Wednesday, December 30, 2020

HOUSE MOUNTAIN #175

 Introduction

House Mountain hike #175 (my eleventh hike there this year) is in the record! (This was also my 39th hike on “My Mountain” with “bionic” joints.)

My 'ol truck and I had attempted to get to House Mountain, about 12 miles away, on Christmas Day, when the six inches of snow was still on the ground. That day, the weather was mostly cloudy. The high was 28F. I had hopes! We tried three different routes, but the snow and ice on the roads stopped us. We could have gone another, longer and easier, route, but Hogskin Road would have been impossible, probably. Beaten, but not defeated, we returned home.

Photos and Comments

I had anticipated a muddy and too warm hike, so I decided to hike the two loop trails only, with the possibility that I would climb the ridge, if I decided to do so. I had on a T-shirt and short sleeve shirt only. (Well, I had on jeans, shoes, and ballcap also, in case you were wondering. Yes, I wore underwear and socks too!)

That's what they had decided to name the lower level parking lot. I had to park my truck in the lower level parking area, since the upper and main parking area was full. It is Wednesday! The weather and mud are not great! Why are so many hiking today?

The above photo is looking east, from where I had hiked, after I'd parked my truck. It is an easy little trail. You can turn left or right, for this loop, behind me. I turned right, to go up. (We all need to turn right, to go up.)

After I had turned right to go up, I arrived here. The above photo is looking northeast. I had reached the main/upper parking area. They call the east/lower loop trail “Right Sawmill Trail.” I think, decades ago, a sawmill used to be in the area. The trail name continues the heritage.

Seconds after I had taken the “Right Sawmill Trail” photo, I turned left, to look southwest. There is the upper parking area, in part! The man in the photo was kicking mud off his shoes. The information board, on the lower left side, has my photo of the mountain, from a middle bluff, that I had taken years ago, in the snow. My name, “Marion Ferrell,” is on the photo.

I had walked farther southwest, a few yards, past the information board, which is behind me now, to take this photo, still looking southwest. They call this upper west loop trail the “Left Sawmill Loop.”

The above trail sign is the one that I touch, to check my time on my watch, as I start hiking up the west trail, to the west bluff. It is nine tenths of a mile up, with six switchbacks, after you get past the lower switchbacks. The trail will challenge you. I touch my rock on the west bluff then check my time hiking up, on my watch. I can make it up in 30 to 34 minutes now. My average “pre-bionic joints” time was 24 to 26 minutes. My right foot and knee still slow me down – for now.

Today, I just “hiked” the two little loop trails. I will explain.

After I had finished the “Left Sawmill Loop,” I turned left, heading northwest. I had to see how muddy it might be! I had not gone up the trail too far yet. I am still at the base of the mountain. The above photo is good enough to show the mud. I have stepped across the rocks many times, with and without “bionic” joints, to keep climbing up, through the other muddy spots that I know well. Today, I decided that I would not “enjoy another muddy hike.” I have done many of them.

I had walked back, past the information board, in the upper parking area. (I always touch my photo, on the information board.) I hiked back down to my truck, in the lower parking area. The above photo shows my truck prominently. Twelve other vehicles were parked. My truck was number thirteen! Realizing that, my truck told me to get him out of there! He didn't want to be number thirteen!

Conclusion

My stubborn will was determined to get House Mountain hike #175 done, before the end of 2020. I did it. I knew that I would.

Yesterday, at my annual physical, my good doctor and friend had stated what I already know. He remarked that my strong will had motivated my recovery to this point. I knew it already. We enjoyed a laugh. I had inspired my good doctor and friend.

Beaten in life, but not defeated in life, we return Home eventually – if we have lived according to the grace that we received in Christ Jesus. In everlasting life, Home will be wonderful! That is what my House Mountain hike #175 today brings to my mind. I hope that this article benefits you in the same way. Hiking theology does work.


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

“LIFE, SUCH AS IT IS” UPDATE, 12/29/2020, TUESDAY

Howdy, y'all! At 3:30 PM (on the dot), as I begin to write, I see that my readership totals are: today 256 readers (so far), yesterday 342 readers, and this month 8,197 (so far, as we wind down a year).

12/26/2020, Saturday: My truck and I, after hauling trash, tried to get to House Mountain, for my hike #175. The ice on the roads that we tried stopped us. (We did have four days of winter, from 12/23 afternoon through 12/27/2020.) Instead, I played with Molly, in the snow covered yard. (We had six inches of snow by Christmas Day.) She doesn't care for catching snow balls in the air. She doesn't care for attacking a snow man. She used to enjoy that in her “childhood” years. At age five now, she did enjoy her usual “exercise” toys! The half gallon empty milk jug (plastic) is still her favorite! I called my youngest brother. His family and he are still snowed in.

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had permission from the “mask mafia” to visit her father's older sister – about five easier miles away. Her aunt, cousin, niece, and she were present, wearing masks, of course. The 12/25/2020 gift exchange took place a day late. Afterward, the one-day-late Christmas “live video conference” happened. She had stated, after the Thanksgiving one, that this would not happen at Christmas. It did. The “mask mafia” won. I avoided it.

12/27/2020, Sunday: Mom “went to see Jesus,” on 12/27/2000. That was twenty years ago. I remembered. I opened my yet unpublished book, “Light at the End of the Tunnel.” I re-read what I have been writing, off and on, since 8/22/2002. I wrote more. I remembered. I hope that I publish my book soon.

12/28/2020, Monday: Mom's yearlong suffering, before she went “to see Jesus,” started on 12/28/1999. I have written about it on this website before. My book has my written, but yet unpublished, words. I remembered.

Molly (our dogie), at age five, had her annual doctor appointment, at 9 AM. Molly had her usual annual injections and check up. Her doctor said that she is going great! After, we walked around in the “dog park” outside her doctor's office. She took a big dump, near a tree! Good girl, Molly! We returned home.

I wrote on my book more. The weather was cloudy and turning warmer.

12/29/2020, Tuesday: This is my second day of personal leave from work. I am off work tomorrow also. We are off New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. I have my work “brain” (i.e., computer) here. On 1/4/2021, Monday, I will use my “brain” to work at home. Before my “temporary retirement,” which started on 12/24/2020 and ends on 1/3/2021, I had no indication of any other plan.

Molly had her annual check up yesterday. She is first. I am next. Today, I had my annual physical, at 8:15 AM. My fine primary care doctor told me that I'm doing great, despite my “bionic” joints. When he checked my heart, he told me that I have a heart like a cross country runner. It beats slowly but hard on each beat. I reminded him that, at my initial visit, years ago, he had told me that I have an athletic heart and that I would live forever. I had told him, years ago, that I hoped not! We both enjoyed a fine laugh! Of course, we both wore our masks. Our masks did not mask the fact that my fine doctor and I are friends. I hope that his wife and he will hike House Mountain again. I met them once. It was their first and only hike. I hope that he calls and takes me up on my offer!

Our refrigerator needed help. A repairman had arrived just after I had gone to see my doctor. I arrived home, just as he had finished. Our refrigerator just needed a little work, to unclog a clog. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had been at home, before my return, so she took care of business.

I wrote on my book more. I almost went on hike #175 today. It has been sunny and too warm. The mud is drying. I will wait until tomorrow or Thursday. The mud, from the winter we had (12/23 – 27/2020) needs to dry more. I expect that the rain won't come until late Thursday.

I think that I will write on my book more. I will create a topic section called “Light at the End of the Tunnel” for my website as well.

This was just a little update today. Thank y'all for reading. We're winding down 2020. I do not think that 2021 will be much better. The Corona Myopia Psychosis will continue another year, as the propagandists spur it on. 2022 may be a better year. I am not a prophet or the son of a prophet, but that is my prediction. I hope that I am wrong. Either way, this once great nation is bound and determined to be driven, by the propagandists and socialists, into destruction. In a few decades, this once great nation may be restored, but not in my lifetime. I wish you God's blessings, in the New Year, and day by day.

Oh, before I get off here, what do you think? Is https://outskirtspress.com/ a good enough company that I could use to self-publish my book? There are many options. The cost of my book will only be so that I can break even. I don't want to earn any money. I only want to get my words in print, for folks here now and for future Ferrell and other generations.

By the way, at 4:37 PM, my readership total today (so far) has gone from 256 to 270. That's 14 more readers in an hour and 37 minutes. Thanks, y'all, for stopping by “for coffee” with me!


Friday, December 25, 2020

CHRIST-MAS 12/25/2020 FRIDAY

Introduction

I see a white canvas, on a white Christmas. I will darken this canvas. The canvas outside remains white, as evening brings on the night.

The origin of the term Christmas relates to Christ's Mass, which became Christmas. The divine, eternal plan of salvation was realized when the eternal Word became flesh, born of a virgin, to live his perfect life, to be crucified and die, and to be resurrected from the dead, to ascend to Heaven. We who are ready await the return of our Lord and Savior, when He comes to take us Home. We may go Home, before he returns.

The secular and temporal trappings of Christmas are minor, in the context of eternity. The snow looks clean and pretty. We are cleansed by the blood of the Lamb.

Christmas Eve Rain to Snow

Yesterday, the weather, until about 3:45 PM, wasn't very pleasant. It was rain, rain, go away. The snow took over. The ground became white quickly. We enjoyed snow on Christmas Eve late afternoon to today.

The last time I have photo records of snow on Christmas day was in 2010. The snow could have started on that Christmas Eve. If you search my website, you might find my article and photos, from my 12/26/2010 House Mountain hike, in the snow. I'll help you. It's here.

Christmas Eve 2019 was different. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I had visited my youngest brother and his family. It had been a warm “spring” day. We had fun at a nearby park. They played basketball. (My right foot didn't want to join them.) Instead, I “hiked a ridge,” in a T-shirt, as the following photo shows.

 

Christmas Eve 2019 was “evidence” of “global climate change,” as the propagandists try to force on any of us, who are gullible enough to believe them.

So, what does Christmas Eve 2020 prove? The climate does change. It has been doing so for thousands of years. (I affirm the creationist argument of a young earth. I can prove it.) There is more proof of Father Frost (the Russian way to say the guy who brings presents at Christmas) than of MAN-MADE climate change.

Yes, I know. I could not help but toss in a political point, against the propagandists out there.

Christmas Snow

There is no propaganda “snow” from the propagandists this Christmas! We have snow! Early this morning, about 7:30 AM, I measured in two locations in the front yard. Both measured six inches of snow. This was not a little two or three inch snow. This is a good snow!

The sun came and went as the clouds varied through the day, until about 3:45 PM, when the clouds took over and more snow started falling! (Snow had fallen off and on, a little, all day, at times.) About 3:45 PM, the clouds took over fully. The snow started again! At 4:52 PM, the time of this sentence written, it is snowing about like it did this time yesterday!

I took these next photos, with our Kodak camera (not my Samsung cell phone camera) from about 9 AM to 10 AM.


The above is from back deck, looking southwest.


The above is from the edge of the driveway, looking south by southeast. Can you track Molly dogie's prints that are different from mine? Molly had some fun in the snow too! The '08 Honda Civic and my '06 Nissan Frontier are both in “the barn” (i.e., garage). Yes, our garage isn't cluttered with junk. Vehicles are in the garage, where they are supposed to be.


The above is looking southeast, from the deck.


The above, final photo, is looking more south than southwest, from the deck.

I hope that it doesn't take ten more years, to get a Christmas Eve or Christmas Day snow. Santa Claus gets tired of landing his reindeer sleigh on a dry or rainy roof. Snow makes a better, and more quiet, landing. I know. He told me, once I was old enough. I still believe. He is real. He exists. I know him. He sends me an e-mail every now and then.

Conclusion

This Christmas Eve and Christmas Day have been better than 1982 (Papaw Wood), 1999 (Mom), 2000 (Mom), 2002 (Dad), and 2007 (Dad). This year has not been as much fun as many other times (childhood, young adult, adult, etc.). The rain to snow and the “Mask Mafia” hindered or quarantined usual family gathering events. On balance, however, the good memories outweigh the bad ones. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman did talk with the “Mask Mafia” a few times today. (No “Interweb” conferences!) I've talked with my three brothers, sister, and one niece (are you reading this, Shanna?), recently or today. We are all "Livin' la Vida 'Rona" (with apology to Ricky Martin, 1999) well enough.

I thought about driving to and hiking House Mountain today. I was wise. My new 'ol truck and I could negotiate most of the roads. Hogskin Road, however, was probably too treacherous. Also, in six or even more inches of snow, on the mountain, I could have stepped wrong and injured myself, or my pride at least. In 174 hikes, so far, I have fallen one time only, back in “pre-metal” bionic days. I know the switchback well. I was alone, on my way down, in the snow. My right foot planted on a rock that I though was covered with snow only. I had taken a careful step. Ice was under the snow. I slipped. My backside landed first, before the back of my head hit the rock behind me. I injured my pride only. If my head had hit first, well, I'd have gone Home, and the others could have either come to get my carcass or left it there, for the buzzards!

What is "Livin' la Vida 'Rona," you ask? Well, I overcome my Corona Myopia Psychosis by enjoying my sarcastic humor! (We all have Corona Myopia Psychosis. Denial is a symptom.) I'm just trying to live the wild, new cold virus life, y'all! The propaganda machine is set to keep running, like a runny nose, for at least next year. I predict that, in 2022, this new cold virus will be in our rear view mirrors – as it is in mine, as much as I can get rid of it, in my mind.

Well, at 5:44 PM, the time of this sentence written, I think that I'll post this article, sixteen minutes before supper (6 PM). I hope that you all had a Merry Christmas, even if a tragic event is happening or has happened recently. I know. I have seen it on several Christmas times. If we have accepted the gift of Christ, we will, in mass, be together at Home, with Him and many others, in time.


