Archive for August 24th, 2010|Daily archive page

For Luanne

Nature's beauty for Luanne - two left clicks will fully enlarge

In this photo image you see the entire “12-mile plus” longer limb of the J-shaped Black Mountain Range.  The south end is on the left and the north end on the right.  Mt. Mitchell, (the highest mountain in the eastern half of North America) is to the right of center and it’s summit is darkly shrouded in the base of a beautiful cumulus congestus cloud.  State park employees and the many visitors were, at the moment this image was recorded, immersed in a dense fog that obscured all but the nearest objects, natural or otherwise.  Yet – as you can see, the “way” is quite clear at almost all other locations within the range of the photograph.

From near Blue Ridge Parkway mile marker 355 North Carolina Highway 128 heads northward for 6 miles – ending at a parking lot near the summit of Mt. Mitchell.

About 30 minutes after I took this picture we were out of our van near the top.  By then the cloud base had lifted and my wife, Terrie and I were treated to some of the clearest views we’d ever seen from that part of the Blue Ridge – typically hazy, smoky, or completely immersed in closely spaced cloud droplets (which is the same as fog). On the average, that mountain top is bathed in cloud matter about 80% of the year’s days.

Here is a link to Mt. Mitchell’s current conditions as well as access to a webcam view from near the top:

There are many dark places in this photograph – the multitude of densely wooded places and at the summit zone of Mt. Mitchell itself.  But the whole picture conveys to me a certain bright beauty – heavenly in quality.  Such thoughts prevailed in my head as I snapped the picture on that lovely afternoon.  Here is why:

A sister of one of my wife’s dearest friends was very much on our mind that day – as she is now. For the past several days she has been in a most serious position teetering on that thin edge between this life and the next dimension. When the cloud around her either lifts or erodes – the view before her will open up and quickly become magnificent – in either case. If she manages to journey back to this reality, the road may be rugged but the experience could well be beautiful in its totality. If, on the other hand, her body finds this existence to be too uncomfortable or unrealistic, she will embark upon a trip that no mortal’s words could possibly describe – for no human can fathom such ecstasy much less put it into words.

If you follow this web-log you are probably a caring person. If you know me – you probably know that I believe strongly in the power of prayer and that I pray to the “Great Guy In the Sky.” If a spiritual dimension is integral in your life and if you are so inclined – please pray for Luanne in your own way. Terrie and I pray for her and those who love her. Which ever way it goes – I wish her Godspeed.

UPDATE: 8-26-2010 – With loving assistance Luanne was removed from artificial life support yesterday.  She has taken that most merciful trip to her heaven where bountiful peace and love replaces all struggles.


Though this is probably not news to you – as predicted in the previous posting – activity is picking up out there.  That should be no surprise considering the time of the year.  Once again, I urge you to be prepared for the eventualities of tropical weather if you live in hurricane country.   Having experienced the destruction and aftermath of hurricane Andrew, I can assure you that it doesn’t always happen to “the other guy (or gal)!”

In my family we find that no matter what plans we make – we must not be surprised or angry or disappointed if Mother Nature decides to inconvenience us.  In my opinion it is important to take one day at a time while doing our best to enjoy life and to be of service to others.

Please count on having to be self-sufficient for a while if a damaging/disruptive storm should come through.  When the little things we take for granted are taken away – our lives can suddenly undergo a drastic change.  For example, after Andrew we had no electricity for over 6 weeks.  In spite of the fact that the majority of people who came down to Homestead to help our community were wonderful and extremely well-intentioned – there were some real opportunists too.  A case in point: Generators were trucked down and sold from the back of the trailers for more than 5 times their suggested retail price – cash only – on the line!  The 25′ travel trailer I bought to live in (our house was a total loss) cost $12,995 in our part of Florida before the storm and $17,995 after the storm.  The good news is that my son-in-law found the same model for me from the dealer in Knoxville who sold it to us for $10,000 – and that included delivering it to my driveway in Homestead and showing me the ropes on how to operate the things I knew nothing about.  He and his wife told us that when watching television in the comfort of their home they had been hoping that something would come up where they could be of significant help to a family.  What special people they are!

Only one window was broken by the storm in our home and that was merely a crack.  Why?  We had them all protected with storm shutters.  But – the roof failed!  The shutters don’t protect the contents of a house when the roof comes off – LOL.

A friend of mine who worked at Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant had quit drinking a couple of years prior to hurricane Andrew.  When I saw him a few days after the storm he told me how happy he was that he had quit because had he been drinking he would have merely sat in his recliner with a bottle (or bottles) and tried to ride out the storm in some state of oblivion.  He said that the storm had moved that recliner 8 yards from its spot in his family room.  I thought to myself, “8 yards – 24 feet – sure – I can visualize that happening – easily.  After all – his family room was the biggest room in the house.  BUT – what he meant was 8 “yards!”  Yes – the chair had been repositioned 8 houses down the street coming to rest in someone else’s back yard.