Translations

Monday, July 05, 2021

FERRELL FAMILY GATHERING FUN, 7-3-2021 SATURDAY (published 7-5-2021)

Introduction

Happy 5th of July, y'all! I will publish a topical article on Independence Day – eventually. This family heritage article had to be first!

My youngest brother had called me, on Sunday afternoon, 6/27/2021. He had invited us to the Morning Star Baptist Church picnic, on 7/3/2021, Saturday. I had hoped that we could attend – depending on how my three “bionic” joints and related “multi-trauma” muscle groups endured the work week.

I woke up Saturday morning feeling my oats. My usual hot to cold shower worked well enough, as usual. (I didn't even need to use my “muscle thumper!”) My '06 Frontier enjoyed taking Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and me on the road trip. He needed a good stretch of his legs. The about 78-mile drive from home to the Morning Star Baptist Church, in Church Hill, Tennessee, took about an hour and a half.

I hope you enjoy the photographs that my trusty Samsung (not-semi-intelligent) cell phone took. I will add comments after each photograph. The weather was in the low 80s and sunny.

Church Picnic

We started hearing fiddle playing, shortly after having turning north off Highway 11W! I understand upper east Tennessee back roads. I've driven many of them. I remembered the first back road. I hadn't been on it in decades. I think that I was in my late teens or early 20's. Dad had needed my help with pump work or to move the well machine. I remembered locations on that first back road! I had ridden with Dad, in his old work truck, to help with his Ferrell's Well-Drilling work. I rode with Dad, to help, many times over many years. Later, Dad rode with me, for trips to his medical appointments, usually to see his cardiologist, in Johnson City. Dad would always comment about locations we passed, where he had either drilled a water well, done pump work, or both – usually both. (The pump must be set after the well is drilled.) That is Ferrell's Well-Drilling heritage! (I have digressed down a back road memory. Let's return our thoughts to the 7/3/2021 back road ride as it continues!)

The last part of the drive, however, was back roads off back roads! The church building is well north of Church Hill. It is almost in Virginia. The drive farther north to Virginia would take less time than back south to Church Hill! The drive – up and down hills and around sharp curves -- was expected, as anyone raised in upper east Tennessee knows. The 78-mile drive was done. We had arrived at the church building!

I took the above photograph, while the “cake auction” was going on to my left. (I don't care for sweets.) I'll nitpick my Baptist brethren. My youngest brother is not the “pastor.” He is the preacher (or evangelist or minister). I can argue my point from scripture, but I will avoid doing so. You are welcome to write a comment, if you want me to explain the difference, in a future article!

I took the above photograph moments after the first one, having turned to my left. I'm facing west now. The area to the right (shelter and tents) is where the “cake auction” was continuing. My youngest brother and his family (wife and two daughters), my next to youngest brother, my brother (who is about three years younger than me), Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, and several other folks (church members, etc.) are in the shelter and tents area. I see the rear and left side of my silver '06 Frontier truck, with his new “tars” on! The blue truck (closest, front and left side) belongs to my brother, who is just younger than me. The VA helped him buy that truck. My brother was in the Air Force eight years. He served in Operation Desert Storm. He probably contracted multiple sclerosis from immunizations he had to take, during Desert Storm. The nation owes many veterans, including my brother, a debt of gratitude. I am glad that the VA helped him buy his new to him truck. (It's a 2017 Tacoma.)

 

In one of my 6/8/2021 articles, I'd written that I would publish an image of my truck, wearing his new decorative plate and new “tars.” (I've commented about the new “tars,” on since 6/4/2021. By the way, I see me – arms and chest at least – in the chrome.) My decorative plate has been on my truck, since 5/23/2021.

The four sons and Earl and Betty Ferrell had not been together, since 7/23/2020 – at the gravesite service for my eldest niece. Next to youngest brother had visited us on Thanksgiving, 11/26/2020. Youngest brother and his family had visited us on 11/28/2020, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We were glad to have been able to be together again – all four of us at once. The setting was much better than on 7/23/2020. My veteran brother and I talked quite a bit, about our “whatevers” and other topics. He has left shoulder and right leg problems. I have left shoulder and right leg (knee and foot) problems. We both endure. Our “whatevers” are different, but we understand each other. (His wife, daughter, and grandson had gone to see his wife's family, in Kentucky.)

My youngest brother's two daughters were able to get their Christmas presents, finally. His eldest daughter got her birthday present also. We had Christmas in July, I reckon.

Cemetery

 

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I had to start our way back home. On our drive back, we stopped at Mom and Dad's gravesite. The cemetery is behind a known church. Fifteen Ferrells are resting in the cemetery, including Mom and Dad. We visited each gravesite.

Three of my uncles and their wives (my aunts) and three of my first cousins rest there. I knew and remember my aunts, uncles, and first cousins very well.

The first row, in the above photograph, is where Dad's oldest brother, his wife, two of their children, and his wife's mother are resting. Many memories come to mind, of uncle Bill, aunt Bobbie, cousin Larry, and cousin Retha. Aunt Bobbie's mother died five years before I was born. We had a good visit.

Mom and Dad are resting together at the second row, in the photograph. Farther back, the flag pole and flag on the tree stump mark where the large mimosa tree had been standing. That tree had provided shade to Mom and Dad's gravesite -- which was good, when visiting on a hot and sunny or a rainy day. The roots, however, had become a concern. Dad had selected the perfect marker. The words to the poem, above “FERRELL” (visible), are not legible, in my photograph. I memorized the poem over 20 years ago. The words fit Mom and Dad well. Dad had selected the poem. He talked about it many times. We had a good visit.

The gravesite of an aunt and uncle and their son is farther back. Their gravesite is beside the gravesite of another aunt and uncle. Uncle Roy, Aunt Maxie, and cousin Bart have one site. I had to laugh a little, when I recalled the many jokes with Bart. He could always name more state capitals than I could.

Uncle Carson and Aunt Hazel have the other site. Many good memories filled my mind. I have nary a bad memory! Well, I have one. It was the last time I saw Uncle Carson. My wife and I had been back from our five-year mission work in Russia, by less than two months. We saw Uncle Carson and Aunt Hazel, at the hospital. (We had visited them at their home, on 11/26/1999.) I do not have the date written on my 1999 calendar, but it had to have been after 11/26/1999. Uncle Carson had a very few days to live. (He went home on 12/1/1999.) Aunt Hazel had started to cry, as we talked. Uncle Carson told his wife not to cry and that “it will be okay.” Uncle Carson must have been thinking in the everlasting perspective – knowing that he had only days before he went Home. The memory is bad in the short-term. It is a good memory, in the everlasting perspective.

The gravesite of Papaw Marion Ferrell's younger brother's son, his wife, and two of their children are in the cemetery also. I was born five months after the son of Papaw Ferrell's younger brother died. I don't recall having met his wife or their two children. I may have.

Homeplace

Our next to last stop was a quick visit to the homeplace. (We were trying to get back, in time to do “Molly doggy's.”) The above photograph is looking northeast, with the back of the homeplace in the image. Granny Wood's grapevine is to the left. Her grapevine will have plenty of grapes later this year.

The two Winesap apple trees that Dad had planted are farther west, not in the image. The smaller tree is starting to produce apples. The larger tree may or may not produce apples this year. Both trees are healthy. Ferrell family are welcome to stop by, to get grapes and apples! Two great neighbors have been doing so for years. My youngest brother and I have been doing so for years.

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman was “hiding” in my '06 Nissan Frontier. The first cut of hay had been done. I wish that my good neighbors had been home! I missed seeing them. The garden, behind the image, was looking good. The target practice area looked like it had been used recently, by a good neighbor. I need to target shoot there soon!

Dad, we're still “keepin' it going” at the homeplace. I remember what you said, after Mom went to see Jesus.

Conclusion

I had started writing this article yesterday, on Independence Day. The plan to publish this article yesterday – with another article afterward, on the topic of Independence Day -- was delayed. (A man has to do other stuff!) Well, this family heritage article is published! I will get around to writing and publishing my Independence Day article – in better late than never mode.

I have written earlier, about having started “our way back home.” Our 7/3/2021 travels took just over six hours total. (After having been at the homeplace, my truck was hungry. I fed him 89 octane 100% gas, at the Liberty Market, which is across from the elementary school, on Main Street.) To my family and friends in Rogersville, I'm sorry, y'all, that I didn't let you know that we were coming! What we did took enough time. We didn't have any more time!

“Our way back HOME” will take more time. Family are already at HOME. We here, in the short-term perspective, are living to go HOME. To my biological and spiritual family, who are already HOME, my wife and I, along with others, are on our way HOME! We will get there. It won't take long – in the short-term perspective. Until then, y'all “keep it goin'” up there! We will see you soon!

The Ferrell family gathering fun, on 7/3/2021, was a foretaste of future Ferrell family gathering fun – at HOME!


Saturday, June 26, 2021

LULA FRANK AMOS WOOD, 6/16/1901 - 8/12/1991 (published 6/26/2021)

Introduction

Howdy, y'all! What's going on, in your neck of the woods? Anything? Tell me about it! It's not a one-way conversational street here! Y'all can post comments! Don't let the cat get your tongue! Okay, that's just my my Irish glib tongue. Y'all read, without comments, if you wish. My June 2021 readers total so far is 6,307 – at 3:36 PM, on 6/26/2021. (The number keeps going up.) Y'all keep reading, and I'll keep writing. It's a good deal!

Too many days have passed, since 6/16/2021. I need to talk with Granny Wood. You are welcome to listen into my conversation.