Sunday, December 20, 2020

12/20/2020 “LIFE, SUCH AS IT IS” UPDATE

 Initial Introduction

On 12/16/2020, a rainy Wednesday, at 3 PM on the dot, I had begun to write. I will continue to write topically. Sermons are either topical or textual. I remember. I hope that you were staying dry and that you will enjoy my topical “life, such as it is” update.

By the way I have set up my website, so that you may sign up for e-mail messages, when I post an article. I will not know who you are. I will not know your e-mail address. It's completely safe -- better than “Farcebook” on identity protection. I signed myself up to receive e-mails for my own articles! I can’t see, on my own website, that I signed myself up! I just get an e-mail (one only so far, for 12/13/20 post), when I post an article!

Since my 11/22/2020, and within the context of my 12/13/2020, articles, the following has been “life, such as it is,” to this date. Warm up a cup of coffee, and read a while!

12/20/20 Introduction Continued

On 12/19/2020, Saturday, I had continued. On 12/16/20, I had written my initial section, below, about Mom. On that date, I had been forestalled, by my efforts to repair our microwave. A technician had arrived. The 2003 microwave is toast (pun intended). We'll get another microwave. Otherwise, our Sharp “Half Pint" microwave that we’ve had since the 1980’s is in the kitchen. It had been in the basement, in protected storage. It still works. We can still “zap" stuff!

On a cloudy Sunday afternoon, I will finish and post this article, finally. “Life, such as it is" is interesting at times.

Mom (11/24/1932 – 12/27/2000)

If you search “Mom," you will find several articles that I've written about Mom. She would have been 88 years old, on 11/24/2020, if she’d lived. On that Tuesday, I was working, at the office, instead of at home, in the insanity of my schedule. I remembered.

On 12/28/1999, Mom, as we found out later, did not have the flu. The cerebellar hemorrhage -- caused by her arteriovenous malformation, a birth defect -- had leaked, not ruptured completely, which would have killed her. I’ve written about the details in the past.

On 12/27/2000, Mom “went to see Jesus," as she had stated, before she passed. I’ve written about the details in previous articles. On 12/24/2000, I was with Mom at Holston Valley Medical Center. I had signed the papers, to bring Mom home to die, with hospice care. (That was the hardest task in my life.) Before the ambulance, which I followed, came to transport Mom home, she had stated to me (on that late Christmas Eve afternoon, as darkness was falling), “You all must let me go. I want to go see Jesus.”

Last Christmas, 2019, we had the 20-year Christmas tree. I wrote about it, with a photo. This year, we do not have a Christmas tree.

Mom, I love and miss you bunches. I’ll see you again, at Home.

Thanksgiving: "Mask Mafia" Compliant

My youngest brother and his family stayed home. They developed their appetites, by clearing and burning leaves. That's a chore. I've helped my youngest brother a few times in the past. Their many trees produce many leaves.

My next to youngest brother did come here to eat Thanksgiving supper (6 PM) with us. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman was happy that we had a guest.

Her family, living three miles away, were “Mask Mafia" compliant. They enforced compliance on my longsuffering wife. I “enjoyed” listening to them “video conference” most of the afternoon. I interjected a pithy comment at times. That was not much fun.

I should have gone hiking! Mrs. Appalachian Irishman should have gone also!

My youngest brother and his family drove down from my home town, to visit us, on Saturday, 11/28/2020. The "Mask Mafia" could not stop Ferrells from standing against Corona Myopia Psychosis, even if we were sitting mostly, while talking and enjoying seeing each other face-to-face, with no masks (either physical or otherwise)!

New Desktop Computer

In March 2005, we got our desktop computer, from the Computer Depot LLC, my now former "computer guy." The total cost was $1,112.17. They had been my “computer guy,” as needed, for upgrades and one repair. The desktop has been a faithful servant. It still works. The 2 GB RAM, however, is too slow for the demands of Windows 10. I had called, with e-mail follow up, to my former "computer guy." I had assumed that we'd do business again. I awaited a call or e-mail reply, with their details. Crickets chirped. I left voice mail, with my interest in doing business, if I could get an e-mail or phone reply. Crickets still chirped. I fired my former "computer guy."

Data Tech 11 became my new "computer guy!" On 11/27/2020, Friday, after the initial phone conversation and e-mail follow up, I bought and brought home our new desktop computer, with 16 GB RAM. The total cost was $678.83. The new desktop is great! The only trouble that I had was fighting "Microcrap," as I transfered files and programs from our old desktop to our new desktop. I won the technology war! My computer guy could have done it, but I wanted to.

