Out of the mist

Buckets of water are hitting the windshield. I expect to see fish on the car’s hood.

The forecast for home, where we’re headed, is freezing rain.

The temperature in Chattanooga starts out around 38. Then we cross into Georgia, and the temperature drops a few degrees. As we head further east, closer to home, the temperature goes to 34.

At Carter’s Lake, the Visitor Center is closed. We have to relieve ourselves in the brush next to the gate.

As I step away from public visibility, I see a tiny spark of color. The first bluet in bloom. That pale lavender and a dot of yellow at the center.

Five weeks until spring.

Wrapped in mist, the lake unwinds slowly. The wash of white doesn’t come up to the guard rail.

At the main gate for our community, an attendant tells us the roads are frozen at the higher elevations. “Our house is at 2,000 feet,” I tell her, and she says that’s around the freezing point but we should be OK.

misty trees

The temperature is 34, then 33. We wind our way slowly up, one layer at a time.

“Honey, I can hike home from here. Honestly,” I tell Tom. 

“It’s fine, I’ll get you home,” he says. He is confident in the four-wheel drive.

I keep my eye on the temperature gauge. It holds at 33. 

You never know, when pavement is wet, whether it could be icy. Sara has texted me that they have iciness on their deck. How cold is the pavement from the night before? How quickly will the water freeze in those small indentations of asphalt?

It’s still 33.

We make it.

I’m anxious, but I write. I talk to my book buddy. I look at my photos. I try to meditate.

Remember the mist was beautiful over Carter’s Lake. The view was serene and you didn’t worry. You were happy.

One bluet is enough sometimes.

Today’s penny is a 2008, the first year I saw bluets.