Conversation with Granny Wood

Hi, Granny! I'm sorry that I didn't talk to you (in writing), on your birthday anniversary, on 6/16/2021. (I spoke to you in words many times on that day.) I can only imagine what Papaw Wood, Mom, Dad, uncle Bobby (Robert Allen Wood, 5/14/1939 - 1/18/1941), and so many others in the family, on both the Wood and Ferrell side, are doing now. It must be great! I can see, by my eyes of faith! My eyes of faith long to join y'all, to see everyone and to see what you all are seeing now! I'm on my way Home, Granny! I'll get there!

Do you remember the above photograph and writing your name and age on the back? The year was 1976. You were age 75. I was age 15 or 16. Papaw (Aby William Wood, 9/4/1901 – 3/14/1983) was age 74 or 75 . He liked to joke about having married an “older woman” – by less than three months! Mom (Betty Lou Wood Ferrell, 11/24/1932 - 12/28/2000) was 43 or 44. Dad (Earl H. Ferrell, 9/17/1927 - 1/25/2008) was 48 or 49.

Hey, Granny! I'm age 60 now. I'll be age 61 in less that a month! I'm getting up there! I always remember sitting in the beach chairs with you, in your front yard (in Bean Station, TN). We watched the clouds, and I guessed the shape of the clouds. Some looked like mountains, birds, bears, etc. We had fun! You taught me imagination. I still have that! I loved to spend a week in the summers with Papaw and you! I had educational fun, even if I didn't know that I was being educated at the time! I remember sitting beside Papaw and you at church (Calvary Baptist Church, Morristown, TN) on Sunday mornings. You always gave me clove chewing gum. Some years ago, I found a pack of the same gum. I have it stored in my chest of drawers! I remember enjoying hearing you sing and amen, under your breath, to the sermon. Papaw said his amens loudly.

Granny, my mind is filled with so many wonderful memories of birthday, holiday, family reunion, and other types of gatherings! As a boy, who grew into a young man, all those gatherings deepened the roots of my godly, family heritage! Thank you, Granny. I love you!

When you lived at the homeplace, after Papaw had passed, I was so glad to see you, on each visit! At Papaw's funeral visitation, I remember that you said, “He loved me so good.” As you know, I finished college, married, and moved to Missouri – after Papaw passed. My wife and I came to visit as often as we could.

When you passed on Home, on 8/12/1991, I was honored to conduct your funeral and graveside services. (I've visited the gravesite for Papaw and you many times, but not as often as I would like to do.) In part of my eulogy, I said, “Granny, your little Indian chief is coming home.” I had explained the time, while staying with Papaw and you one summer week, that I had decided to “run off.” I was in my early school age years. I had started walking away, down the road. You watched and said, “Come back, my little Indian chief!” Well, I did. I don't know why I'd decided to “run off.” I was glad to have returned!

Conversation Conclusion

Granny, your “little Indian chief” will come Home! It will take me a few years or decades. I'm getting there – step by step! By the way, Granny, did you know that I became a “bionic” man, on 3/29/2016? Well, that's a story that I will share with Papaw, Granny and Papaw Ferrell, Mom, Dad, you, and so many others – once I get home!

Your “little Indian chief” is signing off now. I enjoyed talking with you, Granny! I LOVE YOU! YOU WERE THE GREATEST GRANNY THAT I COULD HAVE EVER HAD!


Tuesday, June 22, 2021

'57 CHEVY REVENGE? (published 6-22-2021)

Introduction

I must have a little fun with this article. You know how I am! Don't you, sister-in law? I thought so! If you had replied to my voice mail today, I wouldn't have written this article!

'57 Chevy

 

It was a classic! Men were men. Women were women. The USA was still a great nation. Unfortunately, I was born three years too late. You were born seven years too late. We were both too late to have enjoyed the ride.

I have a grade school and high school friend. His, recently passed, father had a great '57 Chevy, in their basement. I saw it many times. I wonder where that car is now. My friend, his mother, or his sister may know.

Revenge?

Okay, sister-in-law, you attained the grand age of 57 yesterday. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, your sister, saw you. I had called you, about 5 PM, to joke with you about '57 Chevy.

About 5:30 PM, the storm hit. About 5:45 PM, we lost power. Our power was off until 10:35 PM. I know. I had awakened from my sleep, on the couch, five minutes before! Mrs. Appalachian Irishman was already into “sandman land.”

What did I do yesterday? I had called you, to grant you a happy birthday and to joke a bit about '57 Chevy! Mrs. Appalachian Irishman must have set you off!

That storm with power outage was only a reminder of how I can live “off the grid” without electricity! It was great!

Maybe you didn't take revenge! Maybe it was your gift! If so, thanks!

Conclusion

I'm just having a bit of fun, y'all. It's supper time. Let's eat!

Come back to read later. I have at least two more articles in my mind!


Sunday, June 20, 2021

DAD, DO YOU REMEMBER THE 2003 WATER WELL CONVENTION? (Happy Father's Day, 6/20/2021)

Introduction

I am the eldest of the four sons of Earl H. Ferrell (9/17/1927 - 1/25/2008) and Betty Lou Wood Ferrell (11/24/1932 - 12/27/2000). I speak with Dad in the first person, in this article.

