Monday, August 29, 2022

'MATER FUN with 'MATER LADY (published 8-29-2022; article #351; Mrs. Appalachian Irishman article #1)

Introduction

Hey, folks! This is Mrs. Appalachian Irishman (aka 'Mater Lady) -- publishing my first article here! On 8/28/2022 -- as I was taking the above photograph, of the prettiest Cherokee Purple tomato that I have grown this summer -- Mr. Appalachian Irishman commented that he would invite me to be a guest writer on his website. He said that I should write about the tomatoes. He was really goading me and making fun of my photograph taking of a tomato. Well here we go!

'Mater Fun

Let’s start at the beginning. In late April, I found out that a local school was having a plant sale. I went online to a website that a coworker provided me and discovered that they had several varieties of tomatoes for sale, at 50 cents per plant. They also had flowers for sale.

I bought about four dollars worth of plants -- six tomato plants and two kinds of flowers. I had the coworker, who had given me the information, pick up the plants and bring them to me at school, my workplace.

It took me a few days to decide where and how to plant the tomatoes. I put the flowers in flowerpots on the front porch, after a few days. I then decided to plant the tomatoes in three large pots, two plants to a pot, since I had three varieties -- Cherokee Purple, Better Boy, and Celebrity.

Mr. Appalachian Irishman has been a little leery of eating the Cherokee Purple tomatoes, because the first ones picked were cracked. He thought that they were diseased, moldy, and “full of rot.” He carried on so about this! I must admit they did not look good, but they were tasty. The latest harvest has looked much better.

Conclusion

That is why I snapped the photograph, on 8/28/2022, to send to my sisters and niece. It's the photograph, about which the man just could not resist making fun.

By the way, my youngest sister suggested having a good ol' 'mater sandwich. Good idea!

Editor's note (by M. Fearghail, “Mr. Appalachian Irishman”)

Well, dear! After all these years of trying to get you to write on my website, I prodded you enough to write your 'mater story! You have one article. I have written 350 articles (from 3/6/2006 to 8/28/2022). Will you catch up? I'm kidding, dear! I'm glad that you wrote an article finally. Love 'ya. Mean it.

By the way, I took the photograph, below, earlier today. I had to add a bit of extra humor, with a serious ending.

I was in the kitchen. In 2002, I designed the kitchen nook, so we could place a small table and chairs there. I can't eat at the kitchen table. Why, you ask?

Do you see nine tomatoes, six flowers in pots, and one laptop? (All the potted plants aren't visible.) There is no room for this Appalachian Irishman to set a plate or cup of coffee!

As a serious close, the large, green plant is the gift from my youngest brother and his wife. The gift was for my mother-in-law's funeral. She passed on to everlasting joy, on 4/30/2017. That plant has thrived for over five years so far. My mother-in-law thrives everlastingly.


Sunday, August 28, 2022

STAGFLATION & MONEY TREE: “Engine Air Intake Hose” Story (published 8-28-2022; article #350)

Introduction

A man might as well just laugh about it. What else can he do? After a while, it just becomes funny. Sometimes, it starts off funny and stays funny – sarcastically – such as this article.

This is a story about the “engine air intake hose,” in the context of Biden's stagflation economy and the money tree. Y'all might as well laugh with me! (Insert smiley face emoji here – if you “like” 👍 that type of silliness.)

The Story Begins

On Thursday morning, 8/25/2022, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman drove – alone, as the “new normal” – our 2012 Nissan Sentra to work. (My 6/15/2022 article mentioned our vehicle trade.) After arriving at work, she called to say that the “service engine soon” light was on. The car displayed no problems. Hum. What could it be? Our new, ol' car had checked out “A-OK,” mechanically, before and just after we got her.

At any rate, my wife made it home fine. I checked our new, ol' car to find nothing wrong. I'd already called the local Nissan dealership and service center, to arrange the next day appointment. (I plan to buy an inexpensive diagnostic tool, to see what “service engine soon” light means! It could save us money, if I can diagnose and repair myself.)

The High Dollar Engine Air Intake Hose

The next day, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman drove my new, ol' truck (2006 Nissan Frontier) to and from work. I asked how she liked driving my truck. She didn't comment much, but I saw her little grin, when she said that she had “done alright.” My truck didn't seem to mind. He rolled over to 186,000 miles on the trip.

Earlier that next day, I'd taken her car (2012 Nissan Sentra) to and from the Nissan shop. The appointment was at 10:30 AM. I arrived at 10:29 AM. I paid the bill at 12:20 PM. At least the part was in stock. So, I didn't have to get “favorite” sister-in-law (retired) to help or to pay for a one-day rental.

What part, you ask? I took the photograph, below, yesterday (8/27/2022).

Do you see the black flexible hose, with the piece that looks like a “walking stick handle” on top of it? (Clamps are on both ends of the hose.) That is an “Engine Air Intake Hose Part # 16576ET00A.” The old hose had a small crack in it. That crack had triggered the “service engine soon” light, on 8/25/2022.

What did that little part, plus labor, plus supplies, plus tax cost, you ask? Well, the following is from the bill (with my notes added, in bold italics).

     Engine Air Intake Hose Part # 16576ET00A  $102.35
     Labor (for about 1.5 hrs. work)                    $194.67
     Shop supplies (what supplies?)                     $27.25
     Tax                                                                   $29.99
     TOTAL                                                           $354.26

That relatively small part cost way too much! The labor was way too high! (The labor rate calculates to just over $125 an hour.) I'd like to have seen the shop supplies that cost $27.25. I might have wanted to keep what I bought. (Insert smiley face emoji here.)

Yesterday, I did some browsing, on the cost of that part. Nissan North America, Inc., in Franklin, Tennessee, shows the same cost - $102.35. Nissan Parts Deal, by Auto Parts Prime, Inc. – in South El Monte, California – shows the cost at $72.46. Wholesale Parts Express – in Lauderdale, Florida – shows the cost at $28.95. Now, $28.95 would have been very reasonable, but I wouldn't have waited, while the part shipped in from Florida.

