Enjoying life's adventures in a secluded mountain cabin

Posts tagged ‘Western North Carolina’

The Snow Queen

Please allow me to properly introduce myself.  I am known around these parts as The Snow Queen.  Some love me, most hate me, but everyone knows who I am and they know who to blame, or thank, when the fluffy white stuff starts flying up here in the mountains.  I love snow and all things related to Winter.

To me, there are very few things in life quite as lovely as watching tiny little ice sculptures fall gracefully from the sky and land peacefully on the earth to form a bright, white blanket over everything as far as the eye can see.  Day or night, this spectacle never ceases to arouse great joy and happiness somewhere deep in my soul that somehow manifests itself into a giddy little giggle, followed closely by some sort of jumping for joy and clapping my hands together, while smiling the widest of smiles that my mouth can create.

I’m told this is quite a sight to see.  A grown woman exuding the happiness of a child.  What can I say?  I’m just a big kid at heart.  Especially when it comes to snow!  Allow me to share what my eyes saw today here at the cabin.

Snow covered woods

The ridge up behind the cabin

The red, white and blue

The pièce de résistance

And I just happened to see this a few minutes ago.  Talk about purple mountain’s majesty!

Nature at its finest!

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Before Dark

We did it!  We finally did it!  Mountain Man and I finally made it home from work before dark today!  That may not sound like much to celebrate to a lot of y’all out there, but I actually got to walk around out in the yard for a few minutes this evening.  I got to see my mountains all around me and breathe in the fresh air.  I got to feel the grass and mud beneath my feet and hear the sounds of nature all around me.

Oh, how I’ve missed doing this.  I don’t get to see the light of day where I work and it’s dark when we leave in the mornings and usually dark when we get home in the afternoons.  It rained here at the cabin all last weekend so I couldn’t get my nature fix then, either.  Getting to walk around the cabin for just a few minutes this evening has been one of the highlights of the last two weeks for me.

What can I say?  It’s the little things in life.

Looking Beyond

 

I think I might’ve mentioned my love of snow once or twice before and I really wish I wasn’t feeling so gash darn lazy today so I could’ve trekked next door to get a better picture of the mountain range to our east.  But, I’m in my nice, comfy, cozy, pink pj’s, enjoying some post season football, and I just really didn’t feel like it.  So, I took this picture from our deck.  It may not be a clear shot to the high peaks far off in the distance, but I think the varying shades from the branches in the foreground add depth and dimension to the photo.  Plus, y’all get a better understanding of what I see when I look out the windows of the cabin everyday.  Mountain Man and I are truly are blessed to live in such a beautiful part of the world.

Cold Feet

Have you ever had cold feet?  And no, I’m not referring to that feeling of dread and impending doom one gets when one is about to either a) walk down the aisle to one’s future husband, or b) wait at the end of the aisle for one’s future wife.  I’m talking about actual cold feet.  And not just your average oh, my feet are cold, so I’ll got put some socks on cold feet.  I’m talking about the oh, my feet are cold so I’ll go put some wool socks on, along with some wool lined slippers, prop them up in front of the fireplace and pray for my toes to thaw out kind of cold feet.

Well, for whatever reason, I’ve experienced this more often than not in the past few weeks.  Maybe I’m getting old.  Maybe my circulatory system is failing me.  Maybe I have a weird brain tumor that makes me think my feet are cold, but in reality, they’re just as warm as the rest of me.  Or maybe, it’s just been really cold and my feet, along with my hands, are two of the last parts of my body to get warm.

It was bitterly, bitterly cold this past weekend and the first part of this week.  Single digit temps with cold, howling winds and snow.  Not the two or three feet of snow that we had last year, this storm only brought about three inches with it.  But, the biting cold set in for a few days and it felt like it was never gonna warm back up.  Waking up to 30 degrees a couple of mornings ago felt like a heat wave!

My feet have finally thawed out and I’ve ruled out problems with my circulatory system, or any strange brain tumors that might be impeding my ability to accurately gauge body temperatures, or that pesky idea that I might be getting old.  After a high of 22 on Monday, it’s supposed to get up to almost 60 today!  You gotta love living in the North Carolina mountains.

