The Hurrieder I Become…

View of the Smoky Mountains from the Highlander Center, New Market, TN

Yes, I’m still breathing if not blogging much this past week. Entropy is trying to suck me right on down that black hole of disorder that centers over my desk and my life in general–the hundred niggling details like bills and receipts and unreturned emails neglected.

A nose above water seemed impossible even before I got the email when I arrived home yesterday, finally, after three days away. It said, much to my surprise, that I was to see patients today, and so I got dressed and drove to work and discovered the scheduler meant to say TUESDAY. So I gladly came home to dig out before resubmerging again.

Had a nice meeting yesterday with the Montgomery County Museum Board of Directors at the Farmhouse in Christiansburg. They were a very receptive audience for a short “autumn essence” slide show and reading, not to mention a great meal and meeting some new neighbors from the next county to the north.

The image here taken from the porch of the Southern Appalchian Writers Cooperative annual meeting in Tennessee over the weekend, and it sets the context for the one I’ll show you tomorrow. Those are the Smoky Mountains rising up in the distance, for those who don’t immediately recognize them. The view is looking south from about 15 miles east of Knoxville.

I just got word that a piece about Wednesday’s event in Danville has gone to press and is available from the paper in their online edition (link already dead by Monday afternoon. Sorry) Thanks to Susan Elzey for consolidating our several emails of last week into a coherent and well-done article. Ann and I are really looking forward to our day in Danville this week, and would love to see you there. I already know of one blog reader who plans to come. The more the merrier!

UpDATE 2 pm! The BEE article is already old news and has disappeared from their online page. But The Pittsylvania Star-Tribune has another perspective on my Wednesday’s afternoon event at the Wednesday Club in Danville. Wow! The word is certainly out and the pressure is on. I’m ready, and very much looking forward to meeting new readers, friends, bloggers and colleagues very soon now.

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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. Fred, thanks for sharing this photo, which immediately made me homesick. It also reminded me of my dad, who worked on Massey Ferguson tractors (what’s in the photo) and New Holland combines, hay balers, and more.

  2. Fred, Your website and books are something I look at most days. I love Floyd Co. and my relatives there! This gives me a peek every day of my favorite place. Thank you!!!! ( I’m Uncle Johnnys Great niece)

  3. I’m not yet a resident of floyd, however I am a land owner and am working hard to get there ASAP. I’ll have one of those “I got here as fast as I could T-shirts” as soon as I arrive!
    I so enjoy your site several other blog sites based around Floyd. I hope some day to join that fray and offer so enjoyable, useful and entertaining content as you provide here.
    In the meantime, I’ll keep my family and friends up to date with my progress on moving to Floyd at our site
    Thanks Again

  4. Eastern Tennessee is very beautiful. It sounds like you enjoyed your trip there.

    It also sounds like you’re most happy when you’re writing, and when you’re speaking about what you write. I’m a firm believer that you should do what makes your heart sing.