Sunday, November 22, 2020



11/21/2020, 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 Doggy

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 doggy! The weather was perfect – cool enough for a sweatshirt, unlike 11/21/2020.

Molly doggy 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 Doggy language well enough. Molly always stays inside with us a few hours in the evening. Her bedroom is the lower level doggy complex. She is a daytime, outside, doggy! (Well, if it’s rainy or very cold, she has her lower level doggy complex, which is heated and cooled, by means of doggy 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 (11/24/2016). The next day, on Friday, 11/25/2016, 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!

11/22/2020, 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.


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 11/22/2020, 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!

“WALLY-WORLD FUN,” 11/14/2020, SATURDAY, IN “LIFE, SUCH AS IT IS” CONTEXT (published 11/22/2020)

 “Life, Such As It Is” Context

On 11/22/2020, Sunday, early in the morning, I start to write this article. (The nearby rooster quit crowing finally.) I’ll finish writing in the afternoon. My 11/21/2020 House Mountain #174 hike didn’t cause my right foot to “talk to me” at all! My left shoulder, however, for some reason, is asking me, "what the heck did you do to me yesterday?" Well, I’d take the right foot’s “conversation” any day. I’m used to it, after a hike. The left shoulder is a new “conversation,” unless I jammed another rib. I’ll get past it. Just give me time, or an unscheduled chiropractic appointment.

Last workweek (11/16 – 20/2020), my schedule started out: work at home Monday, Tuesday, and Friday but at office Wednesday and Thursday. Well, at 6:11 AM, on Wednesday – just after I’d done my usual stretches in bed before getting up and then taken my morning “outhouse” water extraction – the office manager called our landline. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, who leaves for her work about 6:30 AM, answered the phone. I was splashing water (from the sink, mind you) on my face. It seems that one or two of the ones, who work from home daily (or one who works from home daily and the other, with whom I alternate in the home or office work ongoing insanity) had internet at home trouble. One or both would be working at office. I could work at home. Well, that was good! (I won one that time, at least.) Later, on the same Wednesday date, I had the offer to work the rest of the week at home. I took up the offer. The difference is: for this Thanksgiving (Monday through Wednesday only) short workweek, I work at office all three days, instead of on Wednesday only, as had been the arrangement. I have to balance my work at home all five days last week, to work at office the three workdays this week, according to the insane schedule, apparently.

I figured that the reading of the above paragraph would make your head spin! It’s the mad, mad, new cold virus, work at home, or office, schedule insanity gone wild!

On Monday, 11/16/2020, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I had our usual, every-four-week, chiropractic adjustments. Our chiropractor is the associate partner to the chiropractor, who owns the business location. The owner chiropractor was at work. It was good to see him. (His wife is the office secretary.) He is holding his own, in his known-to-us health challenge. Our ongoing prayers are with him.

Of course, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman still braves the new cold virus world, by driving back and forth to her vice principal/teacher job. My “used to be favorite” sister-in-law still “bravely” teaches on the Interweb at home.

On 11/17/2020, Tuesday, my youngest brother “texterated” me (i.e., sent me a text), regarding their oldest, in high school, daughter. Her high school girls’ basketball first game of the season was at 4:30 PM that day. The next day, my youngest brother “texterated” me, to indicate that the team had won by one point! My articles on 2/9/2020 and 3/15/2020 were about the success of the Bulls Gap Middle School Lady Bulldogs. Our niece was a starter. 2020 started out as a good year. Of course, the Corona Myopia was just getting started at the time. I’m glad that my high school freshman year (1974) was not encapsulated by a new cold virus. I regret that our niece’s is.

Yesterday, 11/21/2020, in the late evening, my wife’s youngest sister drove in from Nashville, to stay with my in-laws, who live three miles away. I speculate that my wife will be granted permission, by the “mask mafia,” to visit her family in person, for a few days at least. I was right! At the 2:57 PM time of this writing, my wife hasn’t been gone that long ago to visit there today! I knew it.

I wonder how many still go to church, physically. Church, for many, is either home church or virtual church. The context, of course, is Corona Myopia. We are in home church mode. Church, on many Sunday afternoons for me, is in the woods.

Wally-World Fun,” 11/14/2020, Saturday

Whew! At least we got past that life context extended introduction. Now, let’s get to the “Wally-World Fun!”

