Tag Archives: bad weather

What, Me Worry?

Dont-Worry1Jack’s weekly guest post

Like Eeyore, I’m a born worrier and always have been.

But I’ve been pondering that lately, and trying hard to be much more relaxed about things.

Of course what triggered this latest bout was the atrocious weather we’ve been experiencing, coupled with a bad moment from last year. Around this time last year I was stupid enough to leave the well pump switched on at our cabin (Wendy’s writing getaway out in the TN woods) with no background heat in the place. Result – a $700 bill for repairs after a burst water pipe.

This year I reckoned the power bill for background heat would be worth it to avoid another burst and I switched off the pump. But we haven’t been there since before Christmas and in February we had temperatures down to minus 15 Fahrenheit . So one of my dark clouds began to hover as I constructed horrible scenarios in my head….

Last Saturday we dropped in at the cabin on the way home from the Rose Glen Literary Festival in Sevierville, where Wendy was the keynote address. I didn’t want to do it, so convinced as I that it would be exactly as I’d imagined. But Wendy was a bit… adamant that we face the situation.

The road up to the cabin area was covered in hard packed snow and the last 1/4 mile is up a steep hill. We negotiated that with me becoming increasingly Eeyorish all the way. Wendy’s eyes rolled back in her head as I described faucets that would run without water, gushing pipes in the house’s foundation…

And when we got there, everything was fine. EVERY THING WAS FINE!! I couldn’t believe it!!!

Back when I was Head of Department in a Scottish college I often used to lie awake at night worrying about something that was likely to happen next day, only to find it had completely evaporated by the time I got there. Conversely, I’d sail in without a care in the world and something totally unexpected would wallop me. It’s never what you’d expect that catches you, is it? I’m sure you can all relate to this.

And I must admit, with two weeks of snow shutting down the entire county, followed by floods tonight as the snow begins to melt, and freezing rain predicted to make the roads a mess tomorrow, well, even in the midst of it all, the roof is still over our heads, and we’ve adopted out five of ten foster cats. Which we did NOT expect in this weather.

A fellow business in town did not fare so well. A variety store called Judy’s Hodge Podge has been condemned after a crack appeared in the building. It’s the end of an era, as Judy was the grande dame of local businesses. Her building had an antique Coca-cola mural on it.

And here we sit, warm and cozy, with Kelley’s good soups flowing around us and people still popping in to buy books an adopt cats. Perhaps, rather than counting cares, I should count blessings.

Or, as Alfred E. Neumann famously used to say “What, me worry?”


Filed under Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, home improvements, humor, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, Scotland, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch

An Offer Phil Can’t Refuse

elderDear Punxsutawney Phil,

That does it. I am a fan of fuzzy animals with big brown eyes, but you’ve pushed my last button. Six more weeks of THIS???!!! No. Have you enjoyed living all-expenses paid in your government-protected burrow, buddy boy? Like those meals 364 days a year?

All we needed was one day, Chuckster. One lousy day when you cooperated with us, and you could’ve gone back to your peaceful existence on the state tab. Traitor. You think just because YOU have a fur coat, nothing else matters? Didja cut some deal with the marauding polar bears and their vortexes? Ha! We’re cold, ya little whistlepig weasel, and we’re tired of feeling that way.

And like those Celtic God-princes of old, Prince Phil, we’re tired of you. Yeah, they lived high on the (ground)hog most of their lives, but when the weather went South and the crops failed, you know what happened to them, doncha, Punxy? All those stone slabs lying around the peat bogs….*cue Godfather theme*

I understand there’s a lawyer in Ohio seeking the death penalty against you for “Weather Crimes.” In Wisconsin, a ranger took your forecasting cousin Jimmy into protective custody. And I see some enterprising young man has t-shirts for sale that say “Kill Phil.”Jimmy Me, I think it’s time to convert Punxsutawney to Mulligatawny, and start over next year:

1 whistle pig
2 onions, sliced
1/2 cup celery, sliced
Pepper Cloves

Clean woodchuck; remove glands; cut into serving pieces. Soak overnight in a solution of equal parts of water and vinegar with addition of one sliced onion and a little salt. Drain, wash, and wipe. Parboil 20 minutes, drain, and cover with fresh boiling water. Add one sliced onion, celery, a few cloves, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until tender; thicken gravy with flour. (pitch.com)

Say good night, Groundhog.


Filed under animal rescue, blue funks, folklore and ethnography, humor, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA