Creek Jots 4 Feb 11

â–¶ Writer’s Rail Disaster ~  Wednesday, a writing project moved along quickly and smoothly, a train of thought followed and destination reached. Thursday, wife was home. Box cars left the track and set off in all directions, in a tragic domestic derailment. The dazed author was found that afternoon, muttering incoherently at his wood pile.

â–¶ Grace: Slick ~ Not looking like we’ll be granted weather graces for travel later today due to a “trace coating of ice.” It sounds so trivial. But how much ice does it take to spin a Subaru?

â–¶ Floyd, Naturally ~ Meeting scheduled for today (we’lll see what Grace Slick allows) to discuss this year’s celebration of our local environment and natural resources. It’s really sort of a stealth E _ _TH Day but going tentatively (TBA) as “Land Sakes: Floyd’s Natural and Agricultural Heritage.” Date is April 16. It promises to be a very interesting and informative day, and more details will soon be available for vendors and participants.

â–¶ SPM Index Rising ~    This is a test. When I say GO, you must see how quickly you can take your right hand off the steering wheel and punch the button with the little circular loop arrow on it: the ReCIRCULATE button. GO! How’d you do? Better brush up on your quick draw because the SPM numbers are approaching 1. (Squished) Skunks Per Mile is the most telling sign of spring. Pepe LePew keeps making the same fatal mistake: “Do not come wiz me to ze Casbah – we shall make beautiful musicks togezzer right here!” In the middle of the road. Stinkin to high, high heaven.

â–¶ Taffeta, Darling! ~ Our host selects the film for the itinerant Movie Club. Last night, I expect foreign art film with subtitles. Instead: Young Frankenstein. This selection chosen to leave you with as young Froadrick prepares to have him some chocolate flavored breakfast drink.

Frau Blücher: Would the doctor care for a… brandy before retiring?
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: No. Thank you.
Frau Blücher: [suggestively] Some varm milk… perhaps?
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: No… thank you very much. No thanks.
Frau Blücher: [suggestively] Ovaltine?
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: NOTHING! Thank you! I’m a little – tired!
Frau Blücher: Then I vill say… goodnight, Herr Doctor.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Goodnight, Frau Blücher.
[horses whinny]

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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. When I read that “Earth Day” sounds too alternative community and the general public might not want to come to an alternative community event, I thought back to my first Earth Day. I was about 8 years old, and there was a community gathering at an elementary school, among other controversial practices we planted a tree.
    My experience with multi-generational residents of Floyd confirms a profound understanding of our place in the nature of things. Chop wood, carry water is firmly entrenched in the history of Floyd County, and most have an almost religious understanding of earth stewardship. Those that didn’t, or don’t, had little future here.
    Humans are responsible for the 6th great extinction on Earth. Whether based on the chapters of Genesis, or Muir the doubling of the biomass of humans creates the rising potential of catastrophe.
    I hope that the simple appeal of Earth Day is not hidden in loosely spun sheep’s clothing. If nothing else humans understand being fleeced, and will avoid association with pretenders.