Happy Father's Day, Dad! By the way, I was wondering if you remember . . .

December 17, 2002 to January 13, 2003?

Yes, I figured that you did. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman (well, that's what I call her when I write; you know her name; it's just funny, Dad) and I had closed the construction to permanent loan, to build our house. The digging for the basement had started. We were in the apartment. That tightness in your chest was more that you thought.

Do you remember your stay at the Rogersville hospital (12/17 - 18/2002)? Well, I followed your ambulance to the Johnson City hospital, on 12/19/2002. I wish it had not been so cold and snowy. All those details! I have them written on my 2002 calendar.

On Christmas Eve, do you remember when you and I were in your hospital room? That one cardiologist gave you six months to live. We just looked at each other. I'm glad that Dr. Sholes' nurse was listening, in the hallway! Dr. Sholes, the best cardiologist we've ever known, called a few minutes after the “quack cardiologist” left your room. Dr. Sholes gave us hope!

Well, at least you were able to come home, on that Christmas Eve (Tuesday). Doug drove you in his truck. I followed in mine. You may not know this, Dad, but I prayed to the Good Lord that I would go insane – if I was following you home, on Christmas Eve, to die in a few days or months. I had followed the ambulance that brought Mom home, on Christmas Eve 2000, to see her die at home four days later. Of course, you know. You had come home, after having bought a few Christmas gifts, about the time Mom went to see Jesus. You had been trying to keep up the Christmas gift giving tradition, for Mom's sake. I know that you loved Mom. I still have the kerosene lamp that Mom and you bought us that day. It is on a shelf in our kitchen.

At home, on that cold Christmas Eve, you could barely walk from the living room to the bathroom, without stopping to catch your breath. I still don't know why you decided to work on the old wall clock that still hands on the living room wall at the homeplace. It had stopped working again. You took it apart, lubricated it, and got it working again. You refused our help.

The Good Lord must have heard my prayer to Him, while following Doug and you, from the hospital. After you had fixed that old wall clock, you got up to walk around. You felt a “pop” in your chest. Whatever that “pop” was, it was a good thing! You started walking around the house, without the need to stop to catch your breath! That was great! I saw it! “Thanks, Good Lord! We needed that prayer answered!” Dad needed that prayer answered! Dad needed that “pop!” The Good Lord doesn't care much for the trivial prayers. He cared about that one! He knew that I needed His affirmative!

Well, I have many other details that I wrote in my December 20002 and January 2003 calendars. I reckon we known them well enough. Dr. Sholes had arranged your appointment with Dr. Glassford, a fine cardiologist surgeon, at St. Thomas Hospital, in Nashville. The weather was cool and sunny at least! That was good traveling weather! Yep, I thought that you would remember!

Doug and you met me in Knoxville, on Sunday, 1/12/2003. Do you remember the Pilot gas station where we met? I was glad to see you walk inside that store with us, as if you could climb any mountain! Well, off to Nashville we went. I'm glad that the hospital has a hotel room within walking distance.

The next day, 1/13/2003, we were up, shaved (or beard trimmed for me), and ready to meet Dr. Glassford, at 10 AM. Dad, as you recall, I was amazed – absolutely amazed – by how well you walked from the hotel to the hospital, through the hospital maze, until we found Dr. Glassford's office! I think that you were trying to make Doug and me keep up with you! That was great! You were feeling your oats!

I wonder why Dr. Glassford had that hole in his long-sleeve shirt. He was a “country boy,” who was brilliant! I guess he didn't care. How old was he? You figure about 62? I reckon so. He looked trim and fit for his age (like me). Okay, I'm crowin' a bit, Dad! The four of us sparked an interesting and educational conversation. So, one-third of your heart was dead. The blockages were to areas of your heart that were already dead. The other 15% blockage was no concern. You did not need heart surgery. The risk of dying from the surgery was greater than the reward. Good! Let's go home! We did! Well, we each went to our respective homes. Supper at the Cracker Barrel was great!

By the way, Dad, did I ever tell you about facing down the bigger and younger man, in the apartment behind my wife and me? It was about 12:15 AM, on 1/14/2003. I'd been back to our little apartment about four hours. I was worn out. The idiot man and his woman were fighting. I think the coward was beating on her. I went around to their door. I knocked. The bigger and younger man met me. I told him, with fire in my eyes and stubborn Irish will in my heart, that he'd better stop beating on his woman, cool down, and shut up – otherwise, I had 911 on my cell phone, and I was ready to punch call! (I didn't have a pistol then. Hey, Dad, I have a lifetime carry permit and three firearms now! I thought that you would like that! Well, one firearm is Papaw Wood's 22 rifle. Do you remember when you shot that rifle, to kill the buzzard that was on the spot where Buddy, a great dog, was lying dead, before Doug and I could get there to bury Buddy?) The idiot “man” (such as he was) backed down! I don't recall hearing him beat on his woman after that! Well, I hope that I educated him and helped his woman.