I don’t care for “Wally-World” shopping. Y’all feel free to make my opinion your own. The last time that I went to a “Wally-World” (in Halls) was on 9/9/2017, to buy the stepper that I don’t really need now. (Anyone want a free stepper? Mrs. Appalachian Irishman should but doesn’t use it anymore.)

In 2011, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I acquired new Samsung cell phones, for about $90 each. That was before “semi-intelligent” (or so-called “smart” phones) came along. Mine still works fine and takes good photos. Hers had been giving the “white screen of death,” as I called it. Bravely, therefore, we endured a two-hour “Wally-World” experience, on Saturday, 11/14/2020. The location was the one near the former East Towne Mall, or Knox Center Mall – that will become the new whatever it becomes eventually.

The following is a photo of my phone that still works great.

I had already done the Interweb research and had the phone conversation with the in-store Straight Talk (Verizon) representative, who, by the way, enjoyed my Irish wit. The parking lot and store were packed. I located a safe enough parking spot, about a quarter mile walk from the entrance. I stated my usual, “mask off; mask on, as a no longer free man, in a once free and great nation,” as we entered. Most folks and all employees were mask wearers. A few folks were not. Everyone, including me, was touching and adjusting masks.

The Straight Talk (Verizon) representative in store had delays, trying to get the Straight Talk technician, by phone contact, to set up my wife’s new phone correctly. Needing to get outside, to breath without a mask on, I took a break outside. A mask strap came loose. I stood outside and, using my pocketknife to poke a new hole, I accomplished a country boy improvised strap re-attachment, talking with myself in my best hillbilly all the time. (I hope the folks passing by were amused.)

After almost an hour, the representative had my wife’s new phone set up most of the way. The next photo is her new LG Flip cell phone. (No, it is not a “semi-intelligent” phone. I won’t own one. The “guvrmint” and whomever else likes to track how long it takes you in the bathroom, etc., even if you shut off the tracking feature. I know. I’ve seen TV documentaries and read legitimate articles. Also, I don’t want a bulky, large screen phone!)

The LG phone cost about $30 only. How much did you pay for your latest “semi-intelligent” phone?

With our shopping cart “tank” ready, we next shopped for a few household items and groceries. At 3:06 PM, I used my cell phone to call the “Wally World” number. Nine checkout locations were present. Three were open. I suggested, in my Irish manner, that opening a few more checkouts might help. We checked out and arrived home. Yes, as we left “Wally World,” I stated, “mask on; mask off, as a free man again, in a once free and great nation!

At 5:10 PM, I had managed to set up my wife’s new LG phone the rest of the way. Once again, I won. Modern technology lost.

The weather was warm, but it would have been a good day to hike. I should have hiked in the woods, instead of around “Wally World.” My right foot and knee took the pounding on all that concrete and tile much better than I thought. I was glad to get off all that hard surface area, however, since the right footstep still feels different. Day by day, the footstep gets closer to normal – very slowly.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Devil's Nose Hiking Record, 2/16/2002 to 11/29/2013, So Far (published 11-15-2020)

11/29/2013 photograph, by M. Fearghail, standing on the east bluff on Devil's Nose, looking southeast. The image is also included in the 1/1/2024 article.


On Thursday, 11/12/2020, a reader from Louisiana, with whom I became acquainted, emailed me. He wanted to know about my hikes on Devil’s Nose. Several years ago, he hiked Devil's Nose, with a group, on Thanksgiving Day. The gentleman seems to be a fine feller! He inspired me to publish this article about my hikes on Devil’s Nose, each within the context of life at the time.

The following is a redaction of my Sunday, 11/15/2020, email reply to the gentleman from Louisiana. I edited it for style and added additional remarks. His personal information is removed.

I hope, by reading this article, that you are inspired to go hiking! A day in the woods adds a day to your life!

11/15/2020 Email Reply

Thank you for your 11/12/2020 email, and thank you for your interest in my website journal. I’m glad to “meet” you in this manner!

I haven’t been brave enough to hike Devil’s Nose, since my last hike “up the Nose” on Friday, 11/29/2013. (The 1/1/2014 article is about that hike and includes 12 photographs.) I don’t have plans to “hike the Nose” this year, unless they change. The 8/26/2016 article, “I’m Still Alive – Why?,” explains why I haven’t hiked Devil’s Nose in a while.

I grew up in Hawkins County. During elementary and high school years, a friend, with whom I still keep in touch, had an uncle, who owned property at the southwest base of Devil’s Nose. My friend, another friend, the younger brothers of two of us, and I hiked Devil’s Nose an uncountable number of times, from the late 1960s until the late 1970s. I have many memories of those hikes!