On Thursday and Friday, I'd told the folks at the Nissan dealership and service center not to send texts to my cell phone. They did anyway. I did “STOP” replies. Their text, after the work was done, asked me “to provide feedback” on the service

So, yesterday morning, I checked to verify that the website was valid, and I provided my “feedback,” as follows.

8/26/2022: Sentra - Engine Air Intake Hose Part # 16576ET00A - $102.35 + $194.67 labor (about 1.5 hrs.) + $27.25 supplies + tax = $354.26. At least the part was in stock, and I didn't need to leave and return, to await service completion. Total time, from arrival to payment - 10:30 AM to 12:20 PM. Service was excellent. Cost for part + labor was too high. Sara fixed quickly, with no charge, the right front passenger window, which the driver's side main control couldn't roll up or down! Thanks, Sara! Service worked out. I've had service there before. Service is always excellent. Cost for parts and labor had been reasonable. That cost is now too high, in context of current stagflation. Three stars -- only due to high cost for parts and labor. I'll return, as needed. I hope that I don't have to do so for a long time!

Yes, the driver's side master, for the four side windows, would not roll up or down the right front passenger window. I'd tinkered with the master control. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had done so. Neither of us had any luck. I'd notice the minor problem, on our 6/4/2022 test drive.

Sara managed the service. Just before I paid, I'd indicated the problem and stated that we might come back, to have it checked. Sara went to our car and punched the various master control buttons – as we had done. Sara must have been “holding her mouth right,” as folks say around here! The driver's side master can lower and raise that window now! That's why Sara got my thanks!

Yes, as a man, I will admit when a woman does something mechanical that I couldn't do. It doesn't happen often. (Insert smiley face emoji here.) I hear you laughing!

Stagflation and Money Tree

Ol' man Webster (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) defines “stagflation” as “persistent inflation combined with stagnant consumer demand and relatively high unemployment.” Y'all know what that it. We're in it. A Forbes article, of two months ago, told us it was coming. See “Stagflation: Causes And When It Will Come,” by Bill Conerly, Senior Contributor, Forbes, 6/28/2022, 7:30 AM EDT.

My readers, who are old enough, remember the “good old days” of Jimmy Carter stagflation. Those “good old days” are back! (Insert smiley face sarcastic emoji here.)

At some point, I may write another article on the USSA Money Tree ($Tree). I searched my website by “Money Tree” and picked five articles to reference here. Four are from last year: 2/28/2021, 3/22/2021, 4/2/2021, 5/22/2021. One is last month: 7/27/2022.

Earlier this month (August 2022), the Democrat Socialists and Biden, the First President of the USSA, printed more Monopoly Money – on 8/16/2022 and 8/24/2022. For 8/16/2022, see “Biden signs $739 billion Inflation Reduction Act into law, slams GOP for voting against the tax, climate deal,” by Brooke Singman, Fox News, 8/16/2022, 4:16 PM EDT. For 8/24/2022, see “Forgiving $10,000 in student debt could cost the U.S. $300 billion,” on CBS News Money Watch, by Aimee Picchi, updated 8/24/2022, 5:47 PM.

That's a total of $1,039,000,000,000 ($1.039 trillion) in Monopoly Money – in one month! (Insert smiley face sarcastic emoji here.)


On 6/6/2022, D-Day anniversary, I'd noticed a viewer spike on my article of 2/24/2013, “'ELIMENTRY' LESSONS for the 'GUVERMINT EDUKATED, SO$IALIST' FOLK.” I'd wondered what had spiked views, in 2022, to an article I'd written over nine years ago. Who knows? I may publish an article or podcast that is similar to that one. You can too! Just find the facts, shave off eight zeros, and apply to a household budget – as my “Lesson #1” did, in my article of over nine years ago.

Conclusion

My “Engine Air Intake Hose” story, in this article, is one example – of billions (pardon the pun) – of Biden's stagflation economy. I don't blame Biden exclusively. From Trump, going farther back, the “guvermint” has been “borrowing from Peter to pay Paul,” for decades.

Pick either US Treasury Debt to the Penny, US Debt Clock.org, USA Debt Clock.com, or Worldometer United States National Debt – to see the USSA debt keep piling up. The spinning numbers on three of those websites will mesmerize you!

The USSA keeps spending itself into “Socialist Utopian Oblivion.” Don't worry! A man might as well just laugh about it. What else can he do – except write another article?


Thursday, August 25, 2022

TENNESSEE 'TRIGGER' LAW: UNBORN CHILDREN HAVE RIGHT TO LIFE (published 8-25-2022; article #349)

Introduction

My “Articles on Worldviews in Conflict“ section contains my 6/7/2022, 6/26/2022, and 6/30/2022 public statements. You are welcome to read or re-read them now. I suggest that you do so.

This article is a brief note, regarding the significance of today, 8/25/2022, Thursday. The brevity does not indicate the importance. “A word to the wise is sufficient,” as someone once said.

Tennessee “Trigger” Law Effective 8/25/2022

On 6/24/2022, the USSA “Supreme” Court agreed, correctly mostly, with God's Supreme Court. My June 2022 articles wrote about the decision -- in the context of worldviews in conflict – in detail. States should not decide if an unborn child has the right to life. God's Supreme Court has already decided that they do.

Consequently, Tennessee – effective today, 8/25/2022 – stands to protect the unborn children, who are in the wombs of their mothers. The details are and have been on various news outlets. Of several, I chose one propaganda news network: “Tennessee 'trigger' law banning nearly all abortions goes into effect: The law makes providing an abortion a felony in the state.“ On ABCNews.com, by Nadine El-Bawab, video byJessie DiMartino, 8/25/2022, 5:10 AM. I didn't concern myself with their “murder the unborn babies” images. That is between them and God. God will judge them.

Conclusion

A midst the ongoing moral decline in this once great nation, the knowledge that unborn children, in the State of Tennessee, have the right to life – which God had given them at the moment of conception – is comforting.