I recommend highly Data Tech 11 to anyone who has computer related needs. Check out the website! They offer other types of services also. On 12/7/2020, Pearl Harbor Day, I mailed a postal letter to the owner, Michael Jesenick, with my highest praise and recommendation. I hope that he uses my letter to promote his business, as I encouraged him to do.

Homeplace

On a cloudy Sunday afternoon, 11/29/2020, I visited the homeplace. I did my usual tasks. I called our across-the-road neigbors and spoke with them a while. They were taking it easy indoors. The next two photos are from the homeplace.

 


The homeplace is doing well enough. My new 'ol truck still likes to get into a photo!

Granny Ferrell (11/30/1892 - 6/11/1971)

Molly Gertrude Archer Ferrell, Granny Ferrell, had a heavenly birthday, on 11/30/2020. I worked at home that day, in the insanity of my work schedule. I remembered.

Granny, I love you. I remember. I’ll see you again, at Home.

Bionic Breakthrough?

By the way, winter began on 12/1/2020. I know. I am right. On 12/4/2020, Friday (a work at office day, based on the bureaucratic whatever schedule), my "bionic" right foot step began to feel almost like my normal left foot step! The right step is not exact yet, but I have been feeling profound improvement, beginning that day! Since 6/16/2016, when I took my first three steps with the rolling walker, I have seen gradual improvement. 12/4/2020 was a significant "step." I amost cried! (As a man, I knew better.) The last time that I cried was in early 2000, face on the floor, at the apartment, begging God to restore Mom to good health.

My "bionic" left shoulder and right knee are showing signs of good improvement also. Of course, the "crossover reactions," as they are called, are also "talking" to me. I deal with it all. I am going forward, slowly, every so slowly, in my ten-year recovery process, which started on 3/29/2016.

12/12/20 Saturday Chores

I do the usual chores on Saturdays. 12/12/2020, Saturday, added three extras. My last new cold virus compliant haircut was on 10/24/2020, seven weeks previously, instead of the usual four. I needed a haircut. My fine barber (https://www.facebook.com/tonysbestclips/) gave me another fine haircut. We had a great conversation also.

Next, my new 'ol truck got a handwashing (Halls; locationhttps://www.synergyautowash.com/locations). The rain held off well enough. $13.00 is a great price for a hand washed exterior plus tire clean. (I always give a good tip.)

Finally, he got an oil change (https://maps.castrol.com/74143) also. (He was happy.) Since 8/22/2020 oil change, we'd racked up only 1,835 miles, but it had been almost four months since the last oil change. The oil change location is a mask free zone. No employee or customer has contracted the new cold virus there. The old oil came out almost as clean as the new oil.

My Sister

My sister, in Missouri, sent me an e-mail, on 12/14/2020 (a work-at-home day). Her daughter's birthday was that date. (Why didn't I remember?)

First, I called my sister. We enjoyed catching up by phone. (Yes, I was wearing a mask, to not transmit any asymptomatic new cold virus germs that I may have to her.) I talked with her age 90 mother also.

Then, I called our niece, her daughter. She's getting a bit of age on her now, but she is holding up very well! That was another fine conversation. It had been a while!

My Brothers

My next to youngest brother calls about every other weekend. He had called last weekend. He's getting along well enough.

I thought that I'd get House Mountain hike #175 yesterday, 12/19/2020, after hauling trash. My youngest brother called, just as I was about to take a shower. We had a long conversation. His family and he are enduring Corona Myopia Psychosis well enough.

As I was about to drive off to haul trash, my next-to-eldest brother called. (I'm the eldest.) He left voice mail. I returned home, after trash hauling, to call him, instead of going hiking. He has a new caregiver who is from Russia! He passed his phone to her. We started in Russian. We switched to English. We finished in Russian. She passed the phone back to my brother. That was fun! He called it his Christmas gift to me!

Conclusion

Well, it took me five days to get this article posted (12/16 - 20/2020). "Life, such as it is" does happen.

The Christmas gift to the world was the immaculate conception of Jesus. He was born of a virgin. He became a man. He lived and died as a man. He was resurrected as Jesus the Christ. The Word had become flesh. He lives, still eternally. He awaits all who have accepted his free gift, who are living in honor of it.

Our 2019 Christmas tree was the 20-year tree, marking the Christmas tree that Dad and I got for our apartment, while Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and Mom shopped. There is no 2020 Christmas tree. Mom became ill, on 12/28/1999. She "went to see Jesus" on 12/27/2000. We didn't have a Christmas tree in 2000. We will not this year.

I trust that you all have accepted the Christmas Gift. If not, send me an e-mail! I'll help you accept it! My e-mail is in my profile.


Sunday, December 13, 2020

HERITAGE: SANTA IN 1970

Introduction

On 12/12/2020, a rainy late Saturday afternoon, at 5:14 PM, I begin to write.

