19 May 2015

Stir Crazy

It's been a couple years since I've faced WNC-style precipitation...

This month has been a great reminder of how demoralizing week after week of drizzle can be.

Before the rains began some of the lower trails in the Valley were free of snow and dry so we all got a fleeting taste of after-work rides in the lengthening evenings and long weekend dirt pursuits. The overall precip totals are nothing compared to the downpours of Brevard but the dry, porous earth has reached saturation point from the daily weather and now it would be irresponsible to brave the rain and send it, Pisgah style. As I've mentioned, the trails here are delicate flowers.

 A quick scan of possible getaways this weekend reveals that everywhere within a five hour radius is getting the same soaking. You'd think I'd be more used to this after twenty years in NC but apparently I've lost my coping mechanisms. Now I just want to drink heavily and post snarky remarks on social media. Apologies in advance.

12 May 2015


In our family the kids are sort of off the hook for Mother's Day (although Bill still takes good care of her; she got a dropper post for her mountain bike this year). Debbie doesn't expect cliche cards and flowers and while a Sunday phone call is appreciated, she is not the sort to slather on the maternal guilt if the call is tardy or truncated. But I recently talked to her for half an hour about very pressing Grown Up Matters because I have been carrying around the idea of home ownership and worrying it into little pieces like Sophie does with her many bones and antlers. Debbie gave me some insight and a good dose of reality (for example, it is unreasonable to even consider houses over $200k).

Talking through Grown Up Matters with her is always helpful because she is already well-versed on all this stuff and has thoughtful answers; she is a smart and canny woman who is supportive but doesn't hand-hold. I was a little peeved as a teenager to have to pay for my own car insurance and gas while my moronic peers swanned around with their most recent Vera Bradley handbags, but I eventually figured out and appreciated Debbie's game plan. She nudged me and my sister towards financial responsibility and independence very early on but also arranged for us the precious gift of a debt-free college education. Now she helps me negotiate the waters of insurance, credit, and savings without ever entertaining the idea of a parental hand-out.

The folks are coming to visit around Labor Day. I've seen a lot of parents circulate through the Valley, but after a couple days' worth of majestic views and mellow footpaths, my friends get a little bug-eyed, knowing the only form of entertainment left is the clusterf*ck that is summer-time Jackson, where they listlessly browse all the turquoise and leather shops with their non-active families. They get envious and incredulous when I say my parents will be mountain biking together every day and drinking beer every night on the brewery lawn. "Even your mom??" Yep. She has only gotten more adventurous and badass with age.

So happy late Mother's Day, Debbie. Keep on reading voraciously, planning incredible trips to Europe, falling asleep during movies, "liking" posts on Facebook, and shocking employees with your foul mouth. Love you!