Saturday, October 31, 2020


One of the brothers of my father, Earl Ferrell, was George Ferrell. Dad and Uncle George are both Home now. Uncle George and his wife Aunt Blanche, who is Home also, had sons. One of their sons is my first cousin. He is ahead of me by 15 years.

Sadly, that first cousin’s wife left this world, on Sunday, 10/11/2020. I haven’t seen my first cousin since 2012, in Johnson City, Tennessee. His elder brother and he met me. We had met at the apartment, where their mother, my Aunt Blanche, was still living. Aunt Blanche enjoyed seeing two of her sons and me together with her! (She went Home the next year.) He, his elder brother, and I then had lunch together. I’ve talked with my first cousin a few times by phone since then. He lives about a 1.75-hour drive away from us, in Kingsport, Tennessee.

I made the modern “Interweb” comments on the funeral home’s obituary “wall,” as the modern funeral home folks call it, nowadays. We couldn’t attend the visitation/funeral or graveside, since they were both on working days for us.

On Sunday, 10/18/2020, I called my first cousin (15 years older than me). We talked about 45 minutes. He has two brothers who live in the area. The sons of he and his wife, who had gone Home, are within a few hours drive away. My first cousin is enduring the grief process of having lost his wife, whom he loved dearly. I remember how Dad went through the process, after Mom “went to see Jesus,” as she had stated, before her passing.

I will not speculate about the future of Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I. The Good Lord knows. It’s better that we don’t know.

Life is a slow transition from birth to death. Well, life is really a blink of an eye on a speck of dust, in the everlasting perspective. Still, the slow transition happens. Life is full of the good, bad, and ugly, with apology to Clint Eastwood. IF we take up the Good Lord’s free gift offer, of salvation through his Son, and we live accordingly, the best we can, then Home awaits us! My first cousin’s wife just beat the rest of us Home.

She must be having a wonderful time at Home. It will be my turn – eventually – but not today, as far as I know.

HOUSE MOUNTAIN #172 (on Sunday, 10/18/2020)

Sunday, 10/18/20, was better hiking weather than 10/25/20, Sunday, when I wrote this article. 10/25/20 started out wet and cloudy, from the overnight rain. The sun didn’t appear until about 3:30 PM or so. Now, that’s not funny, Lord! The Good Lord has a sense of humor! Over the years, I’ve seen perfectly fine hiking weather during a workweek, with rain on the weekend. I’ve seen rainy and/or cloudy weather turn to sunshine too late for even a late afternoon hike. That’s not funny, Lord! Instead of hike, I wrote.


The weather was mostly sunny and too warm for this time of year, for my liking. I just hiked up the west trail and back down again. (When it’s cooler, I’m itching to hike the full ridge and out the east trail.) The above photo is looking down from where I’d climbed up. The rock bluff is to the left, in partial view. Climbing up is easy enough.


After some time at the west bluff, I took it easy back down the same direction that I’d climbed up. The above is the opposite view photo, looking back to the location of the first photo. They guy in the red shirt is standing about where I’d taken the first photo. My right foot and knee instruct me to be more careful going down. I’m still a “lame mountain goat,” but I can tell that I’m becoming less “lame,” slowly. This House Mountain hike #172 was my 36th House Mountain hike with “bionic” joints. In earlier “bionic” hiking, my right foot encouraged me to limp noticeably after a hike, into the next day at times, before it returned to: had been take a step; ouch; take a step -- then became take a step; that’s different; take a step -- to now it is take a step; that’s not much different; take a step.

Hey, Lord, could you speed up the “getting better slowly” part to “instant miracle?” No. You don’t work that way, except very rarely, anymore? Okay. I understand. I’m here a few seconds in life, compared to everlasting life, anyway. I’ll get along well enough, until You call me Home.

On my way down, near the end of the trail, I met an 80-year-old man, Mr. John S., who was hiking up. (I told him about meeting the 78-year-old man, on 10/4/20.) Mr. John S. lives alone now, not far from us. His wife passed away a few months ago. He is back to hiking again. (He had taken time off from hiking while his wife wasn’t well.) I had not met Mr. John S. on any previous hike, until this one. Mr. John S. is a fine man and brother in Christ. I hope that I see him again. Well, I will at Home, if not here.

After Mr. John S. and I parted, I met a group of younger folks. One young husband and wife were bringing along their four-month-old daughter. The mother was carrying their daughter in one of those satchels on her chest. I enjoyed talking with them and telling them about Mr. John S., who was ahead of them a little, going up.

Life is a cycle from birth to death. I saw a baby girl who was early in life. I met a fine man who was later in life. I’m closer in age to Mr. John S. than to the newborn girl. Accepting, at the proper age, the Good Lord’s free gift offer and living accordingly, the best you can, through life is life here and becomes everlasting life at Home.



Well, I was so excited about defeating modern technology, in last Saturday’s “Life, Such as It is” article, that I left out a couple of funny items, for 10/24/20, Saturday. Here they are now, on Halloween Saturday, 10/31/20, finally.

On 10/24/20, my barber gave me another fine haircut. I had called him to set the COVID-19 compliant appointment a couple of days before. Do you remember when, as a once free people, in a once great nation, a man could just walk in to his barber, to get a haircut? As the years go by, younger folks won’t believe that a man could walk in to a barber shop for a haircut, with no pre-arranged, COVID-19 compliant, appointment.

Afterward, my new, ‘ol truck got another good hand washing, at the place where they wash by hand, mostly. The rain from the night before had dried on the roads. The sky looked like rain, but it didn’t rain!

The final COVID-19 point of humor is my Tractor Supply visit. I bought the last two 20 x 25 air filters that they had in stock. They had most of the items in stock that I buy for our Molly doggie. Of course, the masks were on. Yes, mine was on, in the store. After I’d checked out, I stated, to the checkout workers and several others waiting to check out, “remember, similar to the Karate Kid movie, ‘mask on; mask off!’” As I walked out, I stated loudly, as I’ve done before, “I am once again a free man in a once free and great nation!” Well, most of the folks, who where still checking out behind me, laughed! I’m just trying to keep up the COVID-19 compliant humor level folks!

By the way, do you remember when stores stocked several of the items that you needed to buy? Well, we are getting closer to the way it was in the Soviet Union days, where socialist stores where open but nothing was in stock, even if you had a few rubles to spend. Wake up, America! We’re getting closer to what Russia left behind, in 1991.

Family Heritage

I just plain forgot to mention that my youngest brother attained the grand age of 47, on 10/21/20. It was a workday for him and me. I called him after work. He said that he’s trying to catch up with me. What? Ain’t he 50 yet?

The youngest daughter of his wife and he had attained the age of 11, on 10/14/20. Yes, her father and she are seven days and a few years apart. She still hasn’t let Mrs. Appalachian Irishman know what she would like us to give her as a birthday present. Who knows? If this new cold virus insanity (i.e., Corona Myopia) doesn’t stop, we may not see her again, until she’s age 20.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

HOUSE MOUNTAIN #171 (on Sunday, 10/4/2020)

This is my second article that I started, on 10/11/2020, Sunday. I post it today, 10/24/2020, Saturday, as it was written, minus this first paragraph.

My fall-winter-spring hiking routine did not start in September, due to my 9/13/2020 through 9/21/2020 “whatevers” in my left shoulder, etc. That’s an excuse. I know. Forgive me.

Mother’s Day, 5/10/2020, Sunday, was my last House Mountain Hike (#170). I hiked Norris on 6/21/2020, Sunday, on “Father-in-Law” Day and “ex-favorite-sister-in-law” birthday. It had been over three months since this mountain man had been in the mountains. It was time!

On 10/4/2020, Sunday, afternoon, I hiked “My Mountain” (i.e., House Mountain) for #171, finally! I enjoyed about two hours in the woods. The weather was sunny to mostly cloudy and too warm for this time of year. It took me 32 minutes to get from the base to the west bluff, where I touch my rock and check my time. That was not bad! I’m speeding up. My right foot and right knee are not slowing me down as much. Of course, I could have made even better time, but the branches of a downed tree and a couple of talkers slowed me down.

The above photo is from the west bluff, looking east. You can see the rock that I touch, to check my time. It’s the spot that shapes like a sitting position. I’ve sat there often!

This is the west trail on the way down. (Yes, I had been up this way already.) The photo does not capture the angle that my eye does. I go down a steep, rocky area. I’ve done it many times, with and without “bionic joints.” In this area, I met a fine, 78-year-old man and his, as I assumed, grandson. They were hiking up, as I was hiking down. His daughter, or granddaughter, has a pet care business in my hometown. I’ve seen her advertisements in The Rogersville Review. My youngest brother may have done business with her. That age-78 man inspired me to keep on hiking “My Mountain!” I’m a “spring chicken,” at age 60. I have NO excuse!

