Friday Jots

Finally, at 2:30 this morning, I’d had enough. The howling dog inside reflexively answered the pack of his kin that had circled the ridges above us since midnight; it wasn’t his fault his attempt to protect us, standing at the window yowlping out into the darkness, was driving us deeper and deeper under our pillows–sleepless, agitated, exhausted.

At 2:32 I got up, flung open the door, and howled back–the primal scream of the insomniac. And never another peep from inner or outer dogs after that.

That said, I determined at 2:35: no blogging for me in the morning. Sleep late, get extra winks, a Friday full of patients and I’d need my rest. But here I am, fingers with a mind of their own. I’ll just follow them and see where they go.

ROANOKE: city at night

ROANOKE: a great weather site with NOAA weather radio for our area (and maybe yours)

ROANOKE: a January writers conference

VIRGINIA: Forest Watch–a good place to send your year-end charitable contributions

BLOGS: Caroline Kettlewell’s hinterland goes to the blogs. I met Caroline (virtually) years ago when I discovered the term “narrative non-fiction”–her strong suit. We almost had coffee in Floyd once on her travels through Floyd–a place she had written about for the WaPo I think it was, some years back.

READERS: Brijit gives short rated summaries of the best of the best magazines.

WRITERS: LitMatch connects writers with agents. Maybe.

Share this with your friends!

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.

Articles: 3013


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. ROFL I really am sorry you missed a night of sleep, but the mind picture your post created of you standing at the door howling in the middle of the night is priceless. I can’t stop laughing. What a great way to start the day!

  2. Yup, it’s always easier to see the humor looking back. I’m just glad we live where nobody can hear such maniacal midnight wailing. At least that’s my assumption.

    There may have been humans with the dog pack. Now my HOWL might have made them think twice about crossing our fence!

  3. How understanding and perceptive of you. Many people would have reacted by yelling at their dog, having no insight into his reasons, for being restless. And a good howl in the middle of the night can be a great stress reliever.Having 3 howlers of my own, I often join in, which encourages them, and we can probably be heard for miles.

    I love the the photo of Roanoke at night, it brings back a lot of memories.

    I heard about the Bush administration attempts to sell off the National Forest last year, sorry to hear it’s happening again. I’m counting the months, as much as I don’t like the field, anything would be better. Democrats might be called tax and spend, but at least they tax those who can best afford it and spend it here at home to improve our lives.

  4. i was thinking it was coyotes until you left that follow-up comment. hunters, i presume then…..

    in my parents’ cove in NC, it’s coyotes. they sound like a bunch of banshees, especially when they come close to the house. one christmas morning, we awoke to find them playing in our backyard with our collie…. very unusual!

    wishing you a howl-free night tonight! 🙂

  5. What a great thing to do, Fred! I know that feeling of 2 AM exasperation so well, and I’m going to try that with this gosh darn cat tonight! Me-OWOOOOOOOOOO! 🙂