Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Of Dogs and Sheep...

If I were a dog, I would be a Great Pyr...stubborn, independent, accustomed to being alone with my thoughts, and yet social and fiercely loyal to the flock. And I also would enjoy the central Ohio weather more than I do now. The Great Pyr below lives in Lincoln County, NC, and guards a small flock of sheep. I suspect he also keeps tabs on a herd of Belted Galloway cattle.

There are many sheep these days in Lincoln and Catawba counties, and I love taking to the back roads to see them!

Sometimes my friend the guard dog is asleep in the sun...sometimes he is lazily watching me as I pause to photograph him. But sometimes he is on border patrol, and so this is what I see:

Dang good dawg...keeping watch over the flock, and the land of my ancestors.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Time Is Here

The tree is not so big this year,
A compromise, nothing near the size
Of the behemoth it succeeds.
Hard choices must be made,
Not all our old familiar friends
Can nestle in its finite boughs.

Remember Wake Forest, 1991,
A tree much smaller even than this,
Yet big enough for gifts we shared.
Sitting on the bed, one year wed,
Writing notes in some, not all, the cards,
Who knows what we said?  Please tell us!

House, tree, bed, old friends, now gone,
We hold on to memories, mellowing
As they age in the cellars of our hearts.
“Our First Christmas” couple, as then,
Will swing in their heart from a limb,
Midst penguins aplenty, rest assured.

Foghorn Leghorn and Snoopy
And Hallmark keepsakes, by the score,
And souvenirs from far and near
And balls and beads and bells
And bows, red, gold, and purple,
Will trim the tree once more.

Other treasures we’ll set aside,
The joy they bring deferred,
Boxed up but not discarded.
How could they ever be?
Look at them, they are forever
Part of you and me.

From our house to yours this Christmastide
Peace on Earth, good will to all!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Laboratory Cotton Mill, repurposed

...or where I get my name. Now a wedding site, reception/dance hall, convention center, this mill once was home to lintheads who carded and spun the cotton grown throughout the area. My grandfather worked his whole adult life in this mill, an employee of the mill owners, who share the same last name. These are some pics of the mill, snapped with my phone, and some pics of the rail trail across the river. When I was younger, I watched the train traverse that route. My father remembers riding the train to town (Lincolnton, NC). Now it is a hiking trail, and my father, brother, sister-in-law, her son, etc., all helped our grand-nephew, Hunter, with his Eagle Scout project: the instillation of two benches, placed at choice locations along the rail trail from which the hiker can contemplate the scenic South Fork River. It was a labor of love, truly, and I am so proud of Hunter for envisioning and executing the project! 

Laboratory Mill

Looking down-river over the dam
The mill dam
One of the Rhyne houses overlooking the mill
Trail head
The trail and conservation area, courtesy of Paul, Jr. and wife

 One of Hunter's benches!
The view from this bench...spectacular!

Rail cut
Bug sighting!
In the cut

Souvenir from the cut

 South Fork River

Bug enjoying the second bench...
The rapids below...
The road goes ever on and on...

For more about the Laboratory Mill and its current status, click here!

For more about the mill's history, click here!