August 3 - 8, 2003 (Sunday through Friday)?

I agree, Dad. Let's talk about a much better memory! Well, 2003 rolled on, with many details that I have written on my 2003 calendar. The water well driller convention was the week of August 3 - 8, 2003, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. (They still have an annual convention. They have a fancy website, Jubilee Water Show, now.) Yes, Dad, I remember when Mom and you took two brothers and me to Myrtle Beach, for the convention, years ago. (Sorry, Doug, you were not born yet.) It had to have been 1970 to 1972. No, Dad, I'm still mad! You kicked sand in my face, when we were racing, on the sand, to see who was faster! That was not fair! Yea, yea, I'm joking. You won!

Fast forward to 2003! Gwyn Calfee and you have been friends for decades. He was a well-driller from White Pine, Tennessee. How old was he, in 2003? He was 80! You were still age 75, turning 76 on 9/17/2003. Today, I found his obituary, sadly. Well, I guess you knew before me, Dad! Gwyn Galfee met you on 12/11/2018. He lived to age 95.

I'm glad that you (and your 1/3 dead heart) were feeling you oats! Gwyn Calfee and you joined my wife and my at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina! We had arrived on 8/2/2003, that Saturday. Y'all drove down the next day. Y'all enjoyed the convention during the day, while we enjoyed the beach. Every late afternoon, however, we came to your hotel. (It was not too far from our ocean-side hotel!) Y'all joined us. Well, y'all stopped by to see us at the beach a time or two! I drove the four of us to the eating location that Gwyn and you picked! The stories that we told each other. The laughs and jokes we had! Those five days, at the beach, were great times! I have several photographs, of the old film type. I'm saving them!

Hey, Dad! I still have the 2003 convention Frisbee that you gave me! The one that you kept is still on a kitchen wall, at the homeplace. I keep mine in my closet, perched on a high shelf. Last Sunday afternoon, I dusted off the Frisbee and placed it on the carpet, which looks like sand. I thought that you'd like to see that I still have that Frisbee! It may still have a few grains of sand on it, from tossing it on the beach! Yes, I've had this conversation in mind since last Sunday!

Conclusion

What year was that, Dad, when you hiked up Clingmans Dome by yourself? It was after Myrtle Beach 2003. I have the details written on one of my calendars! You finally admitted to us that you had hiked alone! You said that you had to stop a few times, to rest on your hike up. It took you a few weeks or months to admit that to your sons! I remember being worried that you had done that! I was wrong! You knew your limitations. You had been thinking about the times that you took Mom to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You were remembering, as you hiked. I've done that many times, over the years. I understand. Heck! I remember a few times that you took Mom and us boys! Do you remember the time the mother bear almost got us? I do! One time, we had a great swimming pool, at the motel!

Well, I'll sign off for now, Dad. It was good to talk with you today! Happy Father's Day! I'll see you again soon – well, it may take me a few decades, but I'll get there! Okay, here it comes. Watch out! I LOVE YOU, DAD!

Saturday, June 19, 2021

6/19/2021, SATURDAY: MOLLY “SUPER PUPPY!”

Introduction

Molly is our “super puppy!” I met Molly, on 11/17/2015. She was a few months old. We took an immediate liking to each other!

Before we met, Molly had come to visit a friend (and former colleague) and her husband, on Halloween (Saturday, 10/31/2015). Molly had been following trick-or-treaters, wagging her tail and having fun. She, apparently, had gotten away from her owner. The owner's phone number was still on her tag. The number was no longer valid. My friends had posted fliers in their neighborhood, to find the owner, without success. My friends, who already had two dogs, had posted on the “Interweb,” hoping to find a new home for Molly. I had responded!

After having purchased several doggy items, I brought Molly home, on 11/21/2015, a crisp and cool Saturday. (Papaw Ferrell had passed, on 11/21/1970.) Molly met Mrs. Appalachian Irishman. They took a shine to each other immediately! Molly's first visit to her veterinarian was later that day. Molly was fine!

Molly's Veterinarian Visit, 6/19/2021

Molly, at age six now, is still fine! She was born before 10/31/2015, so she is age six. We, however, celebrate Molly's birthday on October 31st, each year. Molly attains age six, officially, on 10/31/2021!

I have kept each record of Molly's visits to her veterinarian. I also have a digital log document that includes each record, with notations on various details. Molly has an annual physical exam. She has a follow up at six months, to squirt one medicine into her nose. It's routine, every six months. Today, 6/19/2021, Saturday, was get “the squirt in the nose” appointment, at 10 AM.

As usual, Molly likes to see everyone at her doctor's office! She enjoys the ride in the truck! She likes to do “sniffers,” “leakers” (to mark her territory), and “crappers” – before and/or after her visit! She doesn't like, however, “the squirt in the nose” stuff, but she shakes it off, with tail wagging and a sneeze!

