Round Two of freezing (or frozen) rain came and went yesterday afternoon. Again the air was so bitterly cold (sub-20°F) that what fell neither melted nor accumulated on the trees — it bounced and landed on the ground. The stuff stuck on our vehicles and outdoor fixtures.

I’m optimistic about how the forecast for the long-predicted Round Three has evolved. When I looked last night, the six-hour window had shrunk to five and precipitation probabilities had decreased to 45% or less. By this morning all predictions of more freezing rain had vanished from the forecast.

Knock wood, no power outages. Our supply of propane just ticked down to two-thirds full. We’re in great shape here.

I’ll confess that when we do our outdoor chores here at the campground — limited this week to walking the dogs and dumping the tanks — I’m inclined to pretend I’m somewhere else. As soon as I exit the bus I turn my head to the right and look at the hillside behind our site, focusing only on the woods.

When I can’t be on The Mountain, I consciously put myself into that frame of mind. I did the same thing for years at the house in Ohio, long before I’d ever laid eyes on our perfect patch of The Ozarks, intentionally shutting out street and structures, traffic and the trappings of suburban life.

The practice has come in handy. I can be absolutely present in the moment and still choose exactly where I want to spend it.

At daybreak this morning, a great horned owl hooted over my shoulder.

“Talk to God and listen to the casual reply…”

John Denver

On a day when a number of my friends are posting colorful photos from tiki bars and sandy beaches, chasing that “sunny and seventy-five” vibe, my header image of our Silverado’s cowl encased in ice is quite the contrast. I don’t know what to tell you, my friends — this is exactly where I want to be.

Between improving weather and improving health, Deb and I felt up to leaving the campground today. We didn’t do much, but we did get together with our architect and approved the foundation drawings he’s doing for us. The old fella took some creative license, too — we may not be able to afford what he drew, but the plans can be adapted to fit our budget.

We’ll pick up the final prints this Friday, and we should be in business again.

We made one final visit to the Sears Hometown Store before it closes for good. The only person left working was the guy who’s owned the franchise for over 30 years, and he was in remarkably good spirits. I bought a handful of loose (individual) Craftsman sockets, just because — and just because I could pick up $65 worth of sockets for nine bucks.

And we gassed up the truck. The gauge has been sitting near empty for a few weeks now, which hasn’t mattered because we weren’t going anywhere (and because the Jeep was full if we needed make a run). The price of 87 octane had jumped 20 cents since the last time we bought gas.

I’ll tell you what, though — it sure felt good to get out.

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

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB