North Carolina Dawn
North Carolina Dawn
In the Social micro-Blogging world this note would come across in 140 characters or less as, “what a fantastic day”. In the macro-blogging(?) world it comes across as the following.

This is another post that I’ve struggled with for a while. There are a couple of things that I’m really not good at and I wish I were. I can’t write riveting stories. I can’t write descriptive texts. One of the reasons that I’ve been focused on political posts lately, beyond the lucky happenstance that there was an election on, is that those are opinion pieces. I’m pretty good at writing opinion pieces… it’s what I do for a living in a round-about way. In my job, I live and die not by the sword but by the pen. I spew off a thousand words of opinion on technical topics in just a few minutes. I can wheedle, convince, berate, correct and stroke. I can type fast enough to hold a two sided conversation with three people in text at the same time. I can solicit and process opinions from 10 or 15 people via chat faster than most people can hold a conference call. I’m good at that.

I’m not good at this… suffer:

When I woke up this morning it went the way it normally does, with me laying in bed moaning, groaning and whining until my very wonderful wife tires of it and brings me a cup of coffee. I still feel the effects of my motorcycle accident early in the morning before my first cup of coffee. My wife says that she thinks it’s related to the sympathy limp that I get when I’m in trouble. I don’t think so.

Once I had caffeine in hand I spent the next few minutes alternating between putting pieces of clothing on and sipping my coffee. After fighting with my boots for a few minutes and finally managing them as well I stumbled out onto the porch.

As soon as I opened the glass storm door the world exploded. Seven or eight doves that had been on the ground around our feeders made a terrible racket as they bolted from the ground kicking up dried fallen leaves like jet wash and approaching the sound barrier as they headed for the trees. This ruckus, of course, startled the three squirrels who immediately ran full tilt for the woods like little fur missals launched after the jet fighter doves. A deer who was browsing on my grass watched all of this and rather than running herself seemed amused by it. Once she decided that I was going to stay on the porch for a minute she turned and sedately strolled off into the woods.

As I watched her I noticed the color. The sun was just topping the trees behind me and as it moved across the trees on the other side of the yard they exploded with color. From the bright yellow of the poplar to the burgundy of the sassafras to the deeply glowing red of the dogwoods it was truly magical. Being from the deep south in a location were the primary industry is tree farming pine trees I have no idea what “peak color” means but if this morning wasn’t it I’m scared to see what tomorrow brings.

Nostalgia. It’s a ten dollar word which translates into Redneck as, “Man, this reminds me of..”. It was cold first thing in the morning with the smallest touch of frost enhancing the riot of color. It would have been nice to stand there all morning but I was out of cigarettes so I went back inside, put on a too heavy jacket and climbed in the truck. The weather, the time of year and the smells of my truck reminded me of days hunting with my father back in Louisiana.

In those days there weren’t many people that hunted where we lived and the “back roads” were truly that. Actually, that’s probably not exactly true. Everyone hunted… there just weren’t that many people there. We would get dropped off at a likely spot on the side of a dirt road. It was a good place to hunt as a young kid. The likelihood that you’d accidentaly shoot someone walking up to you was absolutely nil and no one is likely to shoot the only vehicle that you’ve seen in 5 hours knowing that it’s your only ride out of there. There would be frost most mornings but it would quickly disappear once the sun touched the ground. I would sit there in the white sand on a raised shoulder of the road trying to be still with my toes, fingers and ears hurting. I would burrow down into my jacket so that my breath was pushed up past my ears to keep them warm ( a trick that later served me well in the desert ). Hours later my dad would come lumbering up the road in his old 1970 3/4 ton ford four wheel drive pickup. This was a test of will. The child in you wanted to run headlong for the heated truck and dive in. The young man in me knew that this was childish. It was more adult to walk slowly up to the drivers side, exchange pleasantries with the old man and give a short report on what I’d seen. Once he was sure that I’d suffered enough he’d say, “well, climb in and let’s go get something to eat.” Words fail me again in trying to describe that truck. After being out in the cold it was too warm. As you climbed in, a wave of heat hit you causing all of your frozen bits to hurt again as the feeling came back. The smell of the truck is what I remember most though. There was my uncles stale cigar smoke, my dads stale cigarette smoke, the smell of the cotton boll tobacco laying on the dash, the smell of stale beer and of gunpowder, mosquito repellent and damp cotton clothes. It was a heady, rich smell that welcomed you to the warmth of that truck. I remembered all of this as I hunched over the steering wheel and fought my own four wheel drive to the store for a pack of smokes and it awakened the urge to hunt again as it does every year.

A little later in the day I took a ride on the motorcycle to see what else was out there. It was the same colors as I have in my yard but multiplied a hundred thousand times. All through the ride I kept thinking to myself, “I want to write about this but I have no idea how.” I could try to name all of the colors that I saw but I’m not sure that there are names for half of them. There were the standard reds and yellows and greens and oranges but then there were a hundred shades of each on different trees. How do you describe it? There’s no way. You can’t. At least, “I” can’t. As example, my favorite color today was somewhere between red and yellow but wasn’t really orange as it was more yellow than orange and had a very bright hue. That’s a clumsy description and doesn’t even come close to inciting the pure awe that I felt as I gazed upon that magestic old pen oak. Now, imagine trying describe a hundred thousand colors in this way. As I thought about different ways to describe the colors I found it humorus that I saw peach colored leaves on a young apple tree and then, a short time later, I saw apple colored leaves on an old peach tree. Cute.

My friends at work each morning greet each other with, “What a Fantastic day to live in North Carolina.” We often get bored with this and try to come up with new ways of sharing that sentiment but always end up coming back to that one so, I’ll use it now to…

What a Fantastic day to live in North Carolina!

Welcome to North Carolina

4 thoughts on “Welcome to North Carolina

  • November 7, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    Amen and amen. My 33,000 favorite colors are the ones that are somewhere between maroon and auburn. Oh – and my 16,000 other favorite colors are the ones where the leaves on the outside of the tree are red, but the ones on the inside are still green. And the morning light shines through them and the tree looks like it’s on fire – yeah – those 16,000 colors.

    And you do a pretty good job on description after all that anyway.

  • November 13, 2008 at 2:13 am

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    *Edited by Jinksto: removed link*

  • November 13, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    Hi Kaylee,
    Your message looked like spam so I removed the link from it. As with all comments on this site your name still links to your website so there is no need to include the link in the comment.

    If your comment IS spam then good job confusing me.

    If it IS NOT spam then thanks for the comment and please feel free to continue reading (and commenting) regularly. -jinskto

  • November 29, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Nice post u have here 😀 Added to my RSS reader


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