Creek Jots ~ Early December 2012

â–¶ Some of you who don’t do Facebook or Twitter have been grateful to find information about Doug Thompson’s status here, and since many of you live beyond the reach of local papers, I’ll point you to a piece about Doug that was published yesterday in Dan Casey’s column in the Roanoke Times.

â–¶ I think one day this week I’ll give the chainsaw a light workout with my new thumb. There are some fallen branches to cut into stove length, and some small locusts felled by the power company on my neighbor’s land, and he’s said it was okay for me to take them. Functionally, the hand is coming along: I’m typing this and NOT dictating anymore, at least not constantly. But there is some nerve damage–sensory only–that makes the top of my thumb feel like it’s about half-way out from under a heavy dose of Novacaine. It’s numb, but it’s a burning numbness, if that makes any sense–a new “feature” of Thumb 2.0

â–¶ I’m enjoying the Netflix access to the TV series, Doc Martin, only early into the first season. The story is ostensibly from an English port town of Port Wenn, in real life, the village of Port Isaac, Cornwall. I found it easily in Google Earth and have gone in Street View down the narrow passageways through the picturesque hillside town and felt like I somewhat knew my way around.

â–¶ Gandy is occupied, while I’m typing, by nibbling away thread-at-a-time at a stuffed-toy carcass. Once she breaches the hull and starts gleefully ripping out the nylon stuffing, I’ll usually just toss the thing (bought for not much at the local thrift store) in the trash. But sometimes, I really need her to have an object of attention other than me. So I’ll take scissors and eviscerate the beast, and give the dog the empty shell. She’s working on one now.

â–¶ Said mutt is in puppy detention just now. At a most inconvenient time for stopping what I was doing to run intervene, the VDOT Volvo road scrapper came by while Herself was free-ranging. By the time I reached the door, there she was cavorting with the wide load like it was her friend Jessie come to play. Round and round we went. The driver was both tolerant and amused. Me, not so much.

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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. Thanks for the link, Fred. Your initial assessment was correct, it seems. At least Amy can look forward to more laughter, even if it won’t be soon.

  2. Doc Martin is “the best.” You will relish every bit of it. Also, I love the description of Gandy cavorting with the road scraper. City dogs never get to indulge in such doggy nonsense, but I remember the dogs of my childhood, running along the right front tire of passing cars, snapping away. Gratefully, I never saw a dog get hurt from this dangerous-looking game.