Don't worry. I'll write more on “worldviews in conflict” – to affirm the biblical worldview. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, however, is mashing potatoes. I'm hungry. I'm off here for now! Let's eat!


Wednesday, August 24, 2022

2022 SLAVIC WAR: 8-24-1991 Ukraine Independence Day & 2-24-2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine (published 8-24-2022; article #348)

 

A wonderful view of the Areopagus Hills in Athens, Greece,” 8/3/2022 free photo by Datingscout on Unsplash

Introduction

Greetings to my readers – especially to my readers in Slavic countries. I have called the Russian invasion of the Ukraine the “2022 Slavic War.” A war starts when a nation invades another nation. The nation that is invaded did not start the war. The invading nation did. The invaded nation has to defend itself.

With this article, I have created “2022 Slavic War,” as a separate Topic Section. This is my fifth article. My other four articles were on 3/8/2022, 3/20/2022, 5/12/2022, and 5/30/2022. Five articles are now in this new section.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine becomes, too often, a side note. To both my Ukrainian and Russian brothers and sisters in Christ, you are not forgotten! The daily prayers of many, including me, are for peace. May it be so, Lord.

8-24-1991 Ukraine Independence Day

Thirty-one years ago, Ukraine declared independence from the USSR, on 8/24/1991. The official website of Ukraine includes a section on “Origins & History of Ukraine.” To my non-Slavic readers, you may wish to read the entire section.

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) ended, on 12/31/1991. (See “Collapse of the Soviet Union,” by The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica; Last Updated 8/11/2022.)

On 10/1/1994, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I joined two other families, to serve as missionaries, to Moscow and Klin, Russia. My “Topic Sections” includes twelve articles on or that reference “Mission Work.” I may write a book, about our mission experiences.

Ukrainian Independence marked freedom from Soviet oppression, dictatorship, and tyranny. Today, 8/24/2022, Ukrainians will find no joy – if there is any celebration of their independence from the USSR, which included, of course, Russia.

2-24-2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine

On 2/24/2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. Today, on Ukraine Independence Day, marks day 182 of the Russian invasion of their Slavic brothers in Ukraine. Vladimir Putin and his minions started the war. Both sides argue the reasons. Propaganda abounds.

The Moscow Times section on Ukraine War is a good source of information. I receive their weekly emails, on Fridays.

Russia is not without its faults. Ukraine is not without its faults. No nation is. A peaceful nation should not be invaded by an aggressive nation. Yes, history abounds with too many examples.

Conclusion

The inspired Luke recorded the apostle Paul's meeting of the Areopagus, in Acts 17:22-34. (The quotation, below, includes my bold highlight, for emphasis on this topic.)

Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship —and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.
“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
“Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”
When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” At that, Paul left the Council. Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others. (Acts 17:22-34 NIV)

God has marked the appointed times of nations and set their boundaries. God does not, however, cause nations to commit evil. His grace allows free will – for people and nations to commit evil – for a while. The inspired Old Testament records God's hand in the rise and fall of nations. Deeper thought on the subject of God's providence and why God allows evil nations to prosper – for a time – is beyond the scope of this brief article. I may unpack my thoughts, in a longer article, later.

God requires all people, as individuals and nations, to repent of their evil and to turn to His Son, Jesus, the Christ. Universal Judgment Day is coming. The evils caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine will be judged. I will be judged. You will be judged. Our judgment will be just. If we have repented and turned to the Lord, our Savior, we will have everlasting life, in heaven. If we have not, everlasting torment awaits.

Paul's sermon on the Areopagus, in the first century, led to the conversion of Dionysius, Damaris, and several others. Some, however, in free will, rejected Paul's words of salvation.

The word of salvation is offered. Many of my readers have chosen as Dionysius and Damaris did. Other readers have not – yet. Please choose wisely. My “Contact Form” is available, if you need my assistance. God's blessings to my readers – especially for peace in Ukraine.


Saturday, August 20, 2022

MAYBERRY VALUES - BIBLICAL VALUES (published 8-20-2022; article #347)

Public domain image from CuteWallPaper.org

Introduction

On the morning of August 11th, 2022, I had been just sottin' thar thinkin'.” I recalled the previous evening, when Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I had watched an episode of The Andy Griffith Show. (Molly, our ol' puppy, had been watching with us, or bouncing in and out of the house, or playing the “got 'ems” game with me.) The episode included the Darlings. We'd seen it many times, but we enjoyed the show and the musical numbers, once again.

Today – while I ate a handful of potato chips – I realized that I'd not yet finished and published this article. (I eat a few potato chips, once or twice a year. The potato chip bag is still half full bag. The “best use by date” is 11/2021.)

This article has a humorous and serious side – as The Andy Griffith Show does. Please enjoy the humor, but stay around for the serious conclusion.

Mayberry Values

The Andy Griffith Show aired on TV from 1960 to 1968. Reruns are on TV to this day. I hope that they continue. What were “Mayberry values?” Those who watch the reruns know.

Did you know that the Darling family (and their music) were actually The Dillards, a bluegrass group? I didn't, until I did the research. See “The Darlings were actually The Dillards on 'The Andy Griffith Show,'” by Cheryl E. Preston, 12 months ago, in Entertainment, on Vocal Media Geeks.

Did you know that Rodney Dillard was an original member of The Dillards? The Dillards website states:

Rodney Dillard, as founding member of the legendary group, ‘THE DILLARDS’ (aka the Darlings), is seen nearly everyday somewhere in the world thanks to the still enormous popularity of The ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW reruns.

The Dillards website includes The Mayberry Values section, which states:

The Andy Griffith Show has captured the hearts of Americans since the 1960’s. Its emphasis on family values, Christian principles and simply “doing the right thing” made it the most popular show in television history.

RODNEY DILLARD was one of the beloved “Darling boys” on many episodes.