Well, good evenin’, y'all! Three weeks have past since my last articles, on 11/22/2020. My goal is to publish an article weekly. “Life, such as it is,” however, does happen. Depending on the rain, I may write and publish more tomorrow; otherwise, House Mountain hike #175 calls me, for tomorrow afternoon!

On 12/10/2020, a friend posted a photograph from 1970. She was sitting on Santa’s lap, in a department store type photograph. It was in the context of her childhood memories. The times were happier and simpler. The photograph and her comments inspired me to write. I have been writing in my mind, off and on, since 12/10/2020. I now take “pen in hand” to bring my mental writing to “paper."

My friend stated in her caption to her photograph that is was a different time certainly. My initial comment stated, “Heritage reminds us of pleasant days, in hope of a better than now future. I may write on the topic, by your inspiration.” We continued to share pleasant comments on the topic. The following is a continuation of her inspiration to my writing.

On 12/13/20, 2:42 PM, I continue writing. (Yes, last evening’s 6 PM supper and Molly doggie inside postponed my post.) The weather turned from cloudy to sunny early enough today, for House Mountain hike #175, in the mud; however, I decided to catch up on my writing. I’ll get hike #175 later this month. I have at least two more articles in my mind but not on “paper” YET.

Side Point Humor

As a humorous side point, I “Gaggle" searched “1970 department store photo of age 10 boy on Santa's lap," since I was age 10 at Christmas 1970. “Gaggle” didn't show any particularly interesting photographs. It did show this one, below.


"Fine” job, "Gaggle!" I see a cow "out standing" in her field. That's an “outstanding” search selection! That looks like a “1970 department store photo of age 10 boy on Santa's lap!” (I thought that y’all would enjoy my “punny” humor!)

Christmas Heritage

My friend expressed vivid words that matched her photograph. She was reminiscing her childhood Christmas in 1970. At Christmas, we remember Christmas times of years ago, or decades ago, if we are old enough.

I remember Christmas in 1970 fairly well. Three of “us boys” were born. I was age 10. Next to eldest brother was age seven. Next to youngest brother was age one. Youngest brother would be born about three years later. Mom (11/24/1932 – 12/27/2000) and Dad (9/17/1927 – 1/25/2008) were younger. Papaw Ferrell (born 4/13/1880) had passed away, on 11/21/1970, at age 90. Granny Ferrell (born 11/30/1892) was still alive. She passed on 6/11/1971, so 1970 was her last Christmas. Dad had taken my next to eldest brother and I to visit his mother on Christmas Eve 1970. She was living alone, in the furnished basement apartment, at the home location of one of Dad’s sisters and family. Granny Ferrell always had fresh, homemade cake for us! I hugged her neck, as always.

We lived at the “‘ol Livesay place,” in east Hawkins County. We would have three more Christmas times there. We moved into the “home place,” also in Hawkins County, in the summer of 1974.

About two weeks before Christmas, I had hiked about on the Livesay farm and ridge lands, to find a good Christmas tree, to bring home for decoration. We still have some of the original decorations that Mom kept through the years.

Granny (6/16/1901 – 8/12/1991) and Papaw (9/4/1901 - 3/14/1983) Wood had driven up from their Bean Station home, on Christmas Eve, to spend the night and be with us for Christmas Day, as they always did then.

On Christmas Eve, Papaw and I, along with everyone, enjoyed the eggnog. We enjoyed listening to his stories, on various family topics. Granny was always bright eyed in joy. She helped Mom with all the Christmas fixins. We enjoyed the simple time of family and heritage. Us boys went to bed early, of course. Papaw Wood once said, maybe on Christmas Eve 1970, that we might hear sleigh bells, if we didn’t get to sleep early enough.

On Christmas Day, maybe it was 1970, I could have sworn, and told Papaw Wood, that I knew that I had heard sleigh bells the night before! I still think that I did! I don’t remember the gifts that my brothers and I received, from Santa and from family. I do remember the Christmas joy of getting up early, smelling the breakfast aroma from the kitchen, and seeing what Santa had brought! After the gift opening and sharing wonder, we enjoyed family conversation and the busy dinner (12 PM) preparations. I always “snuck” some turkey! Depending on the weather, my next to eldest brother and I may have spent some time outside, with our dogs (Bandit and Blacky, at the time). Our dogs enjoyed the leftovers, the few that Mom saved for them. Granny and Papaw always left about mid afternoon, “before the sun started going down too much,” as Papaw would say. He didn’t like to drive into the setting sun, as most of us don’t.

Conclusion

Christmas time comes and goes, often with good memories and sometimes with bad memories (as in 1982, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2007). The heritage continues – or at least it should.


On Christmas Eve, 2019, before Corona Myopia Psychosis and Vote Early, Vote Often, drove this once great nation to its knees, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I enjoyed a warm and too globally climate-changing weather Christmas Eve at my youngest brother’s home in Hawkins County. His wife, their two daughters, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I had a fine Christmas Eve dinner (12 PM). Afterward, we enjoyed the “global climate change” weather, in a nearby park. My youngest brother and family are to the left, near the shelter, taking advantage of the shade. I can see my youngest brother at least. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman took this photograph of me “hiking” on the “monkey bars,” as we used to call them.

Despite “these challenging times” and the so-called “new normal,” my friend -- who inspired this article, by her 12/10/2020 photograph and comments -- and I -- along with many others, in the “ain’t-goin’-ta-be”-silent-majority-much-longer MAJORITY – continue to STAND on APPALACHIAN FAMILY HERITAGE! WE WILL NOT BACK DOWN! Will you join us – if you haven’t done so already? STAND!

Don’t try to drive into the setting sun, y’all!

Okay, at 5:45 PM, I’ll stop, before supper, at 6 PM. I’ll have another couple of posts in a few days. Wait for them! You are welcome to sign up to receive e-mails, once I post an article, if you wish.


Sunday, November 22, 2020

NOVEMBER 21st CHRONOLOGICAL HISTORICAL NOTES: 1970 (PAPAW), 2015 (MOLLY), 2016 (TRUCK), 2020 (HOUSE MT. #174)

 Introduction

11/21/20, Saturday, 5:23 PM, with a neighbor still mowing his yard, at twilight, I begin to write. I probably will not post this until tomorrow. Yes, I’m hungry. Yes, supper is at 6 PM. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, who has “Corona Myopia Psychosis,” is working on it.

1970 Papaw Ferrell

Papaw Ferrell was born on 4/13/1880. He left this world on 11/21/1970, when I was age ten. I remember him well. I have fine memories of Papaw Ferrell. He enjoyed the outdoors, wilderness world. I don’t think that Granny Ferrell cared much for his extended time in the woods – hunting, trapping, etc. She put up with it – as Mrs. Appalachian Irishman does with me.

His name was and still is Marion Ferrell. He did not have a middle name. My first and, of course, last name is from him. Marion is Merrion, spelled correctly. It means, in Gaelic, “brave man.” Ferrell is Fearghail, from the Irish. It means, in Gaelic, “man of valor.” My middle name, William, was and still is the middle name of Mom’s father, Aby William Wood.

Hey, Papaw Ferrell, House Mountain hike #174 was in your honor. Men like us need, or needed, our time in the woods. It helps me defeat “Corona Myopia Psychosis.” I look forward to enjoying the heavenly wilderness with Papaw Ferrell, eventually. At one point, on my hike, I felt his presence, with me in spirit.

2015 Molly Doggie

On 11/21/2015, Saturday, the anniversary of Papaw Ferrell’s passing, I drove my ’95 Nissan pickup (the one that died, on 3/29/2016, saving my life), to get and bring home our Molly doggie! The weather was perfect – cool enough for a sweatshirt, unlike 11/21/2020.

Molly doggie is a wonderful “old puppy,” as I call her. I’ve known several great doggies over the years. In chronological order, there was Bandit (aka Bandito), Wendy, and Buddy. Those three were connected to my roots in Rogersville.

I might post a latest photo of Molly in time. She has a unique personality. She understands my English well enough. I understand her Doggie language well enough. Molly always stays inside with us a few hours in the evening. Her bedroom is the lower level doggie complex. She is a daytime, outside, doggie! (Well, if it’s rainy or very cold, she has her lower level doggie complex, which is heated and cooled, by means of doggie door access!) Molly, the last two evenings, wanted to go outside about three of four times, to check out the other dogs that were barking around us, etc. I went outside with her each time. She needed to “take a leak.” She wanted me to “take a leak” also. I did. It was dark. No one saw me, except Molly, who granted me a respectful distance. Molly looks at me. I know what she is saying. I wish I could take her hiking with me. Alone, with Molly, I could do fine, on the hike up. The hike down, with Molly, on a leash, might not work out too well still yet. I have to be more of a “lame mountain goat” going down than going up. If Molly smelled something and started pulling the leash, while going down, I might not be able to hold balance and control.

I wonder if Papaw Ferrell, Bandit, Wendy, Buddy, Molly, and I will enjoy everlasting and joyful experiences in the heavenly woods together. I speculate, by faith, that heaven will have that type of opportunities, along with many, many others. There will be no leash in heaven, no leash, no leash up there.

