December 14, 2020
As I walked along the creek, with horse pastures flagging my other side, frost, so thick it looked like snow blanketed the world. Tall, bladed grasses, moss tufts, the frozen mud road with hay cart and hoof prints, pebbles, river rocks and boulders, trunks of Walnut, Poplar, Maple, and White Pine, the short needles of Hemlock, and longer hairs of Fraser Fir were en-robed with a fine-glittered frosting.
When I was a little girl, it wasn't so much the windows of the advent calendars that tickled me, it was that fine glitter. Thankfully the horrors of adulthood and getting here have failed to kill that joy. Along the creek-side though, inside the frost's glitter and infiltrating all this land is mica, another fine, silver-sparkling glitter. Can you imagine dual sparkles everywhere? They're literally glittering inside glitter! I do believe sometimes I've died and gone to heaven.
So many people here dread the Winter, but it's as magical as the other two seasons I've experienced in these Blue Ridge Mountains...and I know I've only seen and felt the tip of the glitter. I had a tequila cocktail the other day called a Sparkling Pony, which had tequila, cranberry juice, lime and edible glitter. How could I resist, being a lover of horses, tequila and glitter!
I'm also intrigued to explore the sliver of the Blue Ridge that Tennessee claims, which incorporates the Smoky Mountains, the Chilhowee Mountains, and the Snowbird Mountains. The average elevation of the Blue Ridge area is 5,000 feet above sea level; all a part of the Appalachian Range for those of you who don't know. I continue to meet people I resonate with who hail from Tennessee, though I can't imagine leaving my new friends here in North Carolina.
I watched every DVD I could get my hands on from the library about Appalachian history; the people, wars, music, etc.. It's given me a wonderful perspective on the attitudes of my friends here, many, as well as my own whose Scot-Irish ancestors fled persecution and repression in Europe in the early 18th Century. These peoples fought to retain their newly found freedoms in these remarkable mountains, and the homes they'd forged through hard sweat and tears. Moonshine wasn't just a way to lubricate their pain, it was quite the lucrative business for many of them. Prior to the American Revolution, when the British taxed them, they complied. When the British became greedy and imposed higher taxes, the mountain people stood up to their soldiers. With a vast understanding of the nooks and crannies, the hollers, ridges and caves, the mountain people were at the advantage and either drove the British out, or massacred these invaders. When Prohibition came along, they began souping up their cars to out-run the police, hence the birth of Stock Car Racing, which eventually became NASCAR. The first of these raceways is now defunct, but only a few miles east of where I'm living. I've come to realize that these attitudes live inside me, and they're raging most acutely with the repression our own government is currently imposing upon us. I believe it's a cellular memory bucking the repression, and I'd imagine it has a lot to do with my draw to horse-gentling, as opposed to the aggressive tactics historically employed by horsemen to get a horse under saddle.
As with all my monologues, I learn as I write. How do you like this! "I looked into the origin of "souped up", and it turns out that the origin of the term has nothing to do with the automobile and largely predates hot-rod culture, with it first popping up in the dictionary back in 1911 in reference to a "narcotic injected into horses to make them run faster." In that sense, "soup" was slang for the narcotic involved; you gave the horse "soup," and thus it was said to be "souped up." Of course, its slang usage probably was spinning around the American lexicon before it was recorded by Webster." (From an article in Auto-Trader "The Origin of the Term “Souped Up” Isn’t What You Think" 2017.).
Along the subject of cocktails, or rather beer in this case, I found an amazing stout the other day that is crazy delicious. It's called Breakfast Stout, and has double chocolate, coffee and oatmeal. So yummy!
Do I digress? Welcome to a morning with Andrea, as I watch Mortana rolling after her breakfast, as birds chirp above me. BTW, I finally saw my first Red Cardinal the other day! What a site he was to behold!
Happy December my Friends!