Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Buds WILL Come....

Forty-eight years ago, in a March after the groundhogs did NOT see their shadows, and we were promised an early Spring, I caught a Greyhound in Memphis and rode all the way East to Murphy, N.C. in a sleety blizzard.

A magazine assignment in Hernando, MS was aborted and we joined a rowdy group outside Graceland to welcome our Elvis home from Germany in a snowstorm. All flights were grounded....Thus, the bus.

Deep in the night...or wee morning hours...I staggered from the bus and found a dilapidated taxi to take me 23 miles to my mountaintop home.

When we got to the foot of the mountain, my new friend refused to try the ascent. I paid him double and shared brandy with him before I stashed my luggage at a fish camp shed.. He broke into a fish camp unit, eschewing a blizzardy blind return to Murphy.

I’ll never forget that mountain climb in the 16 inch snowpack. I actually recalled some of Admiral Richard Byrd’s “ALONE” That had so enthralled me in 1935.

When I got to the house, my mother in law, Lucy thought I was a home invader-cum-ghost. My three sons, delirious and my beautiful Betts very warm and grateful for my early return.

“We sledded to Kimsey’s store yesterday”, ( three quarters of a mile away). “All we had room for was some soup, three loaves of bread and two sacks of dog food....”

There had been no vehicular traffic in days, and we had a kennel full and a house full of pointers, beagles, Brittanies and poodles.

I really despaired of ever seeing Spring, or a rainbow trout or any bird but juncos again.

But, three weeks later, there were tender buds everywhere. Another week and I was hip deep in the river, fly-fishing, taking trout.

So, now, at 83, I pass on one of my favorite quotes from William F. Buckley Jr., who removed to the True World last week:

“So not EVER despair ! Despair is a MORTAL sin !”

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