Eventually, I educated myself formally and got married. My wife and I lived in Missouri (1986–1994), then in Russia (1994–1999). We returned to northeast Tennessee in late 1999. Since then, my public journal and commentary have included several details about life. (A search by “Mom” will find several key articles.)

On 4/23/2000, I started keeping a hiking log. My hikes on Devil’s Nose, since that date, total the following ten (so far):

(1) 02/16/2002, Saturday, with two of my three younger brothers and my youngest brother’s wife.

(2) 11/30/2002, Saturday, with the same family members, as on 2/16/2002. We “hiked the Nose” twice in the same year! We had to skip 2003 for various reasons.

(3) 11/26/2004, Friday, with my youngest brother and his wife. I took two photographs.

(4) 11/25/2005, Friday, with my youngest brother only. I have one photograph.

(5) 11/24/2006, Friday, with my youngest brother. The hike was dedicated to our mother, who was born on 11/24/1932. Mom “went to see Jesus” on 12/27/2000. I took 23 photographs.

(6) 11/23/2007, Friday, by myself. No one else could hike with me. My notes from that hike: first time to hike alone. 11 AM - 3:40 PM. 50 minutes to hike up to the west bluff. It took 45 minutes to hike across the ridge. 45 minutes at the east bluff. 45 minutes back to the west bluff. 35 minutes to hike down and out. A little white and black dog followed me. The weather was partly cloudy, breezy, and in the 40s. I took eight photographs. An additional note: on 1/25/2008, Dad joined Mom. This marked the last hike that Dad saw me leave the homeplace to hike and return after the hike.

(7) 11/28/2009, Saturday, with my youngest brother. My notes from that hike: 10:45 AM – 4:15 PM. It took one hour to hike up the west trail and one hour to hike across the ridge. One and a half hours at the east bluff. It took one hour to hike the ridge back to the west bluff. We took 45 minutes to hike back down and out. A black dog followed us. The weather was sunny and in the 60s. I took nine photographs. This hike is mentioned in the 12/12/2009 article and includes two photographs.

(8) 11/27/2010, Saturday, with my youngest brother. My notes from that hike: 10:15 AM – 3:45 PM. It took one and a half hours to hike up to the west bluff and one and a quarter hours across the ridge. We were an hour and a half at the east bluff. We took an hour to hike back to the west bluff and forty-five minutes to hike down and out. The weather went from sunny to cloudy and back to sunny. The temperature was in the low 40s. I took 21 photographs. The 11/28/2010 article is about this hike. It includes 10 of the 21 photographs that I took.

(9) 11/25/2011, Friday, with my youngest brother. My notes from that hike: 10:15 AM – 4:00 PM. We took an hour and a half to hike up to the west bluff. It took an hour to hike east on the ridge. We enjoyed an hour and a half at the east bluff. It took an hour to hike back west on the ridge. Hiking down and out took 45 minutes. The weather was clear, warm, and in the 60s. I have 21 total photographs.

(10) 11/29/2013, Friday, with my youngest brother. My notes from that hike: This was my tenth hike on Devil's Nose that is recorded in my hiking log. 11 AM – 4:30 PM. I didn't record the time that it took to hike up, across, back, and down. The weather was clear and about 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Snow was still on the north slope and on the ridge. I photographed bobcat tracks! On the east bluff, we met a former son-in-law of a first cousin, his daughter, and others! (Using ropes, they had hiked up the steeper east trail.) I took 12 photographs. The 1/1/2014 article is about this hike and includes all the photographs.

Thank you again, my newly found hiking friend and distant neighbor, for your email. I will publish a section of this email, without your name mentioned, on my website. Thank you for inspiring me to write another article on hiking!

I trust that you have accepted the Good Lord’s salvation and are living accordingly. This world is a training ground for our everlasting Home. Can you imagine hiking in heaven? I can! Will it not be great? If we don’t meet here, I’ll enjoy a heavenly hike with you eventually!

Kindest regards, in Him,

Marion W. Ferrell

PS: On my website, I write under my pen name, Merrion Fearghail. From Gaelic, Merrion means “brave man,” and Fearghail, my ancestral clan from County Longford, means “man of valor.”


I hope that this article inspires you to hike! As I've said many times, a day in the woods adds a day to your life!

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