To say we are moody these days is an understatement. Everyday life is just plain hard work. We continue to struggle with the long wait until surgery. TBH, we thought it might be a situation of "we've got to get you scanned and prepped asap!" But we do understand. There are so many demands, and we have the best surgeon and team for which we could hope. But seeing my wife of more than 26 years unable to walk without a walker and even then walking is iffy...that makes one moody. Our day yesterday was a classic example: we got up, got her in the car, and drove for over an hour to the MRI facility the surgeon needed to do her latest scan. She was on a lot of meds, which was good because she didn't get twitchy and the scan went fine. Once we got home, she crashed for a couple of hours. Then we went from tired and grumpy to celebratory as we partied with family and friends (meaning we ate a lot of bbq...this IS NC, after all) in honor of several high school graduates. But the meds wore off, so we came home and it was early to bed. My Bug, who REFUSES not to do as much as she can, got up early this morning and drove herself to a care facility where she played the piano for her father, her aunt, and her soon to be step-mother so they could sing good ol' hymns to the residents. That's my wife, folks. Tough as a pine knot once you get down to her core. Many a man in a position of authority could learn a thing or two....who am I kidding, an ENCYCLOPEDIA full of stuff...from women with such grit. But this post is not about politics or pain...it is about finding beauty and continuing to believe that better days will come and, even if they don't, nature will find a way to persist. Today we drove to our beloved Blue Ridge mountains to check on the progress of the Catawba Rhododendrons up at Craggy Gardens. We were not disappointed!
Moody mountains majestic
So lush with all the rain we've had
Rolling along forever, it seems
Even when wet! As we hoped, the "big three" were already in bloom!
Let's begin with an Appalachian treasure in and of itself: Rhododendron calendulaceum, the flame azalea!
So beautiful, even in the rain.
Here mingled with another favorite: Kalmia latifolia, commonly called mountain laurel
Aside: we also saw several of these beautiful flowering shrubs...arrowwood, probably, but big!
And a bonus wild turkey, just strolling down the road...
And of course the real show-stealer every June, Rhododendron catawbiense, our beloved Catawba rhododendron!
They are opening up in a hurry at Craggy, with peak timed as usual for around the second week in June. They will also be on display up on Grandfather and, of course, Roan Mountain.
They have a short but spectacular season!
One with which we were in harmony for a time, especially when we lived in Weaverville.
Now we are close enough that we can visit them again!
Happily, riding in the car, or even driving, causes my Bug no pain. We won't be hiking the Craggy Pinnacle trail anytime soon, but yes, we can visit! All in all, a beautiful day for two souls pining for Appalachian solace.