The Mayberry Values section indicates that Rodney Dillard and his wife are or have been:

. . . bringing a wonderfully acclaimed program to churches all over America, proclaiming those cherished MAYBERRY VALUES that are so rapidly disappearing in our society today. Using humor, stories, testimonies, scriptures, song and video presentations, the Dillards are able to touch and inspire families and individuals of all ages. As they say in Mayberry, lets get “all keyed up” – this time for the Lord.

As far as I can figure, Rodney Dillard and his wife are still living, but could be near age 80. I trust that they “keyed up” many “for the Lord.”

Where's the music, you ask? Dillardgrass (on YouTube) includes nine songs (with video) on The Andy Griffith Show Playlist. So, sit back, turn up the volume, and listen to those songs – “ifn ya want to.” I'm partial to Andy Griffith - Leaning On The Everlasting Arms.

Biblical Values

I found Mayberry Podcasts interesting. I listened to a couple of recent podcasts. Y'all might want to visit there and listen a while. I'd suggest “Episode 91 – Sin Is Sin, by Brian, 8/12/2022,” as it fits the theme of this article.

The “Articles on Worldviews in Conflict” section of my website lists three articles that I published, in June, 2022 – on 6/7/2022, 6/26/2022, and 6/30/2022. I thought about including this article in that section, but I didn't. The reading, or re-reading, of those three articles would be helpful.

Have you read Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, in the inspired gospel of Matthew, chapters five to seven? The Bible Gateway website has Jesus' sermon online in NIV translation.

Reading Jesus' Sermon on the Mount encapsulates and defines biblical values. Many other sections of God's inspired word, the Bible, affirm and define biblical values. This article simply points to the Bible, to read – correctly, in immediate and remote contexts of passages – and to understand biblical values. To readers who doubt the Bible and critique its value system, remember that a text, taken out of context, is pretext. (I may unpack that, in a future article or podcast.)

Conclusion

Mayberry values” are biblical values. A return to “Mayberry values” is not nostalgia. This once great nation should repent and return to those values – if the majority of folks would decide to do so.

Old fashioned” biblical values will not be “out of style” on Judgment Day. Are you ready for that day? If not, you are welcome to contact me. I can help you!

Best of luck, to you and yours!” “Tell them, Gomer says hey!”


Sunday, August 14, 2022

CARS & TRUCKS - “the Significance of the Passage of Time” (published 8-14-2022; article #346)

Introduction

Howdy, y'all! Are you ready? This is a twenty-page short story, on cars and trucks, in “the significance of the passage of time!” (By the way, today is the 77th glorious USA anniversary of V-J Day. Tomorrow is the first disgraceful USSA anniversary of the American flag lowering at the Kabul Embassy. My 8/16/2021 article wrote about all this, last year.)

Since my 6/15/2022 article – about our 6/6/2022, D-Day anniversary, purchase of our 2012 Nissan Sentra – my thoughts have dwelt, at times, on the twelve vehicles that I, or we, have owned. I searched volumes of photographs, some on film and some digitized, to find car photographs. Serendipitously, I have published twelve articles, between my 6/15/2022 article and this article today.

This short story lists the twelve vehicles, so far, and places each one in the context of life. The phrase “the significance of the passage of time” is in the title, thanks to Kamala Harris, the first Vice President of the USSA. I hope that she doesn't mind. See the 3/21/2022 GOP War Room YouTube episode – if you need to refresh your memory.

The three segments are (1) before Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, (2) just before and with Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, and (3) with Mrs. Appalachian Irishman. I hope that y'all enjoy my cars and trucks story in “the significance of the passage of time!”

(1) Before Mrs. Appalachian Irishman

During the Appalachian Irishman's single years, I had three cars. Life stages were after high school graduation, community college graduation, first full-time job, and further college studies.

#1: 1973 Ford Maverick

I graduated high school in 1978. After graduation, I started working part-time, as a warehouse supervisor for Schwan’s Home Delivery. The small warehouse was on the property beside the homeplace. I could walk to work! I loaded three or four trucks – two Tony's Pizza trucks and one or two Schwan's ice cream trucks. I also managed inventory, helped unload late night supply shipments, cleaned pizza and sandwich ovens, kept the place clean, and washed the trucks. In grade school and high school, I'd already earned income by putting up hay, mowing yards, working the ticket booth at the Roxy Theater, and inserting papers at The Rogersville Review.

I had enrolled at Walters State Community College (WSCC), in Morristown, Tennessee, for the fall of 1978. I need a car, to drive back and forth to WSCC. Dad knew about a 1973 Ford Maverick, on a dealer lot in Gate City, Virginia (not far north of Kingsport, Tennessee). Dad had already dickered the $800 price. He agreed to pay $400. I agreed to pay $400. Dad drove me, in his truck, to check out and test drive the car. That was in the summer of 1978, before I started my first classes at WSCC. Dad and I bought my first car – a 1973 Ford Maverick.

I took the photograph in January 1979. (I had written the date on the back of the photograph.) My first car is in the lower driveway, at the homeplace. I didn't care for the color, but my first car was a good one. It had a three-speed, manual shifter, on the floor. I thought that I had a “hot rod!” I took one young lady on one date, in my Maverick.

In the spring of 1979, on a morning trip to WSCC, on highway 113, a slow moving Ford Thunderbird was in front. I had a passing lane. The other car did not indicate a left turn, before I started to pass. The other car drifted into my right front quarter panel, as I was passing. My Maverick took damage, but I could still drive it. That was my first wreck. The officer didn't fault the other driver or me. I didn't file charges against the other driver. We each decided to repair our own vehicles.

My 1973 Maverick and I had only a few months together. I didn't have to borrow Mom and Dad's car anymore!

#2: 1976 Ford Mustang Cobra II

A buddy, with whom I'd graduated high school, drove one of the pizza trucks at the warehouse, where I worked. He had a 1976 Ford Mustang Cobra II. Despite the damage to my Maverick, he wanted to trade, to get out of his car payments. I agreed. I took out my first car loan and traded. It didn't take me long to pay off my Cobra II.

