It appears as though fall has fallen. We were basking in the autumnal spectrum of color when an unwelcomed and extraordinarily rare snowstorm swept through the Smoky Mountains on Halloween night. By Saturday night when the snow and high winds abated, my little corner of Paradise was blanketed in a frosty six inches of white. The storm dropped anywhere from 4” as far south as Columbia, South Carolina, up to 22” in the tallest North Carolina mountains near the Tennessee border. The freakish weather managed to strip the glorious array from almost all of the trees. Fall didn’t last long enough, I hope that this is not a presage of a difficult winter.
The snow came less than two weeks from when my oldest and dearest friend was supposed to arrive for a rare visit. News of the weather kept her snug in her second home in New Jersey (her first home is in Kauai in Hawaii). I am hoping for a makeup day sometime in the more temperate days of spring.
In other news, after a hard week of storm prep and incessant expedited jobs, I found myself in a stupor of physical exhaustion. Fighting a desperate need to sleep, I realized I had to go down the mountain for no other reason than to retrieve the mail and pick up some dog food. I invited my two four-legged sons to ride with me (by inviting, I mean I picked up my keys). Cory, the new addition and suspected caffeine addict, never does anything that isn’t at full speed. He stands on his hind legs and does a happy dance at the slightest provocation, and never goes from one room to another at anything less than an all-out dash. Between his leaping axels and excited wind-sprints, getting Cory on or off a leash is always a challenge. After successfully completing our errands down in the village, I guided us back up the mountain looking forward to getting the boys fed, finishing a few pages I needed to get done for Kelly, and then crawling into a much needed bed.
By the time I got the dogs re-leashed, Cory was spinning to get out of the truck and pee. He thinks you are supposed to pee getting into and out of a vehicle, without regard to how long the ride may have taken. After his short respite, Cory bolted up the stairs to the front deck, pulling Sebastian and me behind him. By the time I got the gate open and their leashes off, he was again doing pirouettes at the front door (I have no idea why, everything is so exciting to him). I unlocked the door, got them inside and fed, and decided to go back out to view the sunset before returning to the computer. Did I mention I was exhausted? I had not latched the gate all the way; both dogs seized the opportunity and took off like Greyhounds chasing the mechanical rabbit at a racetrack.
Sebastian has escaped enough times that I was not too worried (at first) that he would eventually come back, Cory, on the other hand, was new and does not know my mountain at all. There was no way I had the energy to attempt a chase, so all I could do was watch from my perch high above the mountain roads below. I watched as they ran down the driveway and disappeared into the forest. After about ten minutes I caught a glimpse of both of them coming at full speed down Daly Drive (the road that services the crest of the mountain). Cory turned onto Norman Road and into my driveway. Without slowing he ran the 800 feet of my driveway, came straight up the steps and into the house. I quickly shut the door with him inside and went to watch for his brother to join him.
Sebastian had better ideas, he hadn’t been to all the houses, explored the woods, or visited the other dogs on the mountain. Three hours later, in the pitch black dark of night, he climbed the stairs to the deck. All over, right? Nope, if I asked him to come in the house, he’d turn and bolt down the steps and back into the ebony shadows of the forest.
He did finally get tired and come back, but only after I was so spent that I couldn’t even scold him for his bad-boy behavior. He knew he was in trouble, and knows how bad that was, but I guarantee you if I went and opened the gate tonight, he’d be gone again.
I never got back to the computer which spurred Kelly to email her Royal Highness, the PITA of Denmark, Adrianna Joleigh, to check on my wellbeing. I, of course, had no idea I was missed and being worried over until the veil of a comatose sleep lifted from my eyes the next morning. I guess I owe a debt of thanks to my two friends for caring about my hapless disappearance.
Speaking of Adrianna, please remember to wish her a happy birthday on Tuesday, November 11th and congratulate her on her newest commission for her art work. Before too long, she will be too rich and famous to deal with us mere commoners. You can see some of her paintings at http://adriannajoleigh.com/ Be sure to scroll over the thumbnails for a preview of her masterful use of colors and click an image for details of the paintings.