 

The Mountain and The Rest Of The World

Not a lot of people like winter around here.  Most of them actually hate this time of year.  Even if they think the snow is pretty to look at, they hate having to navigate the winding mountain roads when the weather’s bad.  I am not one of these people.  I actually don’t mind driving in the snow.  And driving in a snow storm at night ranks right up there on my list of little things that I love so much.  I love Winter and everything about it.  However, that being said, living up here on the side of one of these mountains has given me a whole new appreciation for driving in the snow, or up here, driving anywhere from a few days to a week after the snow.

We can pretty much count on getting the fluffy, white stuff if there’s even the slightest indication of it in our local forecast.  It’ll snow up here when it’s not snowing anywhere else.  It’s really amazing.  At the bottom of the mountain, or civilization, as some like to refer to it, it’ll be dry as a bone and nothing going on.  About half way up the mountain, the flakes begin to fly and by the time I get to our house, it looks like someone’s shook up a snow globe!  For this snow lover, it’s really a wonderful life up here.

Looking at a mountain range far off in the distance after a snow storm and seeing that part of the mountain has melted and is back to its regular brown Winter color and the other part is still snowy white, blanketed in the glorious fluffy, white stuff has always been stunning and gorgeous to me.  Especially when the setting sun casts the last colors of daylight on one of these mountains.  Vivid, deep purples, bright magentas, and shades of auburn that appear to change with each curve of the mountain and the various shades of white and brown.  But after living up here, near the top of one of these majestic mountain ranges, I’ve found that I have a new appreciation for this phenomenon.

There are distinct lines between winter and fall after the warm, Winter sun has melted part of the mountain.  Driving along the windy road, one side of the forest floor will be snowy white, while the other side will be filled with all the rich brown, earthy colors of Fall.  And it changes with each twist and turn in the road.  At certain points, it’s Winter on the left and Fall on the right.  Then, as you wind your way higher, just beyond the next bend in the road, Fall’s on the left and Winter’s now on the right.  It’s really quite amazing.

The drawback to all this beauty is that parts of the mountain melt completely away, leaving no trace of the slick snow, ice, and slush, while other parts melt just enough to form what should be considered an Olympic sport arena where instead of wearing skates, people drive 4×4 vehicles, sometimes equipped with chains, to compete for gold medals.  I’m pretty sure Mountain Man would take the gold each and every year in this event.

I had never been afraid of driving on slick roads in my life until I started trying to drive on these roads up here.  Even on a good day, these roads aren’t for the faint of heart.  I’ve been told that there are grown men who won’t drive down our driveway in the snow!  But I have.  I’ve done it a few times.  It’s not that bad as long as you’ve got all the right equipment.  You know, a four-wheel drive vehicle, a really good set of tires, the ability to actually drive in the snow, and for me, the ability to pray and drive at the same time.  I get real close to God this time of year.   However, just because I’ve done it, does not mean I wanna do it again.

I’m supposed to go out this morning and I just really don’t know if I’m gonna try it or not.  I’m missing some of the necessary equipment required to get me safely to the bottom.  My tires are not the best in the world and the thoughts of going down the parts of the mountain that didn’t melt at all yesterday make me wanna go crawl back in bed and hide under the covers.

So here I sit, debating back and forth, the pros and cons of going out this morning.  The sun’s just coming up over the mountains to the East and the Carolina blue sky is dotted with a few high puffy clouds.  It’s another one of those beautiful NC mornings.  Snow or no snow, slick road or dry, I know just how lucky I am to live here in this little cabin, on the side of this mountain, with my Mountain Man.

 

 

 

11.7 Degrees

Do you know how cold 11.7 degrees is?  Do you know how cold it feels?  Especially when you live on the top of a mountain and the wind’s blowing and the wind chill is forecast to be almost -20 degrees!!!  It’s so stinkin’ cold up here this morning.  It’s only about 63 degrees here in the cabin!  It’s like it can’t get any warmer no matter how many logs Mountain Man throws in that fire!

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I loooooooooooove Winter and everything about Winter.  Snow is one of those things that never fails to bring a smile to my face.  But, I could really do without the extremely frigid temperatures that sometimes accompany all that lovely, white, fluffy stuff.  We’re only supposed to get up to about 22 degrees here today and when it’s like that, I don’t even wanna go out and play in the snow!

So, I guess today’s gonna be one of those two layers of clothing, extra warm fuzzy socks, huddle under a blanket next the fire and watch it snow kinda days.  I love my life!

Fall Colors

A great deal of people simply cannot understand why we live waaaaaaaaay up here on the top of the world.  Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll just let these do the talking.

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