Saturday, May 18, 2024

Thirty-Eight Years as But a Day! (published 5-18-2024; article #472)


There is plenty of game in the woods. There are plenty of fish in the sea. Hunt and fish for awhile. Pick one. Settle down. Live and enjoy life, the good and the bad, with all the enthusiasm and realistic optimism that the Good Lord gives you, if you know and believe in Him and know your everlasting future. Toss in a heaping helping of humor, while you are at it!

Greetings, and welcome to the 123rd entry, under the family topic section. Thursday marked the 38th wedding anniversary for Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and me. This entry indexes previous anniversary articles, finds humor in how I fixed my mistake, on our 27th anniversary, and highlights this year's anniversary. The conclusion encourages settling down, after a good hunting or fishing expedition.

Index of Previous Anniversary Articles

This husband has spent time in the dog house, but never for forgetting an anniversary. Since 2020, I seem to have gotten into the annual habit of writing about our wedding anniversary.

This website started on 3/6/2006. The lucky 13th article is “20 Years as But a Day (published 5-16-2006).” I replied to the pithy and kind comment by “Mystic,” with whom I used to exchange friendly barbs. His online platforms haven't been active in almost a decade. I hope that he is well. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman's comment is still missing!

A lucky thirteen anniversaries came and went, before I wrote, “34th Wedding Anniversary: Stealth Mission Accomplished (published 5-17-2020).” The stealth mission was my surprise restoration of the replacement pearl setting, for the pearl ring that my wife's mother had given her several years before. Recent analytics showed that the article had been viewed 179 times, with no comments.

Three years ago, I wrote, “5/16/2021: Thirty-Five Years as But a Day.” The article includes a photograph of Mrs. Appalachian Irishman that I'd taken on 7/17/2012 (my 52nd birthday). She still looks the same this year!

A couple of years ago, the article “Thirty-Six Years as But a Day (published 5-16-2022; article #326)” reflected on our wedding day and included a photograph of the newlywed couple. (I have aged gracefully, and my hair and beard are mostly gray. My wife hasn't aged.) Our 36th anniversary also marked my first full day of retirement and included pithy comments about a point of aggravation.

Last year, the article “Thirty-Seven Years as But a Day (published 5-16-2023; article #413)” embedded the Appalachian Irishman - Podcasts (YouTube) episode, titled “Thirty-Seven Years as But a Day (published 5-16-2023; episode 11).” I got a little choked up near the end.

27th Anniversary: Fixing My Mistake!

This section comes clean about how I fixed my mistake on our 27th wedding anniversary, on 5/16/2013! I had hidden a serious anniversary card and a funny anniversary card, for my wife to find. Check! That was good. While at work, I had ordered flowers for delivery to her at her work location. Check! That was great.

The mistake was that I didn't have my billfold in my back pocket! I promised to call the flower shop before it closed, to pay for the flowers on a charge card, once I was back home. Unexpectedly, I had to work an hour overtime! I couldn't call the flower shop before it closed, to give them my credit card information. Yes, I had driven to and from the office, without my driver's license, which was in my billfold. Thankfully, an officer of the law didn't catch me!

What did I do? I called my “long-suffering” wife, who was already home. I asked, with egg splattered on my face, if she could call the flower shop, to pay for the flowers that had been delivered to her at work! She did.

Once I arrived home, my dear wife helped me wipe the egg off my face, as she tried to restrain her laughter!

I'm man enough to publicly admit my mistakes. This was one example.

38th Anniversary

Early last Thursday morning, before leaving for work, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman said, “Happy anniversary!” I replied in kind, while still sitting on the porcelain throne.

Shortly thereafter, I found the following two post-it notes:

The note on the left was on the kitchen cabinet top. Research indicates that the Moon is an average of 238,855 miles away from Earth. A round trip would be 477,710 miles. That's a long and loving walk, dear! Are we planning a trip to the Moon? I wonder what hiking there would be like!

I found the note on the right on my home office desk. I love you too, dear! By the way, my wife likes to go by the first three letters of her first name. I never call her “Bel.” I call her “George” or “Georgie.”

A couple of days before our anniversary, I ordered a dozen roses to be delivered to my wife, at her work location, on that important date. Once again, From The Heart Flowers & Gifts, in Sevierville, Tennessee, provided excellent service. Being retired, my billfold, with credit cards, and I were at home. I didn't get any egg on my face.

My lovely bride photographed my anniversary gift to her, in the following image, after the roses were delivered to her at work.

She brought them home the next day. Still fresh and beautiful, they are on the dining room table.

On our anniversary, once my wife was home, we enjoyed the late afternoon together. As suppertime approached, I discovered another gift from my wife! She had hidden a card, made in Vietnam (at least not in China), between our two computer tablets, which were on the kitchen cabinet top. The following scanned image is the front of the card.

Our love story continues to be written, day by day. It will have a happy ending. Once our transitions from temporal to everlasting life occur, our love story will continue everlastingly. In heaven, we will no longer be mere husband and wife. We will be even closer, and we will remember our temporal lives as husband and wife.


Yes, there is plenty of game in the woods, and there are plenty of fish in the sea. A young and single man or woman hunts and fishes for awhile. (We date others for a while.) Eventually, we pick one and settle down. (The decision must be mutual, of course!) Marriage, like life, is not a bed of roses all the time. Temporal life brings joy and sorrow. At times, the trail gets dark, rough, and steep. Keep walking together! The Lord will help and guide you through those times. The views from the ridgetops are breathtaking!