I took the two above photographs of my Cobra II, in July, 1979. (I had written the dates on the photographs.) I had just washed my Cobra II and driven across the road to the Caney Creek Community Club Park, where I took the photographs. In high school, several of us boys played sandlot football and softball in that park. I used to run laps, about 20 or so, around that park, for exercise and training.

I loved my Cobra II! He had a four-speed shifter, on the floor. He had a “cherry bomb” muffler that split to dual pipes. My car rumbled – not too loudly – when I up or down shifted! My first Cobra II and I had a lot of fun together! We went to and from WSCC. I often car pooled with two or three friends. Those friends rode with us, when it was my turn to drive. My Cobra II got me to gathering locations with friends. I dated three young ladies – not at the same time – taking them various places in my Cobra II. I kept my Cobra II well maintained, washed, and clean. I even washed him in winter – when the rinse water would turn to ice!

I graduated from WSCC, with an associates degree, just after I had already started my first full-time job, at Dodge-Reliance Electric Company, in my hometown. I worked 1 PM to 9:30 PM, as a computer programmer and operator.

The third young lady, whom I dated, very seriously, decided that she was no longer interested in me, as a potential husband. We were never engaged, but I'd given her a promise ring. She went her own way and married another man. The memories of all our dates, in my first Cobra II, were heartbreaking. I decided to trade. Looking back, I wish that I had kept my first Cobra II.

Dating that young lady, however, influenced by conversion to Christ, on June 21, 1981. I thought that I'd been saved, as a teenager, but I hadn't been.

#3: 1978 Ford Mustang Cobra II

In the latter part of 1982, I found my 1978 Ford Mustang Cobra II, at a car dealership, in Morristown, Tennessee. I traded even, not counting tax and title.

I think that I took the above photograph in the fall of 1983, just outside of my apartment, in Cookeville, Tennessee. My second Cobra II was an automatic, with no pipes and no rumbling sounds. It was a good car, for a maturing young man. The black paint, however, was a very sweaty ride, in hot weather! Air conditioning was rolling down the windows and opening the rear vent windows!

I was still working at Dodge-Reliance Electric Company, for a while. I started dating the boss' elder daughter! We had several dates, in my second Cobra II. She and I became, and still are, very good friends. We keep in touch. I don't think that she ever married. I still value the depth of her Christian faith and spirituality.

As far as I know, I was the last office employee to be laid off, in the 1982 recession. I'd earned enough money, so I decided to study for a bachelors degree, at East Tennessee State University (ETSU), in Johnson City, Tennessee. That fall, Dad helped me move into the small apartment that I rented, just off campus.

Papaw Wood passed, on March 14th, 1983. (I've written about Papaw Wood several times.) That summer – while I was living with Mom, Dad, Granny Wood, and my two younger brothers, at the homeplace – I remember a voice saying, “You can do more than program computers the rest of your life.” I consider that to have been my “call to preach.” I preached a few sermons, at the Bean Station Church of Christ. I'd found my calling.

I worked on temporary contract, for Dodge-Reliance Electric Company, in the summer of 1983. That income, plus savings that I had, gave me the opportunity to attend Tennessee Bible College, in Cookeville, Tennessee, that fall. I had a small apartment there. On Sundays, I earned income, by preaching for a small church, in Livingston, Tennessee.

I sat at the feet of several biblical scholars, who taught me well. Unfortunately, three of those scholars were not planning to continue teaching, after the 1983 - 1984 school year. I returned home, in the summer of 1984.

(2) Just Before & With Mrs. Appalachian Irishman

This section includes two cars, in “the significance of the passage of time.” I met Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, graduated college, and started preaching full-time. Early mission work started.

#4: 1978 Toyota Corolla

In late 1983, I traded my 1978 Cobra II for a 1978 Toyota Corolla. I was still attending my only year at Tennessee Bible College, in Cookeville, Tennessee.

My 1978 Cobra II, apparently, was “too flashy,” for a “preacher boy” – according to some wagging tongues, who bellowed their opinions. I felt the “negative peer pressure,” so I traded, almost even. I had to make one or two payments, after the trade.

To this day, I regret that I didn't stand up to the wagging tongue “negative peer pressure!” Only another short year or so was required, until I formulated my current, for decades now, attitude: I speak my mind. If I'm wrong, I will apologize. If I am right, I will stand my ground. Don't try to intimidate or pressure me! I will not back down, when I know that I am right! I have lived and learned, to stand solidly, when right, and to laugh at “negative peer pressure!” It's the stubborn Irish spirit in me!

Image from “History of the Toyota Corolla: Looking back at five decades' worth of the best-selling car of all time,” on MotorTrend, by Toyota - Photographer; Aaron Bonk - Writer, Apr 11, 2016

I couldn't find any photographs that I'd taken of my 1978 Corolla, but it looked like the above image. It was black and had a four-speed, manual transmission, on the floor. It was a good car – not as “flashy.” I went on one “blind date,” in that car.

The Church of Christ, in my hometown, was between full-time preachers. I earned income, by preaching for them, in the summer of 1984. That's when I met Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and her family! Her paternal grandfather had passed. The family had come up from Etowah, Tennessee, for the visitation and funeral. I met my future wife, during the Saturday evening funeral visitation.

I have joked for decades – at youth gatherings, at church youth camps, and in general: “How do you find a wife?” (Various answers are generated.) “No, not at school, at church, at youth rallies, at sporting events, and so on.” “Find your wife at the funeral home – just check her pulse first!” In various settings, my joke started my sermon or conversation about dating and marriage.

In the fall of 1984, I was transferring as a senior and my future wife was returning as a senior – to Freed-Hardeman College (FHU, now a university), in Henderson, Tennessee (near Jackson, in west Tennessee). We had our first, of several, dates in my 1978 Corolla. That car got us to and from FHU, in west Tennessee, several times.

