again, dear reader. I hope that you enjoyed the article
of 8/7/2023, about the birthday
pie. This is the second article, which was waiting its turn, after
the short story, of 8/5/2023,
I'd spoken with a fine first cousin, Waymon, on my birthday. He'd told me that he planned to come by here, to visit, in a week or so. He did! My cousin is about 15 years ahead of me, on the “ago-o-meter.” His middle name is the same as my first name. Being so named, our parents honored our paternal grandfather, Marion Ferrell (4/13/1880 - 11/21/1970). (Papaw Ferrell didn't have a middle name.) Before publishing this article, I'd called 'cuz Waymon, to obtain his permission to use (as y'all can figure out) his full name and the photograph (below) that includes him. Thanks, 'cuz!
This article remembers our last face-to-face visit (over ten years ago), honor's my cousin's parents (my uncle and aunt), and relives our visit, on 7/24/2023. By topic section, this is the 117th article on “Family” and the 97th on “Heritage.” I hope that a Fearghail clan relative isn't too shy to comment on this article. The conclusion should inspire at least a few comments!
Our Last Visit, on 9/27/2012
I've been writing daily notes on desktop calendars, since 10/1/1994, the day that Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I moved to Moscow, Russia, to begin our five-year mission work. From desktop calendar notes and my recollection, the last time that 'cuz Waymon and I saw each other in person was on Thursday, 9/27/2012. His older brother was with us also.
On that day, we had dinner (or lunch, as Yankees call it) and conversation, at the Red Pig Bar-B-Q, in Johnson City, Tennessee. The day also marked the end of my eighteen weeks of training, which had started on 5/13/2012, as a new employee (hired on 4/16/2012), for the state of Tennessee. That employment ended, with my retirement, on 5/13/2022 (as the article of 5/15/2022 mentions).
My two cousins and I, among other topics, talked quite a bit about the heritage of our branch of the Fearghail clan (from County Longford, Ireland; see, among other sources, “The Farrell Clan,” on Longford.ie). We swapped a few stories and tall tales as well. That pleasant memory lingers in my mind.
Unfortunately, time and distance hindered my cousin and me from seeing each other again, until 7/24/2023. We live about an hour and forty-five minutes apart. We couldn't meet at family reunions, at the same time. “Life, such as it was,” certainly forestalled opportunities to gather.
Uncle George & Aunt Blanche
On my paternal grandfather's side, I was blessed to have two aunts and five uncles. Uncle George Charles Ferrell (1/14/1920 - 12/1/1995, age 75) was the third son of my paternal grandparents. For decades, I've said that, if someone were to force me to name my favorite uncle, I'd have to name my uncle George. That's no slight against my other four uncles!
All my uncles had a sense of humor. Uncle George's sense of humor was more obvious, and his humor matched mine quite well. We could just about laugh, without saying a word, when we looked at each other, with mischievous grins on our faces.
Uncle George served in the army, during World War II. He was in the Battle of the Bulge, serving under General Patton. As I understand the story, Uncle George carried his entrenching tool on his hip, not on his pack, as was the usual placement. A German bullet hit the entrenching tool and ricocheted off. Uncle George was not injured.
I remember other details about uncle George and aunt Blanche. They farmed and had a dairy farm. I watched uncle George milk cows several times, when Dad and Mom would take us boys to visit them. As I recall, uncle Carson talked me into milking a cow once. Uncle George probably encouraged me to try my hand at milking, but I declined.
The last time that I saw uncle George was, as I recall, in April of 1995. My wife and I had started our five-year mission work, in Russia, on 10/1/1994. We, however, had our first furlough, back to this country, from 4/1-24/1995. Uncle George and I happened to meet, while we were both shopping at the Food City grocery store, in my hometown. Pleasantly surprised to see each other, we talked as uncle and nephew for quite a while. I'm sure that we exchanged a few witty comments, on various things.
Mom and Dad made the international call to us, in Moscow, on 12/1/1995. I remember talking with both. The news that uncle George was killed, by a driver going the wrong way, was shocking. Uncle George had been on his way to a routine VA appointment. My wife and I had our second furlough (12/12/1995 - 2/1/1996), to visit supporting churches. We were able to see aunt Blanche and other family, during our stay with my parents.
Aunt Blanche Allen Ferrell (6/18/1924 - 7/3/2012, age 89) and my Mom shared similar spirits. They even looked like each other a little. Aunt Blanche's calm, caring, loving, soft, and sweet spirit is her legacy. Her faith was demonstrated, by the outpouring of the fruit of the Spirit, which was a blessing, to family, friends, and many others. I don't recall aunt Blanche every sharing a negative or cross word. Her words were always encouraging.
As a boy and then a young man, I recall mealtime gatherings with uncle George and aunt Blanche. Talk about good, country food! The conversations, as the meals, were also hearty.
After uncle George passed and while Dad (Earl Ferrell 9/17/1927 - 1/25/2008) was still living, Dad and I would visit aunt Blanche, after Dad's cardiologist appointments. I often just listened as aunt Blanche and Dad talked about various family topics. I wish that I'd recorded some of their conversations. The last time that Dad and I visited aunt Blanche together was on 8/27/2007.