The following are three photographs that I took, with my trusty Samsung cell phone camera, after Molly's appointment. (It's not a “semi-intelligent” phone, but it has taken many great photographs, on hikes, etc., for years.) Each one is in the yard around her doctor's office. The images are a little blurry. Molly moves fast!


The above is in the front yard. Molly had her “crappers” before her appointment – in the grass, thankfully! She's had “crappers” on the sidewalk a couple of times, in the past. No worries! Gloves are available in a metal box outside. A metal “crapper dumper,” with lid, is nearby too! I've gloved up and dumped “Molly crappers” in the “crapper dumper” a couple of times!

Do you see the heart pattern? I call that Molly's “heart pattern.”

The above two photographs are in a far corner of the doctor's office yard, near an Advance Auto Parts store. Trees provide shade behind and to the right of the images. Clean water, from recent rain or from a wet weather well, was under the trees. After the last photograph, Molly darted to the water. She got several big gulps of water. Then, she decided to take a bath in the water! I wish that I could have recorded Molly, rolling around in the shallow water and then shaking herself! My mind holds the image. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had given Molly a bath, on Wednesday. Today was second bath in one week! Good puppy!

Conclusion

Molly and I were robbed of hikes, on “My Mountain,” except for a few – after 3/29/2016, a day that lives in infamy. I am still working on being sufficiently confident in my right foot and knee, to take her hiking with me again.

Molly and I still have a great deal of “man and doggy” time – even if it is in the yard or on a trip to see her doctor! Good puppy!


Sunday, June 13, 2021

6-13-2021, SUNDAY: GENERATIONAL HONOR - GRANNY FERRELL & AGE 15 NIECE

Introduction

“Whirlwind Publications” (as I call my three articles of yesterday) are behind me. The theme of this article is family heritage.

This article is a tribute – to a fine grandmother and to a fine niece. The Fearghail clan continues – in honor of God, family, and heritage. (Well, at least many of the clan do.)

Granny Ferrell

Molly Gertrude Archer Ferrell (Granny Ferrell) was my paternal grandmother. She was born on 11/30/1892. She joined Papaw Marion Ferrell (4/13/1880 - 11/21/1970), on 6/11/1971, when she passed, at age 78. (I was age 10, almost age 11.)

Granny and Papaw Ferrell were licensed to marry, on 11/24/1908. (My Mom was born 11/24/1932.) They were married the next day. Granny Ferrell attained age 16, five days after their marriage. (Papaw Ferrell was age 28.)

 Source: "Tennessee Marriages, 1796-1950", database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X8Y4-BLV): 27 January 2020), Marion Ferrell, 1908.

Papaw Marion Ferrell had eloped with Molly Gertrude (nickname “Gertie”) Archer -- on the same day that Winfield Lype (Lipe) and Gertie Carter had eloped. According to family, the two couples were wed the same day, on the same trip. Papaw Marion Ferrell had driven a wagon to Rogersville, with both brides. Gertie Carter was sister to Bert Carter. Lula Archer was sister to Molly Gertrude Archer. Lula Archer had married Bert Carter. The Carters and Archers were raised in the Mooresburg/Old Spruce Pine area of Hawkins County, Tennessee. Later the Carters and Archers moved to Moshiem, in Greene County, Tennessee. Papaw Ferrell and Winfield Lype had farms in the Hickory Cove area of Hawkins County.

 

 Photograph provided by my first cousin, Debbie.

I remember the house, the front porch, and the swing very well – as well as the barn, the shed, the smoke house, the two-seater outhouse, and other items. One of my first cousins had provided the above photograph of Granny Ferrell. I think the year was 1965. I don't know who the child is (an assumed grandchild).

Granny and Papaw Ferrell raised two girls and six boys. Granny, as family know, had one miscarriage, due to working too much on the farm, while Papaw was off hunting or trading. My Dad (Earl H. Ferrell) was their youngest child. I am the oldest son of Earl and Betty Lou Wood Ferrell, who had four sons and no daughters.

Memories of Granny and Papaw Ferrell are many. My Ferrell cousins (of Fearghail clan, County Longford, Ireland) and I need to write a historical book – with many details, before it becomes too late to do so.

I will write three memories of Granny Ferrell. First, while Granny and Papaw were still “keeping house,” I had stayed with them a while. Mom and Dad let me stay with both sets of my grandparents, for a few days, in summers. Those were great summer vacation memories for me! I had done something bad. I don't recall what I'd done. Granny was hunting to whip me! I had hidden. Papaw Ferrell came inside, at the time Granny had found me. Papaw saved me from a well-deserved whipping! Neither set of my grandparents ever whipped me. I had needed a few, probably!

Later, after Granny and Papaw “broke up house keeping,” they stayed, separately, at times with us, when we lived on the old Livesay farm (near “dead man's curve” off old highway 11W). Granny liked bottled Pepsi Cola. When she visited, she and I would set on that big L-shaped porch, near the corner of the “L.” She would give me a Pepsi Cola, to drink one with her!

Finally, Granny Ferrell was living in the basement apartment, of Avery and Lula (Ferrell) Absher. Dad used to take my next to eldest brother and me to visit Granny. She always had homemade cake for us! I remember once, when I had decided to take a leak outside, I took my leak onto an electric fence, which was on. It was dark, in the late fall or winter. I didn't notice the electric fence. It was a shocking experience!

Age 15 Niece

Thirty-five years plus one day, after Granny Ferrell passed away, the oldest daughter of my youngest brother and his wife was born. My niece attained the age of 15, on 6/12/2021.

My 2/9/2020 article – “BULLS GAP MIDDLE SCHOOL LADY BULLDOGS: STATE FINAL FOUR!!” – comes to mind.


My brother, her father, sent me the above photograph, on 3/17/2013, St. Patrick's Day. Her younger sister is in the photograph also. My niece was age seven then.

Niece, your aunt (Mrs. Appalachian Irishman) and I are PROUD of you! You are continuing the example of your Ferrell ancestors. Granny Ferrell would be PROUD of you! That sentiment includes your younger sister also! Your parents are raising you in the Appalachian Irish tradition – of godly parents, godly heritage, and biblical values! Do NOT let the modern world – of moral decay, etc. – take you off your heavenly path! I KNOW it will not. I have faith in you! Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I love you! Don't you look forward to meeting your great grandparents? Don't you look forward to meeting your paternal grandmother? Your paternal grandfather always bragged about you, before he passed, in 2008. He saw you many times.

Conclusion

Everyone needs to live in honor of God, family, and heritage! The trivialities of skin color or nation of origin do not matter! The Democrat Socialists continue to drive their divisive wedge into the heart of this once great nation.

Those who continue to live in honor of God, family, and heritage will endure and survive the divisive wedge. Join the eldest daughter of my youngest brother and his wife, along with many others, who stand together, to heal the wound that the divisive wedge is causing! Will you? I trust that you will!


Saturday, June 12, 2021

STEALTH INVASION BY NIGHT IN KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE (published 6-12-2021)

Introduction

The socialists struck again! Read the article, “Stealth Invasion by Night in Chattanooga, Tennessee (published 5/23/2021)”.

The socialists are moving fast, to acquire more illegal alien voters, who will vote socialist! Wait for the upcoming illegal alien vote, to keep the socialists in power. It will happen.

5/27/2021 Stealth Invasion in Knoxville, This Time

On 5/27/2021, “a plane” known “to be carrying unaccompanied” illegal alien “children in the custody of the” USSA “government landed just before midnight at McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville.” The news has been known for more than two weeks now. The source, for the previous quotes, is: “Plane believed to be carrying migrant children lands at Knoxville airport,” on WATE TV, by Melanie Vásquez Russell & Melissa Greene, published 5/28/2021, updated 5/30/2021.

You are welcome to read that source article, if you want to know the details. I wonder how many other illegal alien invasions have taken place, without the media catching them.

Conclusion

The democrat socialists are building their “vote early and often” base, to ensure that their “socialist Utopia” stands – for about the next 70 years. I will be at Home, before the USSA falls, thankfully.

This is just a side-note article, today, y'all! I'm still trying to entertain my fertile mind, before supper!

What do you know? I may download a free version of “Space Invaders!” Do you remember that arcade game from the 1980's?

“Woman posing for photo in front of Space Invaders scoreboard,” by Leslie Jones, on Unsplash, 6/17/2018. Free to use under the Unsplash License.

6/12/2021 SATURDAY: TRIBUTE TO ANOTHER FINE OFFICER

Introduction

Howdy, y'all! Thanks for “dropping by for a cup of coffee, to read a while!” Ain't it plenty warm and humid today? (It is here, in northeast Tennessee. It may not be, in your area of the world. This website has a global audience.) Well, now that we've talked about the weather, let's get to the main topic.

I suggest that you read first my article, “5/1/2021, Saturday, May Day: Tribute to a Fine Officer (published 5/8/2021).” That article will set the stage for this article. This article continues the same theme.

Tribute to Another Fine Officer

Today was a typical Saturday – no work, sleep a couple hours extra, country breakfast (thanks, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman!), hot/cold shower (for my “bionics”), and the usual chores. During my chores, the typical became the providential, as on 5/1/2021 (the 5/8/2021 article).

I met another fine officer, who holds the thin, blue line! I shook his hand twice. I was the second person, to shake his hand today, to honor him for his service. I'm glad that someone else had given him the first hand shake! There are many others out there, in addition to me.

This fine officer and I could speak only briefly. We could have talked much longer. (He was on his way into the business, at the moment that I was on my way out.) He gave me permission to write about the experience. I mentioned my conversation, with his younger colleague, on 5/1/2021. I told him about this website. This older officer spoke in the same manner, as the younger officer had, whom I'd met on 5/1/2021. I wish that I could remember his exact words. The officer said that others and he hold the dark and wicked evil in check for us. His words were far more eloquent.

