Sweet things, winter has surely begun to wear on me. We’ve had so much rain, I think I shall sprout gills soon if the sun doesn’t make an appearance and begin to dry things out a bit. Not that I’m opposed to water. I’m absolutely not, but this onslaught of it coming from the sky has really begun to rankle.
I realize here in the Smoky Mountains, we’ve actually had it mild this season compared to some places across the plains and Midwest in so far as snow accumulations, ice, and extreme cold temperatures. I try to remind myself of that daily and try not to complain too much, because quite frankly I am quite aware that things could be so much worse. I do. I mean, my weather woes are nothing in the grand scheme of things as I’m living my year of #fearlessfifty and my husband is home safely retired and not in some combat zone or other being shot at. All that being said, I thought I’d left my duck boot days behind when we moved back to the East Coast from the Pacific Northwest some three years ago.
Oh. My. Gravy! We finished 2018 40” over our annual rainfall average and 2019 is already shaping up to rival that and then some if we keep up at the pace already set. We’ve had landslides all around us. In fact, I live but mere minutes from the big one on I-40 in the gorge leading into Tennessee just below the greater Knoxville area. There have been two on the 23, one of which is still unstable and barriered off. The latest thing is the pavement swelling further down the 23 between us and the Georgia line and cracking. Several sections of pavement are cordoned off now in anticipation of repairs, if only the rain would let up long enough for DOT to do so.
Each area of the States holds its appeal while sporting its own unique brand of crazy weather phenomenon. We kind of learned when researching and deciding where we’d make what we believed would be our permanent retirement home, you just sort of have to pick your poison and decide what you’re willing to live with. The list of things we had to choose from include hurricanes, earthquakes, wild fires, tornadoes, extreme winter conditions, landslides, and torrential rainfall. We chose the potential for wild fire only to find ourselves in the torrential rain category, and we’ve experienced a couple of lower-end earthquakes in recent months. My delicate sensibilities are worn thin and I think I even feel a bit moldy at this point. I digress.
Being winter worn and with dampness hanging in the air, I find myself sitting here with the ocean and the sun and the sand on my mind. I find myself missing the days I was but a ten-minute drive from the shore and the waves. I find myself wondering why I left that opulent indulgence. Oh yes! The hurricanes, and various other variables that needed addressed. The kind of variables only sequestration would assuage. (Read: we needed a break from the feeding frenzy of larger metropolitan areas. After thirty years of serving the empire, someone needed to decompress.)
Nonetheless, hurricanes be damned, I do so love the ocean. In truth, I’d never even seen the ocean until I was some twenty-seven years old. I had known MarshFox all of less than thirty days, not dating mind you but actually known him, when he asked me to jump in a car and road trip from the Midwest to the Eastern Shore of Delaware to meet his people. It was the day before Thanksgiving 1996 the first time I set foot in the sand and watched the power of the big blue sea crashing, abrading the shore and dragging swaths of loose land with it. I’d been in love with MarshFox since the moment I laid eyes on him some thirty days prior, and that day I fell ass over teakettle in love at first sight with the ocean where his people called home.
For the next twenty-some years, I followed that man around and we were never far from the water. The furthest we ever were away was about an hour when we called the greater Portland/Vancouver area home. I was always close enough I could get there with a short enough drive and sink my toes into the warmth of the sand, find a sweet spot to sit in, lie beneath the rays that just seemed to melt away all the troubles of the world and ease my worries if not for a few hours. The sound of the water reaching out to touch that same sand…so soothing to the soul. I met some of my most memorable characters while lying about on the sand listening to the water. I solved more crises than I care to count basking in the heat of the sun. It’s where I went during long deployments and I needed to feel close to MarshFox even from some ten-thousand miles away.
Then retirement came a-calling and decisions had to be made. And today, as I sit watching it rain, again, I miss the ocean and the sand and the sun so. And it’s at this rate, I can surely see myself becoming and joining the ranks of the snowbirds who enjoy the best of both worlds.
How are y’all faring and holding up wherever you are?