Looking for a sign

It’s difficult to write when it’s hot. All you can focus on is how stifling you feel. That’s how Caribou is at the moment. Because the weather is kind of temperate, and the place is old, no one messes with the AC. Oh well. I finished submitting my time sheets and I’m heading out for the day.

Last weekend was pretty dismal for me. I was lonely, and depressed. Missing my mom, my family, familiarity in general… I drove up to the top of Mount Pisgah all alone to think about things and ended up sitting there eating my amazing French Onion Soup (go get some) and crying the whole time.

I sat out in the rocking chairs over looking the blue rolling mountains and asked for some sort of sign that I was on the right path. That I’m doing the right thing.

Well flash forward to this week… Dream of dreams came true and I found myself scheduled to work on top of Mount Mitchell. My absolute favorite place ever. It’s partially nostalgic, and partially sheer majesty… I commented to my crew mates that it would be a dream come true to be able to work seasonally at the Mitchell Park.

Our project partner wanted us all to appreciate the work we were doing so he wanted everyone to hike up to the summit for a good view of everything. Because of my pace, I wound up hiking to the top alone, which is fine for me. As I turn one of the corners, there carved into the sand is the word MOM with a heart around it.

I stood there for a moment, staring at the message from the universe with a smile on my face. Thanks for the reassurance… I kind of needed it.

It’s so very odd. I feel like I’ve been away forever. A little sore tonight, a little tired. I just feel like I’ve dropped the ball again. I put my blinders back up and started moving through life once more. Let’s not look at the details – details are all dinged and dusty. Very random… I know. I’m eccentric like that… or maybe it’s just weird. I don’t think I’m rich enough to be eccentric yet.

I was going to leave a little story with you… but I wanted to share the picture with it. Instead, I’m sharing a picture that goes with one of my older Red Socks posts. The day we went sledding up on Mount Mitchell.

snowman

 

It’s funny how when you start going through old pictures, the memories that were just fuzzy glimmers in the peripheral of your mind comes flooding back. I found myself crying tonight as I flipped through them.

Snow days

Sometimes I worry about my kid. He says and does the strangest things. Then I remember… he’s MY kid… with the influence of Terry and Nikki and Millie and all of our friends. I suppose it’s only fitting that he be freaking strange. We’ve determined that he sounds like the psychos from Borderlands when he gets over-tired.

He will be ten years old in just a few short weeks. I can’t believe how time has flown. It’s baffling. We’re being bad parents and letting him see Deadpool for his birthday. Beyond that he said he wants to go bowling… so Terrace Lanes… here we come.

My story today is about my first winter in North Carolina. I wasn’t new to snow, we previously visited Maine one fall and played in 4 foot snow drifts. We didn’t get much snow at the brown house though. The very first time, my brother took me out to find a sled. We were too late. There had been a run on everything. We managed to find a little round one a few days later at ave hardware. Thinking back on it, we could have gotten away with using a trash can lid.

The next time, we were ready. School was out, Old Red Socks took the day off. “No one’s going to buy cars in the snow!” he huffed. Since my mom was a full time homemaker, the three of us decided too play. I wanted to go sledding, only there wasn’t a lot of snow on the ground. We climbed to the top of the hill in the vacant lot next door. I slid down a few times. There wasn’t even enough to make a good snow man.

The three of us piled into the car and started driving. My dad knew right where he wanted to go. He jumped on the parkway to head toward Mount Mitchell. We paused along the way to stop at Craggy Gardens. I didn’t know as a child that the frost covering the rhodedendron was called rime ice, or that it happened because of the high speeds of the freezing wind over the uniquely shaped crest. All I knew is that it truly looked and felt like a winter wonderland.

My dad would stand at the overlook, pretending to not be cold. “Look at that Jennifer,” (I grew up bring called jennifah in his heavy Maine accent) “ain’t that something special. Very few people get to see this sight.”. At eight years old, I believed him. The day was suddenly even more special than when we started out.

The snow was loose and fresh. The parkway was open almost to the top of Mount Mitchell. We stopped at the restaurant and carried the sleigh over to the field.

Where Craggy Gardens we’re covered in hard, unforgiving ice, the lawn here was coated in two feet of soft snow. We sled for what felt like hours – it might have been. We made it home and kicked on the heat and curled up after a great day.