To all single young men and women, this young, old man of 63 offers sage advice. Hunt and fish for awhile. Once you've found your catch, settle down. Ensure that God is the central focus of your marriage. Together, live and enjoy life. Relish the good and endure the bad. Be enthusiastic and live with realistic optimism. The Good Lord will walk every step with you. At times, He will carry you.

Don't forget to toss in a heaping helping of humor, while you are at it!

To my dear wife, I close by asking and saying, “Do you want to let this reading audience know why your nickname is George?” I love you, my little Georgie!”

Wednesday, May 08, 2024

May Day, National Day of Prayer, Holocaust Remembrance Day, and VE Day (published 5-8-2024; article #471)


Today, on VE Day, the History Channel (A&E Television Networks, LLC) is scheduling multiple episodes of “Pawn Stars.” See today's schedule at On Holocaust Remembrance Day, their Monday schedule showed the same, usual dribble. Come on, History Channel! Show relevant programs, especially on profound days in history!

Welcome and greetings, dear reader. The purpose of this article (the 40th under the Freedom section and the 20th under the heading Worldviews in Conflict) is to summarize and comment on:

  • May Day (Wednesday, 5/1/2024),

  • National Day of Prayer (Thursday, 5/2/2024),

  • Holocaust Remembrance Day (Monday, 5/6/2024),

  • and VE Day (today, Wednesday, 5/8/2024).

Concluding thoughts focus on freedom and worldviews in conflict. I hope that you and I agree. We need to be on the right side of history. You are welcome to state your case and comment, to begin a civil discussion, if you disagree.

May Day

In ancient times, May Day (May 1st) was a Celtic celebration of spring. Similar May Day celebrations continue in the current era. For example, in grade school, we young'uns would sing, as we circled around the maypole, weaving colorful ribbons around it. Us boys would try to catch the eye of a cute girl!

Since May 1, 1886, May Day, or International Workers’ Day, has focused on labor rights and socialism. The May Day association with labor rights began in the United States and spread internationally. May Day is now an official holiday in 66 countries. In 1894, President Grover Cleveland moved the U.S. May Day celebration to the first Monday in September, Labor Day. The intention was to cut ties with International Workers' Day and its implicit support of communism and other radical causes.

Sources for this section include “May Day 2024: What Is May Day?” The Old Farmer’s Almanac, by Catherine Boeckmann, 5/1/2024; “May Day – May 1, 2024” on National Today; and “May Day,” on, by Editors, 5/1/2017, updated 5/1/2024.

This year, for the Fearghail household, May Day involved the “magical mystery starter.” That was the focus of the humorous article on 5/4/2024. Our car's starter is still working!

National Day of Prayer

The National Day of Prayer, on Thursday, May 2, 2024, followed May Day. The annual observance is on the first Thursday in May. The National Day of Prayer started, in 1952, with a joint resolution of the United States Congress and President Harry S. Truman's signature. Source: “National Day of Prayer – May 2, 2024” on National Today.

Ten short years later, as is commonly known, the 1962 Supreme Court decision prohibited school-mandated prayers in public schools. Conflicting worldviews continue to battle for and against the fundamental right to lead public prayers in government schools and in government school gatherings, such as sporting events.

After King Solomon had completed and consecrated the Jerusalem temple, the Lord came and spoke to him. The full context is in 2 Chronicles 7:11-22. Although the immediate application was to the Old Testament nation of Israel, the principles apply today. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV) reads as follows:

. . . if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Contextually, the Lord's promise is conditioned by the people's faithfulness or by their humble repentance and return to Him. Obedience to God would bring national blessings to Israel. Rebellion against His will would lead to that nation's destruction.

Would to God that this once-great nation would humble itself, repent of its ungodliness, and seek His face! That is my daily prayer. What about you?

Holocaust Remembrance Day

The unprovoked and unspeakably cruel attack by Hamas on Israeli citizens, on 10/7/2023, and the subsequent and ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict set the tone for Holocaust Remembrance Day, on Monday, May 6th. Recent and ongoing antisemitic protests, across college campuses throughout the United States, focused special attention on the day. Thankfully, Israel's iron dome protected the nation against the Iranian air strikes on 4/13/2024. Israel retaliated on 4/19/2024.

Holocaust Remembrance Day is the 27th of Nisan (April/May) on the Hebrew calendar, unless the day is adjacent to the Sabbath, in which case the date shifts by one day. Holocaust Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943. The Holocaust (1933 - 1945) was the state-sponsored Nazi German persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews and five million others. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is one of several excellent sources.

Slightly larger than New Jersey, in the United States, Israel is about 290 miles (470 km.) long and about 85 miles (135 km.) wide at its widest point. HISTORY of Israel: Timeline on Mission of Israel to the UN in Geneva chronicles Israel's history, from the biblical patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), to the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948, and up to the year 2010.

From Jewish Virtual Library: a Project of American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE), the following facts are known: As of January 1, 2024, the population of Israel was 9,842,000. The Jewish proportion of the population in Israel continues to decline. At the end of 2023, the total Jewish population was 7,208,000 (73.2%). The Arab population was 2,080,000 (21.1%). “Others” (i.e., non-Arab Christians, Baha’i, Samaritans, Karaite Jews, Seventh-day Adventists, Messianic Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and former Soviet Union immigrants) made up 5.7% of the population. Worldwide, the Jewish population is about 15.2 million. Of that total, 47% reside in Israel.

"Palestine" on Encyclopedia Britannica (last updated 5/8/2024) is an 80-page printed document that provides the complete history of the geographical region known as Palestine. Palestine is a geographical area (as Appalachia is). The term “Palestinians,” which are Jews, Arabs, and other ethnic groups, refers to the people who live in Palestine. There is no unique Palestinian race or ethnic group. Similarly, the term “Appalachians” refers to those who live in the geographic location of Appalachia. There is no unique Appalachian race or ethnic group. We Appalachians are a mixture of many races and ethnic groups.

Arabs and Jews have heritage and kinship in Noah and Abraham (Gen. 10:1-32; 11:10-32; 25:12-34). Ultimately, all humankind has kinship with Adam and Eve, the first humans (Gen. 1:27; 2:7,21-22; 3:20). In Athens, the apostle Paul's first century speech before the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers included, “From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us” (Acts 17:26-27, NIV).

On October 7, 2023, who started the Israel-Hamas conflict? Who can end it? Israel would not need to defend itself, if every Palestinian (Arabs, Jews, and others) could live in peace, as close relatives.

VE Day

Today is the annual observance of Victory in Europe Day (VE Day). On May 8, 1945, Nazi Germany surrendered to the Allied Forces. World War II in Europe was over. My desk calendar shows the annual observances that were mentioned previously. The calendar, however, does not show May 8th as VE Day. I had to write the observance on my calendar.

Two recent articles on this website mark the day. On VE Day, 5/8/2021, I published “5/1/2021, Saturday, May Day: Tribute to a Fine Officer.” I reflected on the May Day and Victory Day celebrations that my wife and I remember, when we were Christian missionaries in Russia. I honored the young officer, whom I met on May Day. On VE Day, 5/8/2022, I published “Mother's Day on VE Day.” The conclusion states, “My Mom was a peacemaker. I have tried to be as well. On this Mother's Day, on VE DAY, 2022, may peace on earth come, as millions of individuals, around the globe, get right with the Good Lord and change their ways!”

Perhaps one day, future desk calendars will show VE Day, on May 8th. Local and national media have given little, if any, attention to the day. I remember.


Concluding thoughts focus on freedom and worldviews in conflict. The saying “freedom is not free” is true. On this VE Day, thinking about the lives lost during the Holocaust and the entirety of World War II, not to mention more recent wars, overwhelms me. Thank you, veterans! Live in honor of veterans, who protected our freedom!

A Christian's freedom cost the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Live in honor of Jesus, who freed us from sin!

Only two people were indigenous, Adam and Eve. Since then, everyone else has been a colonizer. Adam and Eve's descendants migrated to and settled in new areas. Over the course of centuries, nations have taken and continue to take control of other groups and nations. At times, the cause is just, as in the Allied defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in World War II. Often times, the cause is not just. Practically every race and nation have colonized less powerful races and nations. That has been the way of the world, since Adam and Eve's descendants began to settle new areas.

Conflicting worldviews often cause struggles that lead to war. A worldview that calls for the genocide of another race is nothing more than evil incarnate, and it should be stopped dead in its tracks before it escalates. World War II should have taught us that lesson. I hope that the world is not repeating German history from the 1930s.

The right side of history is the biblical worldview. What is the biblical worldview? It is abiding by the law of God, as stated and properly understood in the Bible. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus summarized, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Mt. 7:12, NIV).

May all the ethnic groups and nations of the world follow the Golden Rule. This is my prayer. The world will then have peace.

Sunday, May 05, 2024

Happy Birthday, Carol Sue! (published 5-5-2024; article #470)

7/12/2023, 7:49 PM, photograph at Bootheel Youth Camp (near Bloomfield, MO).


The above photograph is the fifth of eleven photographs, in the 8/5/2023 short story “Charleston, MO, Family Reunion & Mission Moscow Reunion.” Under that photograph is written:

From left to right are Addy, yours truly, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, and my sister. Our smiles reflect the joy of the moment! The cafetorium was filled with campers and adults.

This article's title is a subtle hint. What happened on this day?

What Happened on this Day in History?

Several notable and somewhat noteworthy events happened on May 5th. I checked at least the following sources: “This Day In History: May 5” (, “This Day in History: May 5” (, and “On this day in history - Today, May 5” (

First up is Cinco de Mayo. On May 5, 1862, during the French-Mexican War (1861-1867), an outnumbered Mexican army defeated the invading French army at Puebla. Cinco de Mayo, a holiday in the Mexican state of Puebla, is the annual celebration of the Battle of Puebla.

Remember, y'all! Today is when we place mayonnaise in the sink! Get it? “Sinko de mayo!” I thought that you would laugh!

Second and third up are, on May 5, 1934, the first “Three Stooges” film was released, and, on May 5, 1952, the episode “Lucy Does a TV Commercial” aired on the television show I Love Lucy.” It was the 30th episode in the first season.

Finally, of note, on May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard, Jr., became the first American in space. The Soviet cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, was the first, 23 days earlier, on April 12.

Well, so much for historical trivia on this date in history. What is the noteworthy event today?

My Sister was Born!

Yes, my sister was born in 19xx (year edited allegedly and mysteriously by my sister)! We are not blood kin, but we are kindred spirits. We have “adopted” each other. The previously cited 8/5/2023 short story includes all the fun facts!

Actually, my sister isn't ashamed to admit her age. Let's see here. I'm 63. My sister is just over eight years older than me. Why did I embolden 1952, in the previous section? Y'all can figure it out!

I have a headful of mostly gray hair. My sister doesn't have any gray hair on her head. During a recent phone conversation, my sister shared how someone thought that she looked 20 years younger than she is. I told her the fairly recent time, when someone thought that I looked 10 years younger than I am. Sis. beat me, in the looking younger department, by 10 years!


I will publish this article, after I call and wish my sister a happy birthday. This article is the 122nd entry, under the family topic section. You can't pick your blood kin, but you can pick your kindred spirit family!

Happy 72nd birthday, Sis.! My wife and I love you! Please give our love and greetings to all the family out there! Remember to tell everyone to place mayonnaise in the sink today!

Saturday, May 04, 2024

2012 Nissan Sentra: the Magical Mystery Starter (published 5-4-2024; article #469)

5/4/2024 “Magical Mystery Starter” photograph by M. Fearghail.


Humor, gleaned from an unexpected event, and the Beatles' song “Magical Mystery Tour” (11/27/1967 release) inspired the title of this article. I listened to and watched “Magical Mystery Tour (Remastered 2009),” The Beatles (YouTube), 6/17/2018. Welcome to the 113th entry, under the humor section. Fittingly, this is also the 104th article, under the life (such as it is) topic.

This Appalachian Irishman often finds humor in unexpected events. It's how I cope with the realities of life. Aggravation turned inward is depression. Turned upward, it is prayer. Turned sideways, aggravation becomes humor! This story is a recent example. Let me preach on!

The Magical Mystery Starter!

On May Day, Wednesday, 5/1/2024, the “long-suffering” Mrs. Appalachian Irishman jaw-kissed me goodbye, while I was preparing my morning coffee. I wondered why it was taking her so long to crank our 2012 Nissan Sentra. She came back inside and said that the car would not start. I stepped out to the garage and tried. The headlights worked. The dashboard lights worked. The battery was fine. The clicking noise indicated that the starter could be bad. My wife drove our 2006 Frontier to and from work.

Unlike the 6/3/2023 article, about the starter replacement on our 2006 Frontier, I could easily get to the starter on our car. The nearby Advance Auto Parts had a starter in stock that would fit the car. First, I had to remove the original starter.

I found and watched “2012 Nissan Sentra Starter Replacement!” Andy's Auto (YouTube), 3/11/2024. It's a six-minute and 13-second video. With the right tools and a new starter, even this shade tree mechanic could get to and replace the starter. It's secured by four bolts, which face the right side of the car.

I easily unscrewed the smaller top bolt, which is farther back. I didn't have the right-sized offset wrench that could fit the smaller and farther-back second bolt. Even with WD-40, I couldn't break free the two larger bolts, which are on the front. I had the correct hand tool. I forced all my strength into my shoulders and arms. In park, the car rocked backward, as all my power tried to loosen the large bolts. I tried. I gave up. I need to buy an offset wrench that can reach one smaller bolt and a power tool for the larger bolts.

What did this aggravated shade tree mechanic do? Well, I resecured the bolt that I had removed, gave up, and started making phone calls. I arranged for Hot Rods Towing (865-689-1029) to tow the car and me to Knox Horizon Complete Auto Care (865-419-7407). (The articles of 11/13/2023 and 4/3/2024 highly recommended them.) I also highly recommend Hot Rods Towing!

What do you know? Once the tow truck arrived, I cranked the car, just to put the gear in neutral. The car cranked! It cranked two more times! Graciously, Hot Rods Towing didn't charge for the time. Knox Horizon Complete Auto Care enjoyed my thanks but no thanks call.

Our car must have an original “magical mystery starter!” Could this have been a good type of Irish luck? Who knows?

Quickly, the Beatles' “Magical Mystery Tour” came to my fertile imagination. I sang to myself, “The magical mystery starter is waiting to take you away. Waiting to take you away. Take you today!”

Inflationary Humor

I drove our car to the nearby Advance Auto Parts. Instead of buying a new starter, I bought a two-pack of license plate bulbs for our car. (The two original bulbs had been out for a few weeks.) Two fingernail-sized license plate bulbs cost $8.49 plus tax! The two bulbs should have cost no more than $2.00.

In the parking lot, a vendor was selling hot dogs, drinks, and chips. I bought a hot dog, to eat at home. The hot dog was delicious! It should have cost no more than $1.50. I paid $5.00.

Don't get me started on inflation and “govrmint” spending! A dollar or even ten ain't worth much nowadays. Don't worry! We have a money tree, growing in our back yard!


At least on May Day, our car took a day off from hauling my wife to and from work, and she (our female car) got new license plate bulbs!

Don't even ask me about the hand gymnastics that I had to perform, to replace those bulbs! That was after I popped out a few pins, to remove the cover that is inside the trunk lid. The bulb sockets are behind grated metal. I used my “go-go gadget, rubber-flex-arm” powers, to replace the bulbs.

Banging a starter that is going bad, with a hammer or sledgehammer, can force it back to life for a while. My attempt to remove the original starter could have forced it to work. Who knows? Will our 2012 Sentra still need a new starter soon? We will see.

Do I hear you singing the “Magical Mystery Starter” song? If so, give credit to the Beatles and to my aggravation turned sideways!

As a closing afterthought, since today is May 4th, please don't make those “may the fourth be with you” jokes! May 4th, 2016, was when I was discharged home from the second hospital. Previous articles about May 4th are on 5/8/2022 and 5/5/2023.

Friday, April 26, 2024

House Mountain Hike #190, 4-25-2024: Birthday Greetings & Remembering Mother (published 4-26-2024; article #468)


Greetings, fellow hiking enthusiasts! Yesterday was my 190th hike on House Mountain! It's in my hiking log and memory. Ten more hikes will reach 200!

This entry, the 66th under the hiking section and the 121st under the family topic, describes the hike and includes two photographs from the lower middle bluff. The embedded video begins at that bluff and walks us back to the trailhead. Do we turn left or right?

House Mountain hike 190 was for two sister-in-laws. Their birthdays are a day apart. The hike was also in honor of my “adoptive” mother, who transitioned to her heavenly home, on this day last year.

Photographs at the Lower Middle Bluff & the Buzzard Story

Yesterday, the weather was sunny and warm. The sky was clear and blue. The temperature was in the 70s Fahrenheit. A light breeze helped dry the sweat.

I marked the time at 1:20 PM, as I started hiking up the west trail. Only a few hikers went by me, as they hiked down. The leaves were out fully and provided shade. Of course, poison oak was also out in abundance. Don't touch it! Several hawks were taking advantage of the updrafts. Small game scurried near the trail. The views, aside from the poison oak, were spectacular. If I had a dollar for every poison oak plant that I saw, then I would be a millionaire!

Sipping canteen water as I hiked up, I reached the west bluff and touched my rock, at 1:58 PM. I was surprised that 38 minutes had passed. I wasn't in a race, but I was moving along well. My ticker is fine, and I didn't need to stop to catch my breath. Well, maybe the need to pause, to water the foliage, delayed me a few minutes! Always ensure that you are hydrated, before hiking. Did I hydrate too much, before I started?

After a few minutes at the west bluff, I continued east, along the ridge trail. I met a few other hikers, as they passed by. Thankfully, not many folks were hiking. I had the woods to myself, mostly. You should come along and hike with me sometime! The views along the ridge trail are always great!

Passing the “picnic rock” (as I call it) and the east trailhead, I continued to the lower middle bluff, on the north side of the mountain. I took the two photographs, below, at 2:50 PM. The first looks northeast, and the second looks southwest. Enjoy the views!

At the top of the image, I don't know what the dark spot in the sky was. It wasn't an unidentified flying object (UFO)!

The west bluff, up which I'd hiked, is in the distance. I assume that the property owner built up that corner of the bluff. Smooth rocks are cemented around the sides.

Several years ago, I decided to lie down on the rock. With my head resting on my canteen, the bill of my hiking cap shaded my eyes from the sun. I took a nap. Awakening, several minutes later, a buzzard was flying circles above me. I hollered, “Not yet! Not yet!” The buzzard flew away, to hunt another meal.

The Video: Birthday Greetings & Remembering Mother

The birthday of my wife's youngest sister was the day before yesterday's hike. My youngest brother's wife turned another year older, on the day of the hike. A year ago today, my “adoptive” mother transitioned to her heavenly home. I can only imagine, with my eyes of faith, the everlasting wonders that she is seeing even now! One of these days, my faith will become sight.

Yesterday, I decided to record a video, starting at the lower middle bluff. I kept recording, until I reached the ridge trailhead.

The video, on Appalachian Irishman - Podcasts (YouTube), is titled, “House Mt. Hike 190, 4-25-2024: Birthday Greetings & Remembering Mother (pub. 4-26-2024; episode 28).” I hope that you pause to watch it. The recording is seven minutes and thirty-seven seconds in length. How would you answer the question that I ask, at the end of the video?

Previous articles that mention and honor my “adoptive” mother are:

My Mother's Birthday, 1/21/2021, at Age 91 (published 1-24-2021)

In Memory of My Adoptive Mother (published 5-5-2023; article #410), which includes the remote video message that aired during her funeral service: Ozella McTigue Scott (1-21-1930 to 4-26-2023) Funeral Message, by Marion W. Ferrell (on 4-27-2023).

Charleston, MO, Family Reunion & Mission Moscow Reunion (published 8-5-2023; article #423)

I'll call my “adoptive” sister, after this article is published. Hey, Sis., I hope that you have your ears on!


Thankfully, my 2006 Frontier and I arrived home, just in time for me to start peeling 'taters! Once Mrs. Appalachian Irishman came home, she must have noticed that my hiking shoes were in the kitchen and that I smelled of sweat. I asked about her day. She had to work late, to interview an applicant for an open teaching position. I assume that she assumed that I had been hiking.

In the introduction to this article and at the end of the video, I asked, “Do we turn left or right?” I was standing at the trailhead on the ridge trail. Turning left leads to the dead-end trail. Turning right comes out correctly.

Hiking theology states that we should keep turning right and going straight in life! We come out right at the end of the trail. That's how I'm hiking. Join me, if you aren't already hiking along with me!

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Lillie Ruth Hale, of Rogersville, Tennessee: Synopsis and Commentary (published 4-24-2024; article #467)


Who was Lillie Ruth Hale, and how is she connected to Rogersville, Tennessee, my hometown? Last week, the question came to mind, while listening to “The Yarbrough Show,” on NewsTalk 98.7 FM (Knoxville, Tennessee). The guest mentioned that Lillie Ruth Hale was from Rogersville. Hearing only a snippet of the segment, I missed the full conversation about her. I started researching, to satisfy my curiosity. Apparently, she preferred her middle name, Ruth.

This 32nd entry, under the topic section Appalachia - Northeast Tennessee, provides a synopsis about Lillie Ruth Hale, followed by my commentary. As a note to readers, who may wonder, Ruth Hale did not have a family connection to the historic Hale Springs Inn, which was owned by John A. McKinney and built in 1824. The Hale Springs mineral health resort was nearby, in what became known as Pressmen's Home.


Ruth Hale was born in Rogersville, Tennessee, on 7/5/1886. At age 48, on 9/18/1934, she passed away, in Stamford, Connecticut. Her ashes are interred at the Old Presbyterian Church Cemetery, in Rogersville. (Source: “Ruth Hale Broun,” Find a Grave®.)

Ruth Hale, the journalist, is a 2024 posthumous inductee/honoree, in the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame. (Source: Inductees/Honorees, East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame.) She is one of thirteen inductees/honorees this year. The following is cited as the reason for her inclusion:

Ruth Hale (1887-1934) was a journalist and women’s rights activist. Born in Rogersville, Tennessee, Hale began writing for the Hearst Bureau in Washington, DC, when she was eighteen. She wrote for several influential newspapers and magazines, including the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Public Ledger, the New York Times, Vogue, the Chicago Tribune, and Vanity Fair. Hale was also a popular socialite and theatrical publicist and was a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table. Outside of her journalism career, Hale is best remembered as cofounder of the Lucy Stone League, a feminist organization which fought for the rights of women to own property, receive paychecks, and register to vote using their maiden names even after marriage. She is buried in her East Tennessee hometown.

Her parents, James Richards Hale and Annie Riley Hale, were prominent residents in Rogersville. They had two children. Ruth Hale was the oldest. The Hales owned a large house near the town. James Hale was a lawyer and horse breeder. (Interestingly, Ruth Hale refused to ride a horse sidesaddle.) Annie Hale, who lived to age 85, taught high school mathematics. James Hale was expelled from the Presbyterian Church, for not believing in the virgin birth of Jesus. His tragic passing, at age 41, negatively affected Ruth Hale, who was only ten years old at the time. Growing up, Ruth Hale and her mother often “butted heads” on social and political issues.

At age 13, Ruth Hale left home and continued her education in Roanoke, Virginia. She finished her formal education in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In Washington, D.C., at age 18, Ruth Hale began her career as a freelance journalist. She became a feature writer for several publications. She also became a champion for women's rights.

In New York City, on 6/6/2017, Heywood Campbell Broun (age 28, also a journalist) and Ruth Hale (age 30) were united in marriage. She refused to take his last name, defied the traditional floral bouquet, rejected the traditional wedding music, and refused to exchange wedding rings.

The newlywed couple became World War I correspondents in France, until Ruth Hale became with child. The couple returned to New York City, and their only child, a son, was born on 3/10/1918.

Afterward, Heywood Broun and Ruth Hale, although still married, lived on separate floors of their New York City home. They continued their careers in journalism, with Hale often assisting Broun. Ruth Hale continued to advance her social and political agendas, for which she became well-known. The couple lived together or separately, as the years unfolded.

In the late 1920s, Ruth Hale often lived alone and secluded at Sabine Farm, in Stamford, Connecticut. After 16 years and five months of marriage, Ruth Hale traveled to Mexico and obtained a divorce from her husband. Heywood Broun agreed, and their divorce was finalized on 11/17/1933.

Ten months and a day after their divorce, Ruth Hale passed away, at 48, on 9/18/1934. Her health had deteriorated. She had lost the use of her legs, stopped eating, and refused medical assistance. Her body was cremated.

Ruth Hale's mother, Annie Riley Hale, arranged to have the cremated remains of her daughter interred at the Old Presbyterian Church Cemetery, in Rogersville. A train brought Ruth Hale's ashes to Rogersville, but a dispatcher had mistaken the urn for a bottle of pepper. He had placed the urn on a local grocery store shelf. The urn was retrieved and interred by her father's grave, in the Old Presbyterian Church Cemetery.

This summary relies on the following additional sources: “Rogersville native Ruth Hale fought for Women’s Rights, The Rogersville Review, by Rodney Ferrell, 4/2/2023; “Ruth Hale,” Spartacus Educational, by John Simkin, 09/1997 (updated 01/2020); “Ruth Hale’s Fight for Her Name,” New-York Historical Society, by Emma Finn (Intern, Center for Women’s History), 8/13/2021; “Ruth Hale the Iconoclast,” Algonquin Round Table, by Kevin Fitzpatrick, 4/25/2022; “James Richards Hale,” Find a Grave®; and “Heywood Campbell Broun,” Find a Grave®.


How did Ruth Hale's parents, James Richards Hale and Annie Riley Hale, get along? Both seemed to be intellectual. James Hale's opinion about the virgin birth of Jesus was a grave error, of course. What sparked Ruth Hale's forceful positions on the social and political issues of her time? We may never know.

Ruth Hale's journalistic accomplishments are notable. Her advocacy for the right of women to vote helped win that right (the 19th Amendment, 8/18/1920). She fought for a woman's right to own property in her own name. Ruth Hale seemed to be very strong-willed. I admire strong will, if it is headed in the right direction.

Reading about Ruth Hale, I found her life story somewhat disheartening and tragic. Her brilliance seemed to be quixotic in some pursuits, as if chasing windmills.


Ultimately, was Ruth Hale a Christian? Was she saved by the grace of God, through Christ Jesus? Unfortunately, none of the sources that I found included any information on these vital questions.

What will be your life's legacy? What will be mine? What will be inscribed on our tombstones?

The inspired wisdom of Solomon concludes Ecclesiastes (12:13-14, NIV) by stating:

Now all has been heard;
  here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
  for this is the duty of all mankind.
For God will bring every deed into judgment,
  including every hidden thing,
  whether it is good or evil.

“Fear” is understood in the sense of reverence. The complete understanding is that loving reverence for God inspires the doing of His will. God saves us to serve Him, for His glory and our everlasting joy. That is the whole and complete purpose and meaning of life. Anything less comes up everlastingly too short. We either aim high and hit the mark, to our everlasting benefit, or we aim low and miss the target, to our everlasting sorrow.

I would like my tombstone to read, “He was a former poor beggar, who found the Bread of Life. He lived life, trying to share that Bread.”

What about you, dear reader?

Monday, April 22, 2024

4-22-2024: Passover Begins at Sundown, Earth Day, & Lenin's Birthday (published 4-22-2024, article #466)

10/16/2010 Sunset Photograph on House Mountain, by M. Fearghail, from the article “House Mountain Sunset 10/16/2010 (published 10/24/2010).”


My desktop calendar tells me that today, at sundown, is the beginning of Passover. It is also Earth Day. “Daily Calendar for Monday, April 22, 2024” (The Old Farmer’s Almanac) says the same.

This entry, the 19th under the topic section Worldviews in Conflict, reviews Passover, Earth Day, and Lenin's birthday. All three events converge today. The conclusion encourages the unwise to turn to or return to the biblical worldview. The wise are already there.


Sunset today marks the meaningful beginning of Passover (Hebrew פֶּסַח, Pesach). The annual Jewish observance is a weeklong remembrance of the Exodus, when God delivered the Hebrews from Egyptian slavery. On the Jewish calendar, the observance begins, at sundown, on the 14th day of Nisan (Aviv). Passover is derived from the tenth plague, when the Lord passed over the homes of the Israelites. The Old Testament Book of Exodus chronicles the historical event (Ex. 12:1-15:21).

When Jesus came to John, the messenger, who prepared the way for Him, John said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29, NIV). Christians rejoice in the words of the inspired apostle Paul, who wrote, “For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Cor. 5:7, NIV). As the apostle Peter stated, we have been redeemed from our empty lifestyle “. . . with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Pet. 1:19, NIV).

Praise be to God, whose grace, through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, saves us from our empty and sinful lifestyles! Everlasting life is ours!

The Israel-Hamas conflict began when Hamas attacked Israel on 10/7/2023 -- a day that will live in infamy in Israeli history. The Israel-Iran engagement began when Iran struck Israel with an airborne assault on 4/13/2024.

My written prayer is that all will accept the Prince of Peace. If so, the world will find lasting peace. I pray that antisemitic protesters will realize the error of their ways and turn to the Lord. I wish Jewish friends a happy and peaceful Passover and encourage them to find the Prince of Peace, if they haven't. I have known Jewish Christians, who observe Passover and who know the Passover Lamb as their Savior.

Earth Day

Today is also the lackluster annual occasion of Earth Day. “Our History,”, presents its history and timeline. Earth Day started on 4/22/1970. It led to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act.

A senator and a young college activist started Earth Day. The previously cited source states that they chose April 22, since the weekday was between spring break and final exams. They wanted to ensure that many college students would participate. It is alleged, however, that the day was selected, since it marked the centennial anniversary of Vladimir Lenin's birth.

This article accepts the conservationist aspects of Earth Day. God placed man “. . . in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Gen. 2:15, NIV). From creation, humankind must work on and take care of planet Earth. I reject the environmentalist views about Earth Day.

The political smorgasbord article on 5/2/2021 includes my rather pithy comments about Earth Day. The article verifies that Earth Day started on the centennial anniversary of Vladimir Lenin's birth.

The 3/26/2023 article states my position fully. The conclusion includes the following:

By following the biblical worldview, I am a conservationist. All who share this view, as good stewards, use natural resources in an ethical manner, to better humankind. We, however, care for and manage those resources, to improve them, for future generations.

Environmentalists, in contrast, follow a pantheistic worldview, in that they worship god (the creation), instead of God (the Creator). Deifying nature, they subjugate human needs to protect nature, which has preeminence. They see all humans, including themselves, as parasites and disrupters of nature. They, however, see themselves as “noble parasites,” while looking down on us, as “disrupting parasites.”

I stand by that statement. I still affirm the biblical worldview of conservationists. My prayer is that environmentalists will stop worshiping god (the creation) and worship the Creator.

Lenin's Birthday

At birth, Vladimir Lenin was named Влади́мир Ильи́ч Улья́нов (Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov). He took on the pseudonym “Lenin.” The Marxist revolutionary, founder of the Communist Party, and first Soviet leader was born on 4/22/1870, according to the modern Gregorian calendar. (By the old Julian calendar, he was born on 4/10/1870. The Soviet Union switched from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, on February 1, 1918.) Lenin died on 1/21/1924. His body is interred in Lenin's Tomb in Moscow on Red Square. Sources: “Vladimir Lenin,” On This Day and “Timeline of V. I. Lenin,” Marxists Internet Archive.

When my wife and I were Christian missionaries in Russia (10/1/1994 - 9/30/1999), we toured inside the Lenin Mausoleum. We saw Lenin's corpse, still lying in state. We were part of a group. No photographs were allowed.

Snopes labels as false the theory that the founders of Earth Day wanted to associate the day with Lenin's birthday. See “Why Is Earth Day on April 22? Since the very first Earth Day, rumors have been floated linking the date to the birthday of Vladimir Ilich Lenin,” Snopes, by David Mikkelson, 4/21/2015. Snopes, however, is not a completely reliable source. Their conclusion could be wrong.

I smell a rat! The first Earth Day, on 4/22/1970, could have happened to fall on the centennial anniversary of Vladimir Lenin's birth (4/22/1870), with no planned association of the days, but I doubt it. Such a coincidence is unlikely. I am not the only skeptic. For example, see “Earth Day's real (Leninist) history,” WorldNetDaily (WND), by Brian Sussman, 4/21/2021. The author states that it “was no accident” that the inaugural Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, happened to be on the centennial of Vladimir Lenin's birth. Of course, accidents can happen. The coincidence seems to have been a planned accident, with built-in deniability.


The unwise need to turn to or return to the biblical worldview. The wise are already there.

The sunset view that I enjoyed over thirteen years ago, on 10/16/2010, is still vivid in my mind. That was my 71st hike on House Mountain.

At sunset this evening, thoughts and prayers will be for peace. May the Passover blessings of Christ, the Passover Lamb, inspire all humankind to adopt a saving biblical worldview.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Recommended Reading: CultureWatch by Bill Muehlenberg (published 4-13-2024; article #465)


Geographically, northeast Tennessee, the home of this Appalachian Irishman, is “up and over” from Australia. Australia is “the land down under,” due to its location in the southern hemisphere.

The distance from this area to Melbourne, Australia, is about 9,760 miles. That would be a long hike! Traversing the ocean would be done by taking a step, coming up for air, and taking another step! To set the mood for this article, I found the Australian rock band Men At Work (YouTube) and enjoyed their song “Men At Work - Down Under (Official HD Video).”

This article, the 18th, under the topic section Worldviews in Conflict, recommends the website CultureWatch: Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day. I happened to come across it yesterday. I hope that this article introduces Bill Muehlenberg's website to readers on this platform.

Recommending Bill Muehlenberg

Why do I recommend Bill Muehlenberg's website? About CultureWatch states the following:

We live in an age where we see evidence of cultural decline, the erosion of values, the decline of civility, the denial of truth and the elevation of unreason. Many people are asking, “Where is our culture heading?” This website is devoted to exploring the major cultural, social and political issues of the day. It offers reflection and commentary drawing upon the wealth of wisdom found in the Judeo-Christian tradition. It offers reflective and incisive commentary on a wide range of issues, helping to sort through the maze of competing opinions, worldviews, ideologies and value systems. It will discuss critically and soberly where our culture is heading. Happy reading!

Bill Muehlenberg is one of many, whose voices are as “one calling in the wilderness” (John 1:23, NIV). In a scholarly manner, his website affirms the biblical worldview and critiques the ungodly worldviews that are destroying the everlasting souls of the majority.

Bill Muehlenberg is a prolific and well-established writer. He publishes an article about every day. Over three decades of articles began with his first article on 5/10/1990. His website header includes five topic sections: Christianity, Culture Wars, Ethics, Theology, and Testimonials. Forty-five Categories (from Africa to Worldviews) include 26,818 articles (as of my 4/12/2024 tally).

Unfortunately, the website does not include biographical information about Bill Muehlenberg. A bit of research, however, led to his biographical sketch. The undated biography, “Bill Muehlenberg,” Creation Ministries International (CMI), includes the following:

Bill Muehlenberg is an American-born apologist and ethicist in Melbourne, Australia. He has a BA with honours in philosophy (Wheaton College, Chicago), an MA with highest honours in theology (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Boston). He is currently completing a PhD in theology. He has his own ministry called CultureWatch, which features Christian commentary on the issues of the day: He is a prolific author, and a much sought after media commentator, and has been featured on most television and radio current affairs programs. Bill teaches ethics, apologetics and theology at several Melbourne Bible Colleges. He is the author of Strained Relations: The Challenge of Homosexuality, Freedom Publishing, 2011. Bill is married, with three sons.

His website links to his channel, Bill Muehlenberg (YouTube), which started on 10/8/2011. Yesterday, I watched the following two episodes: “Bill Muehlenberg Testimony,” Bill Muehlenberg (YouTube), 9/10/2017, and “Who is Bill Muehlenberg?” Bill Muehlenberg (YouTube), 9/21/2017. His testimony, which lasts just under 20 minutes, is moving. His self-introduction is just over five minutes.

Since yesterday, I have selected and read several articles. I bookmarked Bill Muehlenberg's website as a favorite. I plan to visit often.


Modern technology is good, in that this Appalachian Irishman does not need to hike about 9,760 miles, to become acquainted with Bill Muehlenberg. He and I look to be in the same generation. This article “shakes his hand,” across the pond, and suggests that readers of this website check out CultureWatch: Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day. I'm sure that he won't mind if you drop by.

Worldviews in conflict is an ongoing spiritual battle between good and evil and between solid rock and sinking sand. Jesus concluded his sermon on the mount (Matthew, chapters 5-7), as follows:

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Mt. 7:24-27, NIV)

The world needs to wake up, not “woke” up, before the ultimate acknowledgment of truth arrives. The awake, in Christ, understand. The “woke,” who follow ungodly worldviews, need to understand. Wake up, America! Wake up, world!

This article is also written in honor of my paternal grandfather, Marion Ferrell, who was born on this date, in 1880.