Sunday, July 25, 2010

Back in Time

I went down to Radford, VA on Friday to be in place to pick up the daughter from Governor's School on Saturday a.m.  Since I was ahead of schedule, when I got to Lexington I took the exit for a tour down memory lane.

I went to  law school there many years ago. Much about the place has changed, especially around the universities (which explains all the begging alumni letters they send). But as I took the road out of town to the west to visit my old home, I was struck by the timeless beauty of the mountains.

The house I lived in back then was the former kitchen of the main house. The main house was built in 1789 in what was then, quite the wilderness. The huge tree that ran its length, known as the "summer beam" was visible in the basement where I did laundry. It was probably 300 years old when it was felled to build the house -- so it was a sapling when Columbus first encountered this new world!

As I said, my apartment was the smaller outbuilding. It was really cold in winter, and really steamy in summer, but it was all mine. And the view was amazing. House Mountain in all its glory . . .

I got back onto the interstate and headed further south, marveling at how beautiful and green things looked around Roanoke. Just as I went through the pass, the sky turned dark and all heck broke loose with pounding rain, turning visibility to about 10 feet. It didn't last long but it was INTENSE! It demonstrated with clarity why everything in that stretch looked green!

By the time I got to Radford, the car was completely dry and the landscape looked parched. Funny how those mountains make the clouds yield rain on one side only!


Mary said...

I LOVE going back to where I went to Undergrad school. It's so pretty! There must be something about that area around Roanoke & rain: When we came back from DC a few weeks ago, we got hit hard near Wytheville (which I know is further south!).

SouthLakesMom said...

My husband informed us this evening that rain thing near the mountains is called "orographic effect". Uh...yeah...okay, honey. I guess I need to google it.

quilly said...

Kelley -- for a change Amoeba explained it in English. He called it "the rain shadow effect".

SouthLakesMom said...

Quilly - I prefer to think that the clouds are REALLY full, and as they go over the mountains, the tops of the mountains tickle them, so they spill what they're carrying! Fanciful, but fun.