Sunday, January 26, 2020

MEMORIES: AUNT MONA AND UNCLE BOBBY, 1/18/2020; DAD, 1/25/2020; But Life Goes On with a Touch of Humor! (published 1-26-2020)

First: Memories

Thankfully, both dates fell on Saturdays this year.

On 1/18/2020, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, her family, and I honored her father’s older sister, Mona Beckner, upon her attainment of age 98 that day. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman asked me to sign the birthday card that she had bought for her Aunt Mona. I signed it with the following letter enclosed in the card!

My heartfelt, deepest congratulations on your attainment of age 98 today! You have almost reached triple-digit age!

If my math is correct -- as I was educated properly in mathematics in school, as opposed to those now-a-days who are ”correct” if they think sincerely that one plus one equals three by “new math teaching” (but I digress) – you were born in 1922.

You have a treasure house of life, on which you have spoken and still speak, to those who listen. I know that you have written many details of your life. I suggest that once you attain age 100 you publish your autobiography! You are a bit too young to publish your book yet. Ha!

You are a fine, Christian lady, who has experienced many pleasant times and endured many unfortunate times in life. You have stood firmly on the Solid Rock. In everlastingness, when we are at Home, we will enjoy only pleasant times, even better than here, where we are now, on this speck-of-dust, blink-of-an-eye, temporal plane.

As a side note, my mother’s brother, Robert Allen Wood, was born on 5/14/1939. (Mom was born on 11/24/1932.) My Uncle “Bobby,” as he was called, “went to see Jesus” on 1/18/1941, the same date as your birth, in 1922. I look forward to meeting Uncle Bobby, at Home.

You have my deepest respect and love. My wish and prayer to God is for your health and good life.

Uncle Bobby died from pneumonia, after Granny and Papaw Wood, Mom, and he moved from Indiana to Morristown, Tennessee. Uncle Bobby, I’ve seen photographs of you. I’ve heard about you. I look forward to meeting you at Home! Say hello to Mom, your older sister, for me!

On 1/25/2008, Dad joined Mom and so many others at Home. I remember every detail. Well, once again, I have gone through the time of year that involves memories of the passing of Mom on 12/27/2000, Uncle Bobby whom I’ve not met yet on 1/18/1941, and Dad on 1/25/2008. I have written other articles about Dad. You may find them at: Tribute to Dad; Well Machine & Water Truck Legacy; and Happy 85th Birthday, Dad.

Life Goes On with a Touch of Humor!

On 1/9/2020, after work, I helped “Comcrap” fix their “Comcraptic” problem on our TV! A $64.07 discount will be on our next bill, in payment for my new, as needed, job as a “Comcrap” technician! I won!

On 1/11/2020, Saturday, I got my haircut, but I could see the rain coming. Then, my new, ol' truck got a good hand wash at the vehicle hand washing spot. (I had guessed that I could get my truck in the garage before the rain. I was wrong!) Then, after Tractor Supply purchases for Molly, our doggy, as I was back in my truck, the rain came. That good hand wash lasted about 30 minutes! I lost! I had checked out at the Tractor Supply at 2:22 PM. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had checked out at the IGA at 2:21 PM. I lost again!

On 1/18/2020, Saturday, before the gathering for Aunt Mona, I had my eighth, every-four-week, deep tissue massage, for 90 minutes this time, instead of the usual 60 minutes. Dang, if whatever in my left shoulder is improving and working its way down my left side to my left hip. I’ll take the aggravation for the improvement. I am winning!

On 1/20/2020, Monday, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I were both off work for Martin Luther King Day. Our chiropractor adjusted us, at the every-four-week time. He used his new muscle hammering electric device on me for the first time. That helped! I ordered one on the “Interweb” later that day! After the chiropractor, we went to the jewelry store, so that the battery in my “hiking” watch could be replaced. Then, we ate dinner (not lunch) at a Cracker Barrel with a friend, a few years older than me, with whom I used to work. We hadn’t seen each other in a few years. That was fun! Finally, we went to Target, where I bought a “work-a-day” Timex, so I could stop wearing my “hiking” watch every day for work. Timex takes a licking but keeps on ticking, I’ve heard. Hey, that’s like me! I win again!

1/22/2020 was supposed to be my transition into a different and better type of job description at work. We’ll see, but so far so good. I might win.

1/24/2020, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I both came home feeling a bit sickly. That’s not good. It’s not the flu, so we win!

1/25/2020, the anniversary of Dad’s passing, our eldest niece, of my youngest brother and his wife, and the Bulls Gap Middle School girls’ basketball team that she is on played a first round tournament game at Volunteer High School. (Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I had attended the same type game on 1/19/2019 last year.) Our niece and team won the game, 43 to 19! That’s a team win!

So, now here I am writing, at 4:33 PM, on Sunday, 1/26/2020. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I are better but not fully well from the minor “bug” that we have. It’s been a cloudy weekend anyway. I’ll get back into the woods again, but not this weekend.


Enjoy life that best that you can, dear reader! Take the good, bad, and ugly (with apology to Clint Eastwood). Use humor to get through the bad and ugly. It helps. Remember, sarcastic humor is the intellectual person’s attempt to cope with the realities of life.

Of course, everlasting life on “the other side” (with apology to Aerosmith) will be completely good! Have you taken up the Good Lord’s free gift offer? Are you living according to it by faith? (No one is perfect. God expects faithfulness, not perfection.) If so, then Home awaits on “the other side” (of the death transition)! We will win, when our physical life transitions to our everlasting life!

Sunday, January 05, 2020

THE 1/17/2018 BOUGHT MUD GUARDS ARE ON, FINALLY! (published 1/5/2020)

This is but one of may examples of my stubborn, strong-willed, Irish determination, after my old, ol' truck (1995 Nissan pickup) died, but I didn’t, on 3/29/2016. Well, I had the same spirit, before my “bionic” life started.

On 1/17/2018, Wednesday, I had bought the set of four mud guards for my new, ol' truck (2006 Nissan Frontier). Since then, I’ve tried, an unknown number of times, to install them. The installation is easy enough – if you don’t have a “bionic” right foot, right knee, and left shoulder. The previous efforts stopped, when my right foot and right knee said, “That’s enough!” (The left shoulder was okay.)

This Sunday afternoon, on 1/5/2020, the mud guards are on! My right foot and right knee have improved sufficiently, finally! Enjoy the photographs, below! My new, ol' truck is in “the barn” (i.e., garage), where I worked. Can you see my finger in the second photograph? Of course, the locations and angles are not the best. The mud guards are not as visible, as I would have liked. My Appalachian-Irish American and strong-willed spirit won – even if I endured an almost two-year “bionic” delay!

I will continue, by whatever measure of God’s grace that I receive, day by day. I will not stop. I will not give up – until the Good Lord ends time or until I go Home!

Friday, January 03, 2020



12/31/1999, New Year’s Eve, was the end of a decade and century (in common usage). Folks were worried about that Y2K stuff, by the rollover to 2000. 12/28/1999, Tuesday, Mom, with three sons following, was taken to the local hospital by ambulance. The next day, she was transferred by ambulance, with family following, to the Kingsport hospital ICU. We started the seven-days-a-week, 24-hour, three 8-hour shifts rotation that continued for 110 days, until Mom’s release to return home, on Saturday 4/15/2000.

Drip, drip is what I heard, on 12/31/1999, as midnight approached. Mom was in her ICU room, unconscious. Family was around her. At midnight, the start of a new century, I said, to my unhearing mother, “Happy New Year, Mom.” A nurse came in a few moments later, to be sure that the drip, drip machine that was helping keep Mom alive did not stop, by the rollover to 2000. It didn’t. That was how we rang in the New Year and the new century.

I will not go into every detail that is etched in my mind, regarding all the events about Mom, from 12/28/1999 to 12/27/2000. On Thanksgiving 2000, Mom was better than she’d been before 12/28/1999. She said, “I think I’m beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel!” That was a great day. (My yet unpublished book is titled “Light at the End of the Tunnel.”) Mom was recovering well from the cerebellar hemorrhage caused by an arteriovenous malformation (i.e., birth defect) that inflicted its wrath on 12/28/1999. We didn’t know, but Mom had a fast moving type of cancer in her bones that spread quickly to her lungs. She had shown no symptoms until the Friday after Thanksgiving 2000. Mom “went to see Jesus,” in her words, on Wednesday, 12/27/2000, at 5:15 PM, at the homeplace. (On 12/24/2000, I had followed the ambulance that brought Mom home from the Kingsport hospital. She wanted to “go see Jesus” at home.)

12/27/2019, Friday, was a work-a-day for me. I endured it. As I plugged in the lights for our “20th year remembrance” Christmas tree, it was 5:15 PM. Our “20-year Christmas tree” marks the years since 12/28/1999. On 12/28/2019, I woke up to get out of bed at 7:17 AM. I was born 7/17/1960.

12/29/2000, Friday, was the funeral service for Mom, at East Rogersville Baptist Church. 12/29/2019, Sunday, I remember.

12/30/2000, Saturday, was the graveside service, at Howe’s Chapel Baptist Church cemetery. The temperature was about 15 degrees Fahrenheit. 12/30/2019, Monday, my only work day this week, I remember.

(What I was writing on 12/25/2019)

The “scriptural” time to eat Christmas dinner (not “lunch”) is between 12 PM and 1 PM on Christmas Day. On 12/25/2019, at 12:24 PM, at this sentence writing, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman is into her mashed potatoes making, final “fixins” step. Hey, we’re getting close to the 4 PM “unscriptural” eating time, at her paternal aunt’s house. My in-laws will be there too, as usual. I’m hungry dear! Do I eat a snack now? Yes, I did! (By the way, the evening meal is supper, not “dinner!” That is biblical! Read the book of 2 Opinions, Chapter 12, verse 6!)

Well, we had a good day. We were at Mrs. Appalachian Irishman’s “home away from home” -- where her father, sister, our niece, three cats, and one dog live – to visit and open gifts. Nashville sister-in-law and her two cats were there too. Then, we all enjoyed the “unscriptural” 4 PM dinner/supper and “scriptural” gift giving, at her aunt’s house, where her son/wife’s cousin, lives also.

12/23/2019 – 12/24/2019 Update

12/23/2019, Monday: Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I received our every-four-week chiropractic adjustments, at 9 AM. After, still in the rainy weather, I took her Christmas shopping, so she could select her Christmas gift from me, as I stood by watching her make her selection. She may or may not act surprised on Christmas!

12/24/2019, Christmas Eve: We visited my youngest brother and his family. We had a great time with them, as usual. Since it was so “globally climate changing” warm, we had much fun at the park that is behind the nearby school! The first game was Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and youngest brother against his two daughters. My two nieces won, 20 to 14! The second game was Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and eldest niece against youngest brother and youngest niece. The all female team won 20 to 16! My right foot, right knee, and left shoulder enjoyed shooting a few baskets at the other end of the outdoor court. Being left-handed, my shot strength and accuracy improved, but I still have a ways to go before I try to sink a half-court shot, as I used to could do at times. Enjoy the photos!

My youngest brother’s wife is still unable to play basketball, due to her “bionic” left foot. Do you see who is taking the photo?

Of course, I had to “hike a ridge.” I did so three times. Here is one photo of me standing at the top of the “ridge!”


12/31/2019, New Year’s Eve was House Mountain hike #164. The weather had finally turned cooler. Enjoy the photos.

Take a guess!
This is the upper middle bluff looking north. Can you see the location, from which I had taken the previous photo?

This is the lower middle bluff looking north. Years ago, the owner granted me permission to go to this bluff anytime, as long as I didn’t tell anyone. Otherwise, he has private property restriction signs. Don’t tell anyone!
This is at the west bluff. I’m going down, southwest, looking northeast. The location near the middle tree is the rock that I touch, to check my time, when I hike up the west trail. I spent three hours in the woods. My right foot “talked” to me afterward, as it does. My new, ol' truck reached 171,800 miles on the dot when we arrived back at the house.


1/1/2020 -- the start of a new decade and the name of a TV show “2020” by the way -- was House Mountain #165. The weather was about the same. It was a little warmer with a few clouds. Enjoy the photos!

This is on the west bluff, looking northeast. The partial photo of the rock in the lower right is the one I touch to check my time. It took 34 minutes from where I touched the marker just past the covered picnic table area to my rock. Twenty-four or 25 minutes used to be a good time. I’ve made 22 and 23 minutes before. Now, my “bionic” right foot and right knee make 30 to 34 minutes a good time. Of course, the far too many hikers, going down and up, delayed me a bit. “My Mountain” has become too popular for hiking. It wasn’t like that years ago.
Well, my new, ol' truck and I could only find this good enough place to park when we arrived. It was a good, two-hour time in the woods. After, I joined Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, at her visit to her “other house” folks. I replaced the left front wheel cover on my “favorite” sister-in-law’s car. She keeps losing them. I have her a stock of replacements. I keep replacing them. I need to buy another stock of four. Do you know what you’re getting for your birthday, for the third year in a row, “favorite” sister-in-law?


Well, on 1/3/2020, the rain is on its second day now. I’m glad I got those last two hikes in when I did!

Christmas Day 1982: Papaw Wood became ill. He went Home on 3/14/1983.

Christmas 1999: you have read what I wrote before about Mom. It started 12/28/1999.

Christmas 2000: the details about Mom are written earlier. She “went to see Jesus,” on 12/27/2000.

Christmas Eve 2002: Doug brought Dad home from the Johnson City hospital. I followed in my old, ol' truck (that died on 3/29/2016, when I did not). We thought Dad was coming home to die soon. Thank you, Lord, that he improved and stayed with us longer!

Christmas Day 2007: this was Dad’s last Christmas. His heart was winding down finally. Seeing the weakened condition of a once very strong father was not pleasant for us. On 1/25/2008, Dad joined Mom at Home.

In the short-term, I have endured another Christmas and New Year’s season. This was the 20th year since Mom’s illness started and the 19th year since she went Home. It’s approaching 12 years since Dad joined Mom at Home. As you can tell by reading, the season has passed with some fun and with some sadness. It’s always a mix of both each season.

In the long-term, both sets of grandparents, Mom, Dad, and so many others have already reached Home. I will join them some day. Then, there will be no mix of joy and sorrow. It will all be joy in that Day!

If you are reading, and you have not yet accepted the Good Lord’s free gift offer, I recommend strongly that you do so. If you aren’t living according to the Good Lord’s free gift offer that you accepted, I recommend strongly that you start living in appreciation of the Gift.