I was a “poor preacher boy” and college student. Some churches in the East Tennessee area had given me monetary support, to attend FHU. I took out a student loan, which I paid, in time. I also earned a little income, by preaching for a small church, near FHU.

My future wife graduated in the spring of 1985. I had proposed to her earlier that spring, and she had agreed. I had to return to FHU, in the fall of 1985, to graduate in December.

In the summer of 1985, I earned income by preaching for the Mount Olivet Church of Christ, in Greene County, Tennessee. I enjoyed the rural location, not far from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The folks had good, old fashioned, Appalachian values – based on the Bible. I was accustomed to driving on narrow, curvy roads.

One morning, I was driving east, on a narrow road that curved sharply, at a one-lane bridge that crossed a creek. As always, I slowed to a crawl and looked, as carefully as I could, to see if a vehicle was coming the other way. The driver of the dump truck had done the same. We saw each other about the same time – but too late. The growth of trees and brush hindered our views of each other. We almost missed each other. My left front bumper caught his left back tire. The dump truck was not injured. The bumper damage to my car was minor, but the slow speed impact warped the frame. The cost to realign the frame was almost more than my car was worth.

#5: 1984 Chevy Chevette

I was still in Greene County for the summer of 1985. I'd stay at Mom and Dad's from Friday afternoon through Saturday evening. I stayed alone, in the “parsonage,” Saturday evening to Friday afternoon. One weekend, I saw my 1984 Chevy Chevette, at a dealership in my hometown. I'd saved enough to pay the full amount. The trade in of my damaged 1978 Corolla helped.

My Chevette got me to and from FHU, for my final semester. I graduated in December of 1985 – in the cold and snow – while sickly. I had taken more than the usual full-time schedule of classes – to graduate in December. I had about worn myself out.

Shorty after graduation, I “tried out” for the full-time preaching position at the Charleston Church of Christ, in Charleston, Missouri. They wanted a married man, with some full-time preaching experience. They settled for me – even if my lingering illness caused me to throw up on a wall, in the Palmer's home! Don't worry! I recovered quickly. The Palmers, and their clan, became family!

In January of 1986, I drove the rental moving van, with my Chevette on the trailer behind, to Charleston – from the homeplace. Mom was sad, as she watched me drive away. She realized that I would visit often but never live at home anymore. I learned much quickly, in my first full-time preaching role. A special family group in that church became family to me – to this day – even though some have already gone Home.

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I were married, on the Friday evening of 5/16/1986, at her hometown church in Etowah, Tennessee. Before we married and went on our honeymoon, to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, I'd arranged to have air conditioning installed on my Chevette. That was the first time that I'd had an air conditioned car!

I took the above photograph of my Chevette, in February of 1993, at our home, in Dexter, Missouri. I have other photographs. My Chevette was our only car, at first, while we lived in Charleston, Missouri.

In 1987, my wife and I experienced mission work for the first time – in Santa Cruz, Jamaica, for two weeks. (Bob Barker was on our flight to Jamaica. I'd never flown before.) I found film photographs from that trip. I may include them, in a future short story. We went with a good group. One couple (and their children) became missionaries in Sosnogorsk, in the Komi Republic, of northern Russia. They were there, during our five years in Moscow and Klin, Russia, when we visited them, and they visited us.

In 1989 and 1991, I had two mission trips to the East Godavari District, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. Each trip was for a month or a little more. Both trips were in and around the cities of Rajahmundry, Kakinada, Peddapuram, and others – including several “tribal areas.” In 1989, I traveled with a man, who had made one trip before. In 1991, I went alone – just after Granny Wood had passed, on 8/12/1991 – 31 years ago. (I've written about Granny Wood several times.) I found several film photographs, of my trips to India, which I may include in a future short story.

The Charleston Church of Christ agreed that I could begin graduate studies at Harding School of Theology, in Memphis. The drive was about 2.5 hours, one way. I drove back and forth one day a week – sometimes staying overnight in a dorm room. My Chevette was reliable transportation.

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had started teaching, so we needed a second car. She started teaching at a Christian school kindergarten, in Sikeston, Missouri. Later, she enrolled and earned her teaching degree, at Southeast State University, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

I gave my 1984 Chevy Chevette, to my youngest brother, in 1994, before my wife and I moved to Russia.

(3) With Mrs. Appalachian Irishman

This final section includes seven vehicles in “the significance of the passage of time.” My wife and I journeyed from Charleston to nearby Dexter, Missouri, to Russia, then back to Tennessee.

This section contains many memories. I have written many articles, about this section of life. (My inaugural article was on 3/6/2006.) Our journey, into the undiscovered country, continues, day by day.

#6: 1986 Ford Tempo

About 1987 or 1988, when we still lived in Charleston, Missouri, we bought a second car, for my wife to drive mostly, and for visits to family in Tennessee. We bought our 1986 white Ford Tempo, at a dealership in Dexter, Missouri. The car had some fancy gadgets, like power windows and such! I was amazed!

Image from R36 Coach, on Flickr, 1986 Ford Tempo, photograph taken on 4/3/2010

I couldn't find a photograph of our Tempo, so I used the free image above. In the spring of 1991, my wife, with my begrudged blessing, drove alone, to FHU, to attend an annual “Makin' Music” event. It was a weekend trip that included her trip from Henderson to Nashville, to visit her youngest sister. I had to stay home, to preach and minister. I had a premonition that something bad might happen. It did.

While near Nashville, on the interstate, a red vehicle swerved into our Tempo. Our car hit a guard rail. My wife had relatively minor injuries, which required recovery at home. Our niece (the daughter of my wife's next to youngest sister) was not injured. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman was treated in and released from an Emergency Room. My Chevette took me to get my wife and bring her back to Charleston. The red vehicle was a hit and run – never to be found. The vehicle was red, since our white Tempo had red paint streaks on the left front quarter panel. Our automobile insurance paid the value of our totaled Tempo.

#7: 1988 Nissan Stanza

Later, in 1991, just after that wreck, we acquired our 1988 Nissan Stanza, from a dealership in Cape Girardeau! I nicknamed our Stanza “Baby.” She was a fine car! She had a five-speed, manual, transmission, on the floor, and a retractable sunroof! I loved that car!


I took the above photograph, probably in January of 1996. In September of 1992, we moved the short distance from Charleston to Dexter, Missouri. I became the associate minister, for the much larger church (about 385 attended at the time). My role involved preaching often, teaching the high school youth classes, starting and serving the youth ministry, and preparing for mission work in Russia. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman worked as a substitute teacher. Yes, we were very busy!

We moved from Dexter to Moscow, Russia, on 10/1/1994 – to join two other families who were already there. The Dexter Church of Christ was our “sponsoring” church. I had raised additional support, from 15 other churches (in Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Mississippi) and from one corporate trust fund (in Texas). I have many film photographs of our five-year mission work in Russia. I could write an entire book, with photographs included, about our work there. I may do so, eventually.

Each Christmas (except 1994), Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I had a four to six week furlough in the States. We had to get new Russian visas, visit family and friends, and report to each supporting congregation (in five states). We visited FHU, to recruit future missionaries. Our Stanza got us where we needed to travel, very faithfully!

While we were in Russia, our Stanza rested in the full basement (garage included) at the homeplace. My youngest brother would take her out about once a week for a drive – to keep her limber.

The January 1996 photograph (above) is not the most beautiful image of our Stanza! We were staying, during a furlough, with our Palmer family, in Charleston, Missouri. The area had experienced snow and ice. Our Stanza was tough! She took it!

We moved back to Tennessee, from Russia, on 9/30/1999. Mom became ill, unexpectedly, on 12/28/1999. My “Topic Sections” includes nineteen articles on "Light at the End of the Tunnel." The first article, in the section, is “Happy Birthday, Mom,” published on November 24, 2009. I would not change one word today. Our Stanza took us to and from the hospitals, during Mom's 110 days in two Kingsport hospitals. (I've written several articles about Mom and Dad.)

We kept our Stanza, in the garage of our current, “Corrytonvegas” home, for some time, after we bought our 2000 Camry (#9, below). Eventually, we gave our Stanza to one of my first cousins. We didn't drive our Stanza often, after the air conditioning system went out, and she began to suffer from lack of driving. The exterior and interior of our Stanza were in mint condition, when we gave her to my cousin. Her mechanical parts were deteriorating.

#8: 1995 Nissan Hardbody Pickup

In August of 2000, when Mom was recovering at home, I had started my job, of five years, at DeRoyal Industries, as a second shift computer operator. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had worked, briefly, at the mall – within walking distance, downhill and uphill, from our little Knoxville apartment. She was starting her current job, as a teacher (vice principal/teacher now), so we needed a second vehicle. Our Stanza couldn't take us both to and from work, on the same day!

On March 22, 2001, we bought our (my) 1995 Nissan Pickup! He had 83,978 miles on him, when we paid cash for him. I nicknamed him “Brother.” His first owner was a local professor at the University of Tennessee, as I was told. He had a five-speed, manual transmission, on the floor. I loved my ol' truck! I have a number of photographs of my ol' truck (which I could count and cross reference) on this website. Aside from usual “wear” maintenance, my ol' truck kept on running like a top! I never had to replace the muffler or the exhaust system.

My 1995 Nissan truck and I (with Mrs. Appalachian Irishman many times) had many adventures, which involved “the good, bad, and ugly” of life. He took me to most of my House Mountain hikes.

From September of 2005 until 3/29/2016 (the day that lives in infamy), my ol' truck was instrumental in my job bouncing – from DeRoyal to insurance sales, to salaried jobs at two non-profit provider agencies, back to insurance sales, and finally to the State of Tennessee job – until 3/29/2016. (I retired from my State job, on Friday, May the 13th, 2022 – three months ago.)

I took the above photograph of my (our) 1995 Nissan Pickup, on 3/5/2016. He helped me clear and haul brush, at the homeplace. We had a lot of fun together!

On 3/26/2016, I filled up my ol' truck for the last time – unknown to me at that moment. He had 319,759.3 miles on him, at the fill up. My ol' truck and I traveled over 235,781 miles together!

On Tuesday, 3/29/2016, my (our) 1995 Nissan Pickup died, trying to save my life. The eighteen-year-old, uninsured, female – who had nothing and did nothing for a living – failed to yield to our right of way. The impact killed my ol' truck – and almost killed me. If interested, you may begin reading about “My 'Bionic' Life - 3/29/2016+” at I’M STILL ALIVE – WHY? (Published 8/26/2016). It's old news. My life has moved on.

#9: 2000 Toyota Camry

On June 7, 2003, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I moved, from our little “Knoxvegas” apartment, into our newly constructed and current home, in “Corrytonvegas.” I was still working at DeRoyal. She was still teaching.

In August of 2003, we had arranged a week's vacation at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The complete air conditioning system, on our 1988 Nissan Stanza, had gone out. A supposedly reputable repair shop, which I've never used again, replaced the system. The replacement did not work. Some, but not all, of the money we paid was reimbursed to us.

On my birthday, in July 2003, we bought, on the “airport motor mile,” our 2000 Toyota Camry – which took us to the beach the next month! We paid just over half the cost up front and financed the balance until our 6/19/2006 final loan payment. Our Camry was my wife's car mostly. I drove it several times. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman loved that car!

I took the above photograph, on 10/28/2007. We were at Clingman's Dome (supposedly to be renamed Kuwahi; see my 7/14/2022 article). That was during one of our weekend vacations, in the Gatlinburg area.

On January 25, 2008, Dad joined Mom, at Home. (I've written several articles about Mom and Dad.)

Life rolled on, “such as it was,” at the time – until the 4/6/2011 “Camry crunch.” I thought about including one of the photographs that I'd taken, after the crunch, but I decided not to do so.

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had been on her way home, from a nearby store. At a crossroads, which we pass often, an insured driver failed to yield to my wife's right of way – hitting our Camry on the left front quarter panel. The airbags deployed, saving my wife from severe injury. She had only minor injuries that healed well. Our Camry was a total loss, since the airbags deployed.

#10: 2008 Honda Civic

The three-day car search concluded, on 4/9/2011 (the birthday anniversary of one of my brothers), when we paid cash for our 2008 Honda Civic! The insurance, for the at fault driver, paid a proper value for our Camry, which helped us pay for our Civic. The salesman took the photograph, below, after the sale was completed!


By the way, the salesman misspelled “GEERD.” It should be GERD – for Git-ER-Dun – not for gastroesophageal reflux disease!

Our Civic took us to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in August 2011. One of my two August 2011 articles includes 20 photographs that I'd taken at the beach.

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman continued her job as a vice principal/teacher. On 4/16/2012, I jumped to my last job, with the State of Tennessee – from which I am now retired!

I have published 284 articles – from August 2011, until this article. My “Website Archive” section lists articles by year and month. (I have the hard copies saved digitally, in three locations.) Those articles include much of “life, such as it was.”

My mother-in-law passed on to Home, on 4/30/2017. The only article that I published, in 2017, was on 6/14/2017. I mentioned my mother-in-law's passing.

Our (my wife's) Civic had 24,321 miles, at 4/9/2011 purchase. On 6/6/2022 (D-Day anniversary), our Civic had 163,514.1 miles on the odometer. We had our Civic eleven years and 58 days. We, mostly my wife, added 139,193 miles.

The mechanical parts of our Civic were in great condition – even until the air conditioning system went out, in April of this year (2022). After a few years, however, the cosmetic deterioration started and became more apparent. (My 2006 Nissan Frontier, with higher mileage, looks much better, cosmetically, and runs great, with a working air conditioner.) Honda needs to make cars that hold up cosmetically. Maybe they do now. Our Civic was a reliable car, despite, after a few years, not looking too pretty!

#11: 2006 Nissan Frontier

I took the above photograph, on 12/7/2016, Pearl Harbor Day anniversary, at the homeplace. The same photograph is included in my 12/8/2016 article.

On Friday, 11/25/2016, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I finalized the deal, at a west Knoxville dealership, to get my (our) 2006 Nissan Frontier! My 3/29/2021 article, “MY 'BIONIC' JOURNEY, SO FAR: 3/29/2016 to 3/29/2021,” encapsulated – at the five year mark – my ongoing “bionic” journey. I won't dwell on the details here.

I had hoped to find a new, ol' truck that had a manual transmission and windows that roll down or up manually – like my old, ol' truck had. My new, ol' truck couldn't help that he came with an automatic transmission and power windows. (Trucks, for some unknown reason, are as fancy as cars, nowadays.)

My 2006 Frontier had 140,193 miles on him, at purchase. He had one owner before us. Our automobile insurance had paid us a good price for my 1995 Nissan Pickup that died, trying to save my life. I dickered and got my price – except I had to add an extra $250. (I'll never know why the dealership needed the extra $250.) We paid for my new, ol' truck in cash. My new, ol' truck's name is “Brother II,” or shortened to “Brother.”

On 8/13/2022, yesterday, my new, ol' truck had 185,881.4 miles, at fill up. He often rests in the “barn” (garage), since I'm retired now. New Brother and I (sometimes with Mrs. Appalachian Irishman with us) have had several adventures. He's in several articles, especially on hiking. He loves to have his photograph taken! He's a good, new, ol' truck! He has a sense of humor and the same spirit as my 1995 Nissan Pickup. (Ask him how he locks his doors, at times, on his own! He won't tell me.)

#12: 2012 Nissan Sentra

I've already mentioned that the air conditioning system on our 2008 Honda Civic went out, in April of this year. The repair cost would have been almost as much as the value of our Civic. So, the “2022 Car Hunt Saga,” as I call it, ended, on Monday, 6/6/2022, the anniversary of D-Day. We're trying to keep enough money, to pay off our mortgage soon. So, we had to select an older vehicle that cost less. We got our price and paid in cash. This was the best car purchase experience that I, or we, have had so far!

The outstanding salesman, at Lance Cunningham Ford, in Knoxville, took the above photograph, after the sale, which included the trade in of our Civic, was finalized. Our new, ol' car, the white Nissan Sentra, is beside our old 2008 Honda Civic. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman is standing beside a fit and young old man. (I don't know who the man is. Y'all figure it out!) The photograph is also in my 6/15/2022 article.

On 6/4/2022, when we test drove our 2012 Sentra, she had 107,429 miles on her. She'd had four previous owners, who each had taken proper care of her. She started in New York State then came to the Knoxville area. Our new, ol' car, being a Nissan, is and will be reliable. She wanted us to call her either “Blondie” or “Baby.” I think that she prefers “Baby” – in memory of our 1988 Nissan Stanza.

On 6/12/2022, I took the above photograph of our 2012 Sentra, when Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I visited my youngest brother and his family, in my home county. This was our first “road trip,” in our new, ol' car!

The eldest daughter, of my brother and his wife, attained age 16 that day. The Fearghail clan had a good moment in time! (That's my brother's Nissan Frontier, in the driveway. I know that you were wondering! Their other vehicle is in the garage.) Do you see Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, in our car, playing on her semi-intelligent phone? I keep warning her about “tech. neck!” Hold your phone up! Doc. Art, our chiropractor, has told you!

Conclusion

When I started writing this article, a few days ago, I didn't realize that it would become a twenty-page short story! (Twenty pages are based on the hard copy document.) Forty-four years have passed, from 1978 until now (August 2022). Life, such as it has been, has unfolded, to this stage.

What is the undiscovered country that awaits? Temporally, only the Good Lord knows. I know the everlasting “undiscovered country” that awaits! I see it, by the eye of faith. Do you? If not, use my “Contact Form” to reach me! You can see the Light!