Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Perfect Autumn Day

If you live in a colder climate, our coastal North Carolina weather might be a puzzle to you. Our coldest winter day would seem only an autumn day to you. Thus, our autumn days, even in late November, often feel a bit like the end of summer. Today was such a day. It began with rain, just a little. This moistens the air.
Our air is generally moist. This dampness is humidity in the summer, but in the winter it lends the Deep South a certain warm, friendly quality that beckons you outside. Rather than winter feeling dead and cold, here winter feels alive and wet just beneath the soil's surface. With a jacket, all the outdoors are quite welcome in our winter.
I write this on Saturday. Today we vendors met early at the market and set up our tents. The holidays are coming, and we have two rows of vendors and lots of fun shopping for customers to enjoy. The thermometer reached 70ยบ today!
One new lady makes little Christmas ornaments. It's fun to celebrate Christmas without freezing to death. As a child, I felt quite deprived, living every winter without snow, ice, sleet, and all its attending joys. But six years in Iowa filled all my pent up need for snow, and now I'm fine to live without it for the rest of my life.
And, in Oriental, you simply never know what will drive up in a truck next to you. This is what arrived today.
Yes, that's a water buffalo's head, shot in Zimbabwe by a local man. The taxidermist was delivering it to his office.
This has nothing to do with a perfect autumn day; it was too bizarre not to share, however.
Of course, it drew a crowd. Generally, I'm not happy to see dead animals on display, but others were quite impressed.
About 4:00 I realized I simply had to take a bike ride to the river on such a day. I asked Adam, "Is it colder outside?" And he said, "no" (silly man). Of course it was chillier! I wore a pair of Keds, no socks, a long-sleeved t-shirt, and a pair of stretchy dance pants. It was brisk, but very fun.
Earlier this afternoon a dozen or so sailboats took advantage of the day's perfection and met in the Neuse for some sort of race. You can spot a race because the boats cluster together around a marker.  One last sail leaned with the wind on its way home.
It's no wonder so many retirees here come from Connecticut, Long Island, Jersey, and Pittsburgh. None of them misses the shoveling. If you're looking for a place to come for blissful winter days (or even just very-late-fall days), Oriental is a fine choice! Come visit!

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