Again with the snow

We saw the first flake of snow flutter in the air around 9:15am yesterday morning. Fifteen minutes later the grassy areas and the rooftops were coated in white. Snowfall tapered off by mid-afternoon, leaving us with three or four inches on the ground.

The locals keep telling us that this has been an unusually cold and especially snowy winter. By the numbers, they’re right.

Originally we’d circled today, March 12th, to leave for Ohio. When we saw snow and sub-20°F temps in the forecast, however, we pushed our launch back a few days. Looking around us this morning, we made the proper call.

The weather affects our pre-departure routine as well. There’s not a lot left to do — packing up what remains of our outdoor setup, shooting lube on a few things, checking fluid levels and putting air in all six tires.

We also need to run a couple of last-minute errands while we still have our trusty toad. That’ll happen today, and we’ll drive Mercy over to The Mountain on Sunday.

Monday will be a day to tie up loose ends in the bus and conserve our strength for the relatively short push to central Ohio. We’re looking forward to seeing friends for the first time in almost a year, taking in some live music at Squeek’s and getting back to familiar surroundings — at least for a while.

We’ll have to splash some cold water on our mindset, however. Yesterday morning’s news carried stories of two murders in the Columbus metro area, one just blocks from the shop where Deb and I worked, along with video of a police shootout — in the middle of Interstate 71 — on the north side of the city.

It’s a whole ‘nother world.

To be sure, no place is 100% safe and secure. We know that and conduct ourselves accordingly.

But it’s also a matter of degrees. Crime is a reflection of what a culture cultivates and tolerates.

That which we allow will continue. The shit we see on the streets of Columbus wouldn’t be allowed ’round here.

I owe readers an update on my experience with Relief Factor. This morning marked the end of my three-week QuickStart course and the beginning of regular maintenance dosage. I’ll continue to take the product, two doses (eight capsules) daily, because it works for me.

My joint pain is, for the first time in years, under control. Relief Factor doesn’t keep me from hurting — it helps my body respond to pain caused by inflamed joints. After a day of exertion I often still hurt, but the pain no longer is debilitating and I recover much, much faster.

Because I feel better and hurt less I tend to push myself harder. My body isn’t used to that, so sometimes I end up with pain brought on by doing more than I have in a very long time.

For example, after a week on Relief Factor I stopped wearing a compression brace on my right knee, something I’d been doing the last six years to manage inflammation in that surgically repaired joint. At the end of a day of clambering all over The Mountain braceless, the knee would hurt more than if I’d worn the device — but the pain was gone by the next morning. That’s new for me, and it’s welcome.

Just be advised that if you decide try Relief Factor and it works for you, inadvertently you may end up “overdoing it.”

Deb, intrigued by my experience, began her own QuickStart a little over a week ago. She’s as stubborn and skeptical as I am, and yet she told me that she began to feel the effects after only two doses — that’s less than one day.

The downside for her is that the omega-3 gelcaps play hell with her GI tract. It’s a potential side effect the Relief Factor folks say to watch out for and, as they suggest, Deb stopped taking the omega-3 for several days. Right now she’s reintroducing the fish oil gelcaps gradually to find a level her system can tolerate.

But here’s the thing — even when she takes only the capsules containing icariin, resveratrol and turmeric, she still experiences significant relief. Because she’s not burdened by constant pain, she reports feeling more clear-headed. She can stand up from a chair without “pushing off.” It’s been amazing to watch the change in her.

Relief Factor may or may not work for you. If you have chronic joint pain, however, we recommend you give it a shot.

After I broke The Big News yesterday — that Deb and I are leaving the road, selling Second Chance Ranch and moving to The Ozarks — I started thinking that what we’re doing may look impulsive, even ill-considered. I can assure you that it’s neither.

Deb and I met in October of 2005. We knew almost immediately that we’d spend the rest of our lives together. Within a couple of weeks of our first date, as I recall, we poured wine and talked about what we wanted out of life.

The conversation turned eventually to the sort of place we wanted to live “someday.” She shared her vision and I shared mine. They were exactly the same.

A simple cabin on a wooded mountain. Twenty acres would be perfect. No close neighbors. No lawn to mow. Water. Rocks. Evergreens. Sunsets. A garden. A woodstove. A front porch. An old pickup truck. A small town nearby.

We didn’t actively chase that dream. We’d recall that conversation from time to time, but we didn’t dwell on it.

To our surprise, almost 17 years on, our dream found us. The Mountain has everything except the water. The rest is there or will be there.

It’s perfect. Life’s funny that way.

The band of heavy snow that swept through here yesterday morning descended on Second Chance Ranch last night.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB