Sunday, December 22, 2019

APPROACHING THE EVE OF CHRISTMAS UPDATE


Today, at sundown, is the beginning of Hanukkah, the Hebrew Festival of Lights. The Maccabean Revolt and the rededication of the second temple is a historical fact to research and read.

12/14/19, Saturday: I took Molly doggie, at 9:30 AM, for her annual physical exam, immunizations, and acquisition of more once-a-month pills (flea/tick and heartworm prevention). She is doing very well -- except for a minor yeast infection in both ears that we’d been trying to cure for a while. Her veterinarian doctor will cure it!

In the early afternoon, in on and off again rain, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman joined me, bravely, to “hunt” our first Christmas tree, since after her mother went Home, on 4/30/17. We decorated it later, but here is the photo before decorations. This is one of the best Christmas trees that I’ve ever “hunted!” I always ask the tree if it wants to be our Christmas tree. The trees, over the years, always indicate “yes.” I then cut the trees, to take them home, as Christmas trees.

As a boy, I enjoyed “hunting” a Christmas tree in the fields and woods around our home, just off, as it was called, dead man’s curve on old Highway 11W. Later, in my teenage and young adult years, I always “hunted” Christmas trees to decorate our new homeplace. I often drove Dad’s old truck to the ancestral Ferrell homeplace, where part of the foundation to the home was still visible, to find a tree. The last tree, for many years, that I “hunted,” with Dad joining me, was for our Knoxville apartment, on Monday, 12/13/99. (We had returned from Russia, on 9/30/99.) Mom and Dad drove down to visit us that day. That was a fine memory! Of course, that was before Mom’s eventual journey Home, on 12/27/2000, which started on 12/28/1999. Mom was completely well on 12/13/99.

Sunday, 12/15/19: I decided that the best thing that I could do for my “bionic” joints was to stay indoors, rest, and recover from the prior week, before another 12/16/19 thru 12/20/19 work-a-day world that I endured, once again.

Saturday, 12/21/19: I had my seventh, every-four-week, deep tissue massage, at 11 AM. Of course, I hauled trash before, and I got 100% gas for my new, ol’ truck afterward. That was enough for the “bionic” joints!

Well, at least Mrs. Appalachian Irishman is on her two-week Christmas (not “winter”) vacation from her teacher/vice-principal school job. I’m “burning” a few days (as I call it), on 12/23/19, 1/2/20, and 1/3/20. Us long-suffering State employees get Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day off.

As we approach sundown, the following is a historical memory photo, from my “fun” days in 2016.
The black item is the brace that I wore on my right leg, to keep my knee immobilized. The boot is what I wore on my right foot, to also keep it immobilized. Those were “fun” days! I happened to be placing a drying rack under the bed, when I noticed these items. I thought, “why not have a little fun with a photo!”

Well, Merry Christmas, y’all, for the RIGHT, TRUE meaning of the reason for the season! The Word became flesh, dwelled among us, died as our atoning sacrifice, and rose again, to return one day (soon, I hope). The divine Scheme of Redemption was accomplished -- only to await the full accomplishment by the return of Christ and the conclusion of this temporal realm.


Friday, December 13, 2019

TRISKAIDEKAPHBIA


Well, happy fear of the number 13, especially if it falls on a Friday, y’all!

Today, on the dreaded Friday, December 13, 2019, I took a day off from the bureaucratic, psychobabble, work-a-day world! I “enjoyed” the need to see my chiropractor at 10 AM. Then, at 11:30 AM, I “enjoyed” lunch at a local eatery with my work colleagues, who thought that the round trip, from work in a next-door County and back, was a great idea. (I, of course, did not, so I took a day off! I ate with them anyway.) Afterward, I got my every-four-week haircut, from my fine barber of many years. Finally, in the still pouring rain, my ‘ol truck and I got in “the barn” for the rest of the day. So, here I “sot” writing to my “millions” of readers, once again!

Saturday, December 7, Pearl Harbor Day

Wednesday, 12/7/16, was my first drive, in my new, ‘ol truck to the homeplace, since my acquisition of three “bionic” joints! Enjoy the photo, from 12/7/16! I still had the dealer tag.


Also, on 12/7/16, I gave back the rolling walker that a good neighbor, Stan, had loaned to me. I did NOT need it ANYMORE!



Saturday, 12/7/19, was my House Mountain hike #162! (My #26 since “bionic” body parts.) Enjoy the photos!
 
 This is near the west bluff, heading back down. The view is southeast. A man has to stop to take a leak somewhere!


 This is the below the ridge line trail, east view, heading down.

My new, ‘ol truck still looks the same! He likes to have his photo taken after these hikes!


The next day, Sunday afternoon, 12/8/19, was my House Mountain hike #163! Yes, two hikes in one weekend! It was too warm both days, but it was sunny both days. I had to get into the woods, since I still have power in my body! My spirit will always have the will. One of these days, I won’t have the power in my body, but not on that weekend! Enjoy the photos.


This is west bluff, looking southwest.

This photo does not do justice to the steep rocks I must climb to go up and navigate to go down, on the below the ridge trail. I’m going down here, looking east. Going up is easier, about the same as before “bionic” body parts. Going down is as a “lame mountain goat,” not the “mountain goat” that I was before “bionic” body parts.

Now, this photo is from a few steps later, going down, eastward. The photo is more realistic of the challenge. Do you want to try to go down at this “gravity defying” spot? I do, every chance that I get!

My new, ‘ol truck told me to photo the information board, instead of him, today, so I did. On the middle left is a photo that I’d taken years ago, in the snow. I was on the middle bluff. The photo looks east. A park official, years ago, when they were improving the parking area, etc., asked me to submit a few photos. She picked the one you see. My name is on the photo. I touch it after every hike. Of course, recently, some idiot or idiots shot holes in the board and shot yellow paint balls on it. I’ll hunt them down myself and “educate” them if I can! Otherwise, I am sending this photo to the State of Tennessee folks, to see if they can stop the idiot(s)! Leave my photo alone! You got paint on it, but you didn’t put a hole in it! Yes, my “Irish” is up on this one!!!!!

Sunday, December 01, 2019

FIRST DAY OF WINTER WANDERINGS (published 12-1-2019)

Introduction

Well, howdy, y’all! The reason for the title will be evident later. Keep reading!

I missed a point, in my last post, regarding 11/21/2019, the anniversary of Papaw Ferrell’s passing. On 11/21/2016, Monday, I arranged the purchase of my new, ol' truck. On 11/25/2016, Friday – the day after Thanksgiving and Mom’s birthday (same day of week in 1932) – Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I got my new, ol' truck. I liked the timing of it.

Wanderings (“Life, Such As It Was”)

Thanksgiving, Thursday, 11/28/2019: My youngest brother, his wife, and their two daughters came here for Thanksgiving dinner. They arrived a couple of hours before we ate, at noon. (Noon, by the way, is the scriptural time to eat Thanksgiving dinner. Grace extends to 1 PM, but not later!) We had a fine time together! They left a little after 3 PM. Then, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I drove, separately, again, as usual, to her paternal aunt’s home, for the Beckner/Gordon/in-laws Thanksgiving supper. (Ok, so if it’s Thanksgiving supper, the scriptural start time is 5 PM to 6 PM.) We ate, again, at the 5 PM scriptural time. I left a bit earlier, to get home, feed Molly doggy her supper, and to get Molly inside for the evening. We had a good time. I helped “cat-dog” be a dog out in the yard a while! For hiking, Thanksgiving was the best day to have done so. My “bionic” body, however, did not feel its oats.

Friday, 11/29/2019: on the cloudy day, I drove to the homeplace, for the first visit since summer. I did what I needed to do. After about two hours, I drove home by means of Main Street. Now, that was a great day! My youngest brother burned leaves, in his yard, so we missed each other. About 7 PM, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and Molly doggy were both hard asleep on the couch. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman was worn out from her holiday cooking, etc. Molly was just worn out. So, what did I do? Enjoy the photo!

 Saturday, 11/30/2019: Granny Ferrell was born this day, in 1982. Well, the overnight rain had ended by morning. The next rain hit at 2:30 PM. It lasted the rest of the day and into the night. Before the rain hit, I did the usual haul trash and get gas routine. At the dumpster, I was behind a Vietnam veteran and his granddaughter. I got out, walked to him, looked him in the eye, shook his hand, saying “thank you!” The veteran expressed his thankfulness. We “man hugged.” I had a tear well up, as I walked back to my truck. Afterward, I joined Mrs. Appalachian Irishman for a visit with her folks, five cats, and one “cat-dog.” (Don’t ask! It’s usually three cats and “cat-dog.”) Being who I am, I had to place a Band-aid on “favorite” sister-in-law’s car. (It had received its injury on 11/18/2019.) Here’s the photo!

After I arrived home, being hungry, I opened and ate a can of Vienna Sausages! I had three cans. Now, I’m down to two cans. Give me a couple of years, and I’ll have the other two cans eaten!

Sunday, December 1: the rain has ended. The sun is out. The wind is blowing. The weather pattern knows that today is the first day of winter! I know it. Do you? Winter does NOT begin on 12/21/2019! That the solstice, not the start of winter!

Well, my next to youngest brother was supposed to have been here 37 minutes ago, at this mark of time, while typing. I guess that I’ll stop now, to call him, to see why he’s not here yet. He’s probably on “Ferrell time;” you see.

Conclusion

Tomorrow resumes the five-day, hit-a-lick, workweek. Perhaps, I’ll get House Mountain #162 on December 7th, Pearl Harbor day. 12/7/2016 was the first time, post insertion of “bionic body parts,” that I'd driven to see the homeplace, in my new, ol' truck. I must endure a work-a-day week first, before I can get to #162.

I’m 10-10 on the side!


Sunday, November 24, 2019

MOM’S BIRTHDAY


On 11/24/1908, Tuesday, my paternal grandparents were wed. That began the line, via their eighth and final child, Earl Ferrell, that led to me! I miss you too, Dad! I would like to see now what Mom, you, and so many others are seeing and doing right now!

On 11/24/1932, Thanksgiving Thursday, my Mother, Betty Lou Wood (to become Ferrell) was born, to Aby William Wood and Lula Frank Amos Wood, my maternal grandparents. My Tuesday, 11/24/2009, post Happy Birthday, Mom, is still relevant. I suggest that you read it now. I just did. I choked back the tears just now, 3:47 PM, on 11/24/2019. Mom, at age 87, if you were still here and in good health for your age, oh how we would all be enjoying your birthday celebration this Sunday! One glorious morning; may it come soon, Lord; we will all have far more everlasting joy than we could be having today. I can’t wait until then! I love and miss you, Mom! We will see each other again, soon. (Soon is whatever number of years or decades I must remain here, until then.)

Okay, I will not and do not live in the past. Let’s first review this last week, since my last post. Then, we’ll have some fun at the end!

11/18/2019, Monday: my “favorite” sister-in-law, on her way to a medical appointment, had her car hit in the left rear quarter panel, due to an idiot driver. She was not hurt, thankfully. Her car will be repaired.

11/21/2019, Thursday: on 11/21/1970, my grandfather Marion Ferrell (notice any similarities?) left this world for home. I was ten years old. At some point after I was born, Papaw Ferrell started a savings account in my name, at the hometown bank. The account is still open. On 11/21/2019, the small transfer that I had arranged from our checking into that savings was done. I wonder if Papaw Ferrell smiled even more on that day!

11/23/19, Saturday: I had my every-four-week deep tissue massage, to be followed by every-four-week chiropractor, 11/26/19 upcoming. The rain rained almost the entire day. My new, ‘ol truck kept getting a “hillbilly” wash!

In the afternoon, from contact with a dear friend, from grade school and high school days, I spoke by phone with my dear friend! We must have talked over two hours! I did not know that my dear friend was enduring the physical reality, after the 2/28/18 traumatic health problem. My dear friend and I spoke in terms of our day-by-day endurance of our physical “whatevers” as I call them. Most importantly, we spoke deeply and in full mutual understanding of the everlasting. One fine morning, my dear friend, we will be out of this speck of dust, blink of an eye, temporal realm, and we will be with our Savior and so many others who have gone before us! You know, they are there now. When we arrive, it will seem to them that we all arrived at about the same time, with them having arrived a few moments before us only! I continue to wait on that blessed day!

Oh, my dear friend, thank you for remembering that which I had forgotten. I still do not remember what you very vividly still recall, about when I was almost killed by a driver that did not stop for the bus, when I was crossing the road from bus to dirt road walk home! Wow! Thank you for remembering, so that I can now know what I had forgotten! I do remember Wilma was the bus driver. After I pondered the thought a while, I do seem to recall a vague memory of that day when I could have but didn’t die.

I could have but didn’t die on 3/29/16. You could have but didn’t die on 2/28/18. We touched each other’s lives by phone yesterday. We both must still be in this temporal, blink of an eye, world for a reason that God only knows. What is it, God? Okay, silence, again, as usual. I’ll continue to wait.

Where’s the fun part, you ask? Well, since it’s a cloudy day and House Mountain is a muddy skating rink, let’s have some fun now! While I was indulging myself in an Epsom Salt soak in the tub this morning, my fertile mind started thinking about “The Farmer in the Dell.” So, here goes! Sing along!

The farmer named O’Dell.
The farmer named O’Dell.
High ho the merry-o,
The farmer named O’Dell. (I always wondered what his name was! Must have been the father of Dell computers!)
 
The farmer had a life.
The farmer had a life.
High ho the merry-o,
The farmer had a life.
 
The life had some fun.
The life had some fun.
High ho the merry-o,
The life had some fun.
 
The fun took some cry.
The fun took some cry.
High ho the merry-o,
The fun took some cry.

The cry took the Lord.
The cry took the Lord.
High ho the merry-o,
The cry took the Lord.

The Lord took him home.
The Lord took him home.
High ho the merry-o,
The LORD TOOK HIM HOME!

Now, let’s have a bit of fun with the rest of it!

The dog ate the cheese.
The dog ate the cheese.
High ho the merry-o,
The dog ate the cheese.

The cheese in the dog.
The cheese in the dog.
High ho the merry-o,
The cheese in the dog. (Why did the dog eat cheese?)

The dog crapped the cheese.

The dog crapped the cheese.

High ho the merry-o,
The dog crapped the cheese. (That’s what happens when a dog eats cheese!)

The crap stands alone.

The crap stands alone.
High ho the merry-o,
The crap stands alone (as if it could stand)!

All you summer church camp folks, feel free to use this! Give me a bit of credit. The moral to the song: life can be crap, but we GO HOME!

Y’all keep turnin’ right and goin’ straight out there! Oh, if you haven’t had enough sense yet to take up the Good Lord’s free gift offer and live by it, I suggest that you do so, today!

My Mom would have loved my play on “The Farmer in the Dell,” except for the “crap” word. Dad would have loved it completely!


Sunday, November 17, 2019

11/17/19, SUNDAY SOLILOQUY


11/12/19, Tuesday, while almost home from my work-a-day, my veteran brother called me back and left voice mail on my cell phone that was hooked on my belt next to my right hip. I was almost home. Therefore, after having arrived home and having played in the yard with Molly doggie, I called him, from the landline (from which I’d left him voice mail on 11/11/19 Veterans Day). My veteran brother is doing well enough, and he understands the “fool” on the hill everlasting perspective, as I thought he would!

Oh, 11/12/19 was also the day of the “November blizzard” that almost “killed” everyone in upper East Tennessee, as the weather folks sensationalized it! The low was a balmy 18 degrees Fahrenheit. The high was a “tropical” 28 degrees. We may have had about two inches of snow. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, of course, had a “snow day” off. She didn’t build a “snow doggy” with Molly doggie. She didn’t make and toss snowballs for Molly. She stayed inside! Wow! I would have taken Molly doggie hiking on House Mountain, busted up such as I am. My “favorite” sister-in-law called in the evening, and I answered. That’s how I found out that Mrs. Appalachian Irishman ran a low-grade fever during the day! Thanks, “favorite” sister-in-law, for letting me know!

11/13/19, Wednesday, was work-a-day for me and two-hour “where is the snow now” “snow” delay for Mrs. Appalachian Irishman.

11/14/19, Thursday, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman worked and left a bit early, to take her father to a medical appointment. She honors her father. I remember taking Dad to and from his Johnson City appointment with Dr. Sholes. Then, I went in to work my second shift job or my flexible shift job, whichever one it was at the time.

11/15/19, Friday, was a shock! The wife of my youngest brother had to have an unplanned outpatient surgery, to repair the, as I assume, incorrectly done first surgery on her left foot. She has, as far as I know, no additional metal in her foot. I think that the surgeon fixed the metal that was already there. She had to be cut on again though.

11/16/19, Saturday, was a “rich, full” day, for me: trash haul, haircut, truck wash, Tractor Supply, truck oil change (and cabin air filter replace), and truck gas. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had her usual IGA trip. The previous was followed by the arrival of the “Comcrap” technician. He replaced the out-dated equipment in the box on the side of our house, and he gave us the new remote we’ve needed. Good job!

11/17/19, Sunday, today, we thought we might go to my hometown, to see youngest brother and family, etc., but he had too much going on, and darn if my “bionic” body parts were not “talking” to me today, after all the “fool” on the hill “fun” that I endured last week!

When’s supper dear? Good night, y’all!

Monday, November 11, 2019

"THE FOOL ON THE HILL" (published 11-11-2019)

Day after day, alone on a hill

The man with the foolish grin is keeping perfectly still

But nobody wants to know him

They can see that he's just a fool

And he never gives an answer


But the fool on the hill

Sees the sun going down

And the eyes in his head

See the world spinning 'round


Well on the way, head in a cloud

The man of a thousand voices talking perfectly loud

But nobody ever hears him

Or the sound he appears to make

And he never seems to notice


But the fool on the hill

Sees the sun going down

And the eyes in his head

See the world spinning 'round


And nobody seems to like him

They can tell what he wants to do

And he never shows his feelings


But the fool on the hill

Sees the sun going down

And the eyes in his head

See the world spinning 'round


He never listens to them

He knows that they're the fools

They don't like him


The fool on the hill

Sees the sun going down

And the eyes in his head

See the world spinning 'round

It’s time to get serious, folks! (I have a serious side; my right side; no, my left side!) On this Veterans Day, my plan to go to the homeplace was forestalled, by the need to see my chiropractor earlier today. (You don’t want to know the details. Trust me. The right rib is back in place!)

So, as I sit writing, alone, again, as usual, this afternoon, I remember Veterans Day. “The Fool on the Hill,” by the Beatles, is a great song, with a depth of meaning that one can make his own. I am doing so now.

Imagine (a pun on another song) the veteran, who has seen too much in life. He knows what he knows. He has seen and endured what he has seen and endured. He has served his country. Those around him, even closest non-veteran family and friends, do not understand him fully. He understands himself fully. His loud communication, of his own understanding of himself, to others receives incomplete and partial understanding at best. At worst, he receives the standard platitudes that cause him to wonder why he even tried to communicate with those who will never be wise enough to understand. The veteran, if he is wise enough to have taken the Good Lord’s free gift offer, thinks from the everlasting perspective. He does not care much for this space-time continuum. He knows he’s a speck of dust, on a larger speck of dust, in a vast, temporal expanse, which is not everlasting. By the way, I just left voice mail on my veteran brother’s phone. He might call back.

I did not serve in the military. (I wish that I had done so.) My “Fool on the Hill” thoughts do not compare with those of a combat veteran. Still yet, I have my thoughts. My thoughts are based on my life after “bionic” body parts. I had a pre-bionic body parts life. I am in an ongoing after bionic body parts life.

The acquisition of bionic body parts has deepened my thoughts of everlastingness. I had thought that my thoughts on everlastingness were deep. My thoughts were deep, but they were not as deep as they are now. (Did a little deeper in the well, boys!)

The catalyst to this writing is twofold. First, on work-a-day Wednesday of last week, a colleague -- who was present by phone, in the usual Wednesday-meeting-timewaste -- asked, “How is everyone?” My reply was, “I am surviving.” (My meaning was that I am enduring a work-a-day, with bionic body parts, again, as usual.) Her response was, “it’s better than being six feet under.” The others present physically laughed and agreed. I shook my head in silence. My thought was: “take me home, Lord! I’d rather have this body six feet under and be, in my soul, with you and many others!" I will get this body back, glorified, later! Of course, I was talking perfectly loud, while keeping perfectly still, as the “fool” on the hill.

The second catalyst was on 11/9/19, Saturday. I was doing the usual haul trash routine. (Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, by the way, was in her usual Dollar General, IGA, and go see her father routine.) While in my routine, I heard on my new, ‘ol truck’s radio “The Fool on the Hill!” Hey, that was great! (These various stations play their usual rotation, but this which-ever-station-it-was landed a good song at the right time!)

During the song, I thought back to work-a-day Wednesday. I thought in the everlasting perspective. I pitched the trash and the recycling. Then, I mused more to myself, again, as usual.

This “fool on a hill” does not care for the here and now. You know; the here and now is the usual: work-a-day-policywonk-psychobabble, local-national-international-news, weather-alert-day, sports-go-Steelers-Dawgs, let’s-hike, see-family-friends, what’s-the-good-bad-ugly-dear-glad-you’re-still-here-dear, when’s-supper-dear, Molly-doggie, why-do-I-have-a-fine-engine-and-transmission-but-a-busted-up-bionic-frame, every-four-week-deep-tissue-massage-followed-by-chiropractor, etc., etc. Oh, yes, I am about as tired of it as you are. I tired you, by your attempt to figure out what I just wrote!

Despite the previous, do not doubt my stubborn, Irish endurance. As a fine Irish lady once said, “You can always live in hope, even if you die in despair!” There always will be will in my spirit, in body or not. As long as my spirit is in this body, and as long as I have power in this body, busted up such as I am, I WILL endure to the end – of this temporal existence – to be taken HOME! When are you coming, Lord? When will be my turn to go Home, if You don’t come before? Silence, again, as usual.

Well, at least yesterday, after House Mountain hike #161, on niece-in-law’s birthday, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I placed the outdoor thermometer on the front porch. I had bought the $5.59-made-in-China thermometer at Ace Hardware, on 4/16/19. Hey, it takes me a few months (about seven) to get something done now. I’m slowed by my bionic body parts.

This “fool” on the hill is signing off now. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman just came home. My veteran brother has not called back yet. Let’s all take up the Lord’s free gift offer, live by it, and go Home!

So, who is brave enough to comment?