This photo is on my way back out. On my way up, earlier, I had to navigate this branch pile. I saw the large tree that had finally fallen. It had stood many decades. I’d seen that tree standing on many hikes. It fell. I still STAND. Getting across the downed branches had slowed me on my way up. On my way out, I was smarter. I used my “super powers” to “fly” over the branches. (I have a jet pack.) Oh, the marker was set by a Boy Scout troop a few years ago. The marker is .25 miles up the 1.0-mile west trail to the top. (No, the mountain did NOT shrink by .1 of a mile. It’s a House Mountain hiker joke. You’d have to know it. Sorry. I won’t share, unless you hike with me!)

Ah, here is my new, ‘ol truck, awaiting my return. This hike was about two hours. I didn’t go across the ridge, etc., since I had started late. My truck had 177277.1 miles on the clock, once I got him back in the “barn” at the house. Good truck!

The Delta storm remnant forestalled my hike the weekend of 10/10 – 11/2020. I could have hiked in the mud and rainy weather, as I have done before, even with “bionic joints.” In my “cowardice,” I decided to write instead. Please forgive me! Ha!

LIFE, SUCH AS IT IS (9/21/2020 Monday to 10/24/2020 Saturday)

Well, howdy, y’all! “Hit’s” been “ary a while” since I “done writ” here. “Hit’s done been” five weeks, since my 9/20/20, Sunday, post. How y’all “been a gittin’” along? Okay, I hope.

Well, let’s see here. I’ve been writing on the first two of my four posts today, off and on, since 10/11/2020. This is the first one. This theme is “Life, such as it is.” I’ll continue writing chronologically for this article.

9/21/2020, Monday: Mrs. Appalachian Irishman still, bravely, drives to/from her vice principal/teacher job every workday. My “ex-favorite-sister-in-law,” the “coward” that she is, still does her teaching from home – so the carpooling is still not happening.

I worked from home 8 AM to 10:30 AM. Then, my dentist set a temporary crown (i.e., corona; study the etymology). (Historical note: on 8/10/2020, Monday, work-at-home, I had chipped a tooth that he patched, on 8/13/2020, Thursday, a day that turned into my work-at-home.) I thought I’d have me a new crown same day. Wrong! He isn’t into the same-day crown routine that is often the norm now, if you listen to the advertisements. I paid him full price. He owes me a new crown, on 10/19/2020, Monday, when he gets to set it free.

Then, after a mask-wearing shopping bunch of wonderful at “Food Crappy,” my chiropractor adjusted me again, as an extra, after his usual every-four-week adjustment, on 9/14/2020, Monday. I think he set all my bones in place, finally. I’m still working on the muscle and soft tissue recovery. I’m getting tired of this type of “fun.”

9/22-23/2020 Tuesday and Wednesday: Our recent deck replacement, etc., contractor called on Tuesday. I understand, to some degree, why he took so long to reply to me. His father, age 80, is not doing very well. My contractor had gone to care for his father in Pennsylvania. I understood. His sub-contractor came the next day, Wednesday. He was leaving, just as I was returning home from my office-work-a-day (for whatever insane reason). I met him. We talked. He promised. He lied. We still have a few minor details that MUST be done.

9/28/2020, Monday: In contrast to my deck, etc., contractor’s sub-contractor, my FINE heat and air man (Robert’s Heat & Air), and his son-in-law, did an inspection of our A/C and heat units, as I had arranged. Jerry Roberts (Robert’s Heat & Air) knows how to do business! Our A/C and heat units are fine, but it was good to have them checked.

10/3/2020, Saturday: “Microcrap” wanted to update “Winders” to 2004 version. I let them. After fighting the desktop computer monitor for days, on 10/17/20, Saturday, I ordered a new monitor (which arrived on 10/19/20, Monday) for the desktop computer. The “Microcrap” technician, by phone, confirmed what I already had concluded: the “Winders” 2004 update was not the problem.

10/5-6/2020, Monday and Tuesday: Our deck replacement, etc., contractor called on Monday, 10/5/20. I have no problems with him. He had a MAJOR problem with one of his sub-contractors. His now fired sub-contractor came, unannounced, on 10/6/20, to see that he had NOT done the work, which he had PROMISED to do, on 9/23/20. I assume that he surprised himself, by seeing that he had NOT done his promised work. I did NOT talk with him. He is DONE. If he comes around here again, he does NOT represent my contractor, and I WILL get him off our property. He WILL GO AWAY. I hope that he takes up the Good Lord’s free gift offer. I TRIED to help him to that end. It’s his choice now.