As mentioned previously, I was in training from 5/13/2012 - 9/27/2012, staying each week in a Johnson City hotel. During that time, I was able to visit with aunt Blanche nine times, on May 24th, June 5th and 18th, July 11th and 24th, and August 8th. The last two visits were on September 20th and 27th. My 2012 desk calendar notes that my visit on 6/18/2012 was aunt Blanche's 88th birthday. I do believe that she had a good birthday, despite my visit!
During those visits, aunt Blanche gave me two of her three books of poems. She didn't have copies of her first book. Over the years, I've read each of her poems. They are on spiritual and Christian themes, to comfort during grief, to encourage during discouragement, to bring laughter during sadness, and, primarily, to bring salvation to the lost. Aunt Blanche dedicated each book of poems to her husband, their sons, and their son's families.
Photograph, by M. Fearghail, on 8/9/2023, at 11:30 AM.
The book (on the left in the image), Reflections From Life, was published in 1987. Eighty-two poems are in the book. The “Introduction,” by aunt Blanche's sister, Rowena Allen Nelson, states that this was aunt Blanche's second book. The first book of poems, printed in 1981, which I don't have, is titled Reminders of God's Love.
The other book (on the right in the image), Lasting Impressions, was published in 1991. Seventy-seven poems are in the book. Aunt Blanche wrote that, as the book was going to print, Desert Shield had become Desert Storm. In addition to her family, she dedicated the book to soldiers, fighting in Desert Storm.
Aunt Blanche honored her Lord and Savior, for blessing her with the gift of writing, and she also dedicated each book to Him.
Aunt Blanche had also given Mom and Dad copies of her books of poetry. Mom kept aunt Blanche's books, prominently, on a bookshelf. I've searched for the missing book, Reminders of God's Love, but I've not found it yet.
Uncle George and aunt Blanche are enjoying everlastingness together, with many other Christian family members and friends. Their legacy is of biblical values, faith, family, devotion, honor, love, and nurture, with a good amount of humor mixed in! I look forward to seeing them again, once it's my turn to join the everlasting family reunion.
Visit on 7/24/2023
'Cuz Waymon and I have talked several times, over the years. We keep in touch. On Monday, 7/24/2023, good ol' 'cuz Waymon called me, at 10:15 AM. He planned to drive down here, to first visit a school-aged friend, in nearby Luttrell. Afterward, he'd call, to visit us.
Being a Ferrell, Waymon knows how to time a visit, for supper! (Hey, Waymon, we were glad that it timed out that way!) He called just before 6 PM. I drove to meet him, at the Corryton fire department (next to the post office). He followed me to the house.
While Mrs. Appalachian Irishman was finishing the supper fixins, Waymon and I talked, swapped stories, and told a few jokes. Over a decade had passed, since we'd seen each other in person, but we picked right up, as if we'd seen each other the day before.
Waymon and I swapped stories about our various physical ailments. I showed him the scars that mark my three “bionic” joints (left shoulder, right knee, and right foot). Waymon, despite his ailments, is holding up well enough. After all, he'd already driving down here and visited with his grade school friend, before having to put up with me!
For supper, my “long-suffering” wife had prepared chicken, mashed 'taters, and green beans, with tomatoes and cucumbers on the side. Thanks, dear, for another fine, country supper!
Well, after supper, 'cuz Waymon and I loosened our belts a little and kept on talking. My wife chimed in often, while she tended to supper dishes. You ask, “Was the TV on?” Are you kidding? Who needs a TV, radio, computer, or semi-intelligent phone, for entertainment, when you have family conversation going on!
I'd not noticed the time, but dusk was coming on. We invited Waymon to spend the night, so that he could drive back home the next morning. 'Cuz thanked us for the offer, but he decided that he'd better head back home. By the way, Molly, our ol' puppy, didn't come around to meet Waymon, but she saw him, while looking in the living room, from the deck.
Photograph, by Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, on 7/24/2023, at 8:29 PM.
As the caption, above, reads, my wife took the photograph, of 'cuz Waymon and me, at 8:29 PM. Waymon will claim that he's the good looking guy, in the photograph. All that I can say, by reply, is, “Why are you wearing a belt and suspenders, Waymon? Are you a pessimist?” You must admit, dear reader, that I got in the last word!
About 8:35 PM, I led 'cuz Waymon to Blaine. I turned around at the Little Dipper, while Waymon continued his drive, on 11W, back home. He honked and waved, as he went by me. I'd asked 'cuz to call, once he'd arrived home. He called, at 10:20 PM, to say that he'd made it back safely.
Waymon, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, and I had a good Ferrell family reunion! Since I've realized that my “bionic” body can endure a long drive, as the short story, of 8/5/2023, verified, then we may have more frequent reunions. It's all according to the Lord's will
This article challenges the Marion Ferrell (4/13/1880 - 11/21/1970) and Molly Gertrude Archer Ferrell (11/30/1892 - 6/11/1971) branch of the Fearghail clan! Many have already left this old world. Many, however, are still here, as the generations continue.
When and where would y'all like to plan a family reunion? You are challenged either to add comments to this article or to use the “Contact Form,” to email me -- if you don't know my phone number. What do you say?