Christmas is long forgotten. The New Year is here. Halloween is a long way in the future. Still, I thought I’d give a brief update on my October Halloween themed blog project for 2022. I have material for three of the projects I had on my list. Of those three, I picked one, and I actually got a jump on it before the new year. As of this writing, I’m a third of the way through. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but it’s a big endeavor, a big project.
Winter may sit on the seasonal throne, but its reign has been quiet. December felt almost like Spring in weather during both day and night, and except for the bare tree branches, one might think it. The new year brought a new turn in Winter, and it reached out its icy claws with a vengeance. A few short days into January, the mountains received their first true taste of Winter. While frost had covered the ground a few select times, this was more.
What happened to country music? Not that I’m a huge fan, but I listened to it in the early 90s when I was in elementary school. I like bluegrass, Southern Rock, and a few things from the “Golden Age,” and “Outlaw Country.” My fiancé, Crystal, listens to it now. On New Year’s Eve, in needing something to watch until midnight, the best we could find was a country music special to rival the Dick Clark thing. New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash. This special aired on CBS from Nashville. I have to say, I had no idea who most of these people were. The thing that got me, and I was most surprised by, was the way the performers looked.
As 2021 draws to a close, so does my sixth full calendar year of blogging. I never wanted my blog to be a certain way, or fit a certain genre. I started this with the goal of creating a space where I could post an eclectic mix. Look for more creativity as a new year begins.
For those of you who don’t know, my Life & Stuff series is where I write more personal pieces. Pulling back the blog and giving a glimpse of what’s going on in my life for good and bad. This time with this piece, it’s good. Great, even. I proposed to my girlfriend Crystal on Christmas Day, got down on one knee, gave her a ring. The whole bit.
Seems to be a yearly piece I write at this particular time of year. I think as a kid you love Christmas. Then, maybe about high school, maybe a touch after, you kind of outgrow it. At least that’s how it was with me, and I’m not going to get into my reasons here. It doesn’t really matter, I suppose. Still, I’m not the best at receiving gifts. I’m not the best gift giver. I never know what to get the few people I actually bother to shop for, but I try. Christmas, well, holidays seem to add more stress. Especially in this day and age. The Christmas Spirit, or Lack Thereof. Maybe? Yes. Maybe. It always helps when you have someone special to spend a holiday with, especially the winter ones. I have that someone special again this Christmas, my girlfriend, Crystal.
Just as the mountains knew no Spring, they knew no Autumn too. It was as if by magic a few days before Halloween; the leaves changed colors and dropped in droves to litter the ground. Winter, while not a true welcome to the months it rules, has seized the seasonal throne, and it’s icy rule begins in earnest. November has brought winter with it. No longer content to wait in the shadows for a Thanksgiving coup, or even the first of December, the first true month of winter. The mountains are witnessing a prelude to the frigid months ahead of them. Temperatures dropped during the day suddenly, going from breeze filled 60s to 50s, and even 40s.
If September is the dawn of the Harvest season, October is the day. The full swing, the full bloom, the full circle of the Harvest season. The days are shortening in the mountains. Not by the time of the clocks, but the by time the sun sits in the sky. The fiery sphere retires early at this time of year. The mountains feel a chill once it retires, and even as it takes its seat the following the day. As hints of color creep into the leaves, an Autumn wind carries the first casualties to their final resting place.
Is this what it looked like all those years ago? Those bygone days of yesteryear, so far away, but still so near? If you look in the right direction, with the right set of eyes, and block all the trappings of humanity’s evolution into the modern age. The space age. Davy Crockett wouldn’t know what to make of the power lines, poles, or transformers. He probably wouldn’t know what to make of all the cabins. They might seem familiar, yet so strange, as they sit packed together, streamlined into little lots side-by-side with all the modern gadgets and gizmos. The distant roar of an unseen plane creates a slight chaos, otherwise the sky stays the same as it has, and will, more or less. Varying shades of blue stretch out to engulf the mountains far off in the distance. Clouds. Mountains. Yes, Mr. Crockett, I’m sure you have fond memories of the Smokies.
Autumn came early to the mountains, brought along by September and the hurricane season. Though far away from the nearest ocean. The mountains feel the impact. While not great, the strong forces of nature arrive with a slight vengeance. Gone are the haunting days of 90 degree heat and who knows how high humidity. Vanished in an instant. The days drop a few degrees, and the nights plummet. No need for artificial coolant now. These are the times of open windows and light blankets. No need to clear the hearth and get the wood ready, but those days are approaching at a vigorous pace. Autumn has arrived early, and following close behind are the Harvest moons of the Harvest season.