10/8/2020, Thursday: Mrs. Appalachian Irishman has been exposed to her teaching assistant, who has been exposed to his daughter, who has the COVID-19 virus (i.e., a new cold virus). The daughter of the teaching assistant had a bit of the snots. What shall we do? We do nothing, of course. How many times have I been exposed to someone who had been exposed to someone who had a cold? It’s been more times than I could ever count. I HAVE MOVED ON from this CORONA MYOPIA OBSESSION. I wish that this once great nation could do so. By the way, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman is completely health! Neither one of us has been or will be tested for a new cold virus.

10/9-11/2020, Friday thru Sunday: I hope that the Rogersville Heritage Days weekend, in the rainy weekend that it was, was enjoyable, for anyone who might have been there. I hear that Heritage Days isn’t what it used to be. I remember many when the occasion was enjoyable, but the rain, “Corona Myopia,” and the festival’s decline did not inspire us to make the trip this year. Will we next year? We’ll see.

10/10/2020, Saturday: I have to toss this one in, for fun! In late September, Nielsen, the radio listening survey folks, had been “hammering” (i.e., calling and never leaving voice mail) our landline, for days, until I grew tired of it. I made the mistake of calling Nielsen back, to see what they wanted. Well, I agreed that Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I would fill out their survey forms, to mail back to them, postage paid. We received the survey forms by mail. We completed their one-week survey forms, about radio stations, to which we had listened. Nielsen, in two postal letters, sent us a total of three crisp, new one-dollar bills! (That’s the way to get rich!) On 10/10/2020, I mailed, postage paid, our improved, computerized survey forms – along with a pithy letter to their “he ain’t from around here” executive. I don’t think Nielsen will ever bother us again.

10/12-16/2020, Monday thru Friday: I was supposed to have worked at home Monday and Tuesday then at office Wednesday thru Friday, but my colleague, with whom I share the insane home/office rotation, became ill on Monday (a cold, not the “new cold virus”). I, therefore, “enjoyed” working at home Monday then at office Tuesday thru Friday. The insanity needs to stop, or I can always find a work-at-home job, before I retire from my state job.

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman -- still driving alone, bravely, to and from work daily -- started her Fall Break Friday. She was off work Friday and was off 10/19/20, Monday. This “inspired” her to take up hammer and chisel, blowtorch, etc., to clean out the kitchen oven. (I had opened the oven door to hear it growl at me, recently.)

10/19-23/2020, My Work Week: to make up for last week, I worked at home Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday – but at office Wednesday. The rationale for doing the SAME job at home or at office -- without the 16.4-mile, one-way, office drive, passing the crossroad each way, where I almost died (3/29/2016) – exists ONLY in the minds of the bureaucratic “powers that be” in “Nashvegas.”

On 10/19/2020, my dentist installed my new crown, with no extra charge. I told him that, every 40 or so years, I need a tooth crown. He knows that, if he’s still doing dental work, I’ll be back, at age 100, for my next tooth crown. Afterward, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I visited our chiropractor. The appointment had been set for 10/5/2020, but his daughter had come down with the “new cold virus.” She recovered from her cold quickly. Out of “an abundance of caution,” as the media folks turn the phrase, he closed his office for two weeks. Neither his wife nor he was sick. At least, my adjustment was the usual “tune up.” My bones are holding alignment well. I’ve about had it with the Corona Myopia Obsession in this once great nation. Most everyone, with whom I discuss the Obsession, agrees with me. Why can’t the political breed understand?

10/24/2020, Saturday: I should have been born 200 years before I was. I understand modern technology. I don’t like it much. I had wanted a VGA computer to monitor cable. Our desktop computer needed to connect to the new monitor that I had received. My father-in-law bailed me out! I had “Interweb” ordered a VGA male-to-male cable, yesterday. Afterward, I had called my father-in-law, since Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had forgotten to ask him, to see if he had an extra cable. He and I had a fine 45-minute conversation. (Mrs. Appalachian Irishman needs to create her own website journal for her side of family history.) Well, today, my father-in-law called to say that he had an extra cable that I needed! I cancelled my “Interweb” order. The cable works! Once again, with help from my father-in-law, I defeated modern technology! Eventually, the desktop and laptop computers will need upgrades, but not today!


Well, that’s my latest “life, such as it is” update (9/21/2020 Monday to 10/24/2020 Saturday). Read on, dear reader!

I have a few more articles to post on my website. I’m getting there! I’ll post House Mountain hike #171, on 10/4/2020, today. I will post two others later, today or tomorrow, as the Good Lord wills (as they say).