen to the essay (about five minutes.)

☐  It’s mighty quiet around here. I still think I hear the chickens gabbing and fussing over by the barn. I still reflexively look for them in their accustomed places–foraging the tips of grasses along the creek of a morning, happily scratching in the mulch around the house at mid-day, rooting down the south slope leaf litter mid-afternoon. We had grown used to them; they were a part of the pattern and flow around here for 18 months. Frankly, with this snow coming in, it will be good to do less shoveling to keep a few hens happy. Now, only the featherless one needs high-maintenance tending.

☐  I’ve broken into e-commerce with the first sale of Slow Road Home–the e-book at Smashwords. It only took 200+ free samples to get a paying customer! If this should represent the beginning of an income trickle, I’ll probably convert What We Hold In Our Hands to ebook format soon–provided I don’t have that hand surgery that makes me microphone dependent for what limited writing I’ll do for that six weeks.

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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. Don’t you love insurance companies? Once the “local” medical practitioners get wind that people in their community have to see them they will raise the amount they charge for different procedures. I’ll bet the insurance companies will love that! Oh that’s right, there’s price fixing in the medical industry.

  2. Thanks for the crayfish! I bet you would have given quite a bit to have discovered that. Wouldn’t it have been fun to have it named after you.