The officer indicated that he was skilled on the Internet. He will remember and visit this website. He will be able to make a comment anonymously. I hope that he does.

Conclusion

I wish that I could meet an officer of the law every week! Once a month (May and June) is not too bad! If fact, it is great! These fine men and women need to know that we, the people whom they serve, have their backs!

Every time that you have the opportunity to meet and speak with an officer of the law, look him or her in the eye, offer a handshake, and thank each one for his or her service! It is a mutual benefit!

Too all the officers of the law out there, whose hands I haven't shaken yet, I shake your hands now, via this article! Thank you, each one of you, for your service – to protect and serve us. We have your backs! You are welcome to share this handshake across the Internet!

SPEED BUMP WAR VICTORY! (published 6/12/2021)

Introduction

I had been trying to find ways to occupy my fertile mind, after work and before supper, on 6/9/2021, Wednesday. I had written most of this article, but supper then work, etc., for the next two days got in my way. (Hey, corporate entity, find and hire me, to write for you!) I finished writing and published this article today.

Forget the incessant onslaught of moral decay and the socialist march to “socialist Utopia!” This will be fun! (As a side note, I don't know why Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had been watching “pregnant girl with restless leg syndrome” show on TV, on 6/9/2021, in the late afternoon.)

Speed Bump War

The war started, by a neighbor's visit on the front porch, in the summer of 2020. We both talked with her. Molly conversed with her daughter. It seemed that our neighbor thought that too many folks were driving too fast, in our small, cul-de-sac subdivision. (It had happened a few times, in the spring of last year, but it had stopped.) I signed the petition, not in favor of “speed humps,” as they are called, with my pithy comments. Almost a year went by. I assumed that it was much to do about nothing. I assumed incorrectly. What do you make when you assume? It makes an ass of you and me. (I'm sorry, Mom! “Ass” is in the King James version of the English Bible!)

On 4/12/2021, I had sent a postal letter to the Knox County bureaucrat, in reply to his 3/30/2021 letter that we had received on 4/10/2021 (my deceased mother-in-law's birthday; she would be proud of me). Apparently, without other notice, the voting process had started! The protocol indicates that a subdivision meeting would have happened first. The bureaucrat violated the protocol, due to the new cold virus. The voting process was on!

Also, on 4/12/2021, I had also mailed a copy of my 4/12/2021 letter, to the bureaucrat, to every other property owner in our little subdivision. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had assisted me, in preparing the several letters for mailing. I had taken a hard but polite stand against the speed bumps!

From then, until 6/4/2021, Friday, I was the neighborhood general, in the fight against the speed bumps. I did not start conversations with neighbors. Neighbors saw me outside at times. We conversed. I expressed my stand. The neighbors, with whom I spoke, agreed.

Conclusion

You can see the Knox County website, if you hurry, to find the website proof, before it is updated.

Otherwise, on 6/10/2021, we received the following postcard, mailed 6/8/2021, from the Knox County bureaucrat – indicating that we had won the Speed Bump War! (Why does the post office take two days for local delivery? Shouldn't it be next day? It used to be.)

I blotted out our subdivision name, for privacy. The bureaucrat's name and details are public domain. He is an employee of mine – and of all Knox County taxpayers.

Nine of our neighbors and I won the Speed Bump War – by a landslide! I doubt that the six neighbors will try to fight us again, after a year goes by. I hope that the neighbor, who started this, learned a lesson. We are a small and friendly little neighborhood. Neighbors should talk with each other! We could arrange a casual meeting to talk! There is no sense in shooting a “bureaucratic bullet!” If it happens again, I will drop another “bureaucratic nuclear bomb!”

I hope that you liked this article! I enjoyed writing it! It helped further relax my “bionic” joints!

By the way, I'm taking a red capsule, over the counter, that contains krill oil and hyaluronic acid. The bottle had expired in 04/2019. My wife or I had bought it in 2017 or 2018. I had taken the red capsules back then. They didn't seem to have helped. I stopped taking them. I decided to try them again, last Sunday. I had a few capsules left. The krill oil and hyaluronic acid seem to be stretching out my “multi-trauma” muscle damage! Mrs. Appalachian Irishman is on the hunt, for another bottle of those red capsules! I'll keep taking them – if they keep helping! My “bionic” life started on 3/29/2016. I've written about it. Has it been that long ago? I reckon so.

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

MEMORIAL DAY & 77TH D-DAY ANNIVERSARY (published 6/8/2021)

Introduction

My first article today was for humor and fun. I have another one or two articles in mind. I will write them later. I will, instead, pause to give honor. Wednesday, 3/31/2021, was Memorial Day. Sunday, 6/6/2021, was the 76th anniversary of the Operation Overlord D-Day landing, on June 6, 1944.

Memorial Day

Most folks seemed to have remembered -- at least that they had a day off work. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I visited with her folks, who live nearby. That was the first time that I had seen my in-laws, since 7/18/2020! I had seen them, on those “video chat” things, which had been arranged on other days. Well, I was glