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 (My yet unpublished book is titled “Light at the End of the Tunnel.”)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.

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