Hey, y’all, why don’t you join us, in heavenly hiking! If I don’t see you here, I will see you there!

2016 New ‘Ol Truck

On Monday, 11/21/2016 (the anniversary of Papaw Ferrell’s passing), I drove our ’08 Honda Civic to the location where my soon-to-be new, ‘ol truck was for sale. My “bionic” joints were “talking” to me quite intensely that day. I remember. After the routine test drive, inspection, and dickering, I paid the deposit to hold my ’06 Nissan Frontier, until we could get him.

Mom’s birthday anniversary (1932 born) was Thanksgiving Day that year (11/24/16). The next day, on Friday, 11/25/16, I drove our car, with Mrs. Appalachian Irishman riding shotgun. We paid the balance for my new, ‘ol truck. I drove him back to the “barn” (i.e., garage).

My new, ‘ol truck still likes to have his photo taken. Read on!

2020 House Mt. #174

What else could I do? My barber can wait. Tractor Supply trip can wait. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had her every-two-month, high dollar, and two-hour “haircut” appointment (9 – 11 AM). The weather was nice enough. It was still too warm, but it was sunny, with a few clouds that indicate rain is coming in a day. House Mountain Hike #174 is in my hiking log and in my memory!

Okay, it’s 6 PM on the dot, 11/21/2020, Saturday. I’ll write more and post later. I’m hungry! Let’s stop to eat!

11/22/20, Sunday, at 4:57 PM, I now continue writing. The above photo is after I’d hiked up the west trail to the bluff. The photo is looking east, along the north ridgeline. The white marker indicates 0.8 miles. (The distance is 0.9 miles to the west bluff. I know. The mountain didn’t shrink.) Do you see my “selfie” image of my head?

I’m glad that I hiked in a T-shirt only. When will it turn cool?


I enjoyed time alone, or with a few other hikers, but not too many, at the west bluff. My thoughts ran deeply. I unloaded my “Corona Myopia Psychosis” that had been building up. I started hiking back down the same trail I’d hiked up.

The above photo is one location on the trail. Do you see the petrified tree trunk jutting out to the right of my shadow? That is the tree trunk that I call “Defiance.” I’ve seen it, unchanged, for many years. I always touch it. It had grown, from the base of the rock ledge above it, and fallen, years before I started hiking the mountain. The hike down at this spot takes caution, along with at least three other locations farther down.

Who was that shadow, standing to the left of my shadow, with his arms by his side? Was that you, Papaw Ferrell?

Near the end of the hike down and out, I passed a group of three younger folks, hiking up. Two had their hiking masks on. One did not, until he saw me, coming down the trail, hiking maskless. He donned his mask quickly. As I past him, I stated loudly, “I don’t have the Corony!” He said nothing. I hope he learned.

I had to “hike” an extra three tenths of a mile each way, to the off the road location where I had to park my truck. (Yes, the upper parking lot was full.) My new, ‘ol truck enjoyed our day – remembering Papaw Ferrell, the day Molly came to us, the day I saw him, and today. Oh, I placed my 2021 tag sticker (annual expiration in December) on my truck the same day.

Conclusion

I know you are eager to find out. “What is Corona Myopia Psychosis, you ask?” Well, I’ll tell you.

“Corona Myopia Psychosis” is a state of mind that could include anxiety, frustration, depression, mood swings, anger, the inordinate use of colorful language, talking with one’s self, an abundance of sarcastic humor, and so forth. We all have the psychosis, in varying degrees. Failure to admit it is a symptom. Lack of honesty about it is a symptom. Obsessing with the new cold virus is a symptom. Aren’t you tired of it? I am.

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman expresses her psychosis by withdrawing inwardly. I deal with my psychosis by my glib Irish tongue, either verbally or in writing, such as now. My best cure for my own psychosis is my hiking. My sarcastic humor helps on a more daily basis, along with the abundance of talking with myself, which includes my occasional use of colorful language that only the Lord and I hear. (He forgives me.)

This once great nation may never return to its status, before this new cold virus started. Of course, the media agenda that drives the racial tension degrades the nation still. The presidential election (vote early and often) propaganda may just drive this nation to its knees, in time. If our nation can reach the socialist “utopian” bottom, we might be able to return, after decades of pain and suffering, to a great nation status again. If so, it will be after I’ve already joined Papaw Ferrell, and so many others, at Home.

Hey, Papaw and my doggies (Bandit, Wendy, and Buddy), y’all wait on Molly and me! We’ll be heavenly hiking with y’all in time!

Okay, it’s 11/22/20, Sunday, 5:58 PM, at the time of this writing. I’ve talked with my two younger brothers by phone. I’m hungry. I’ll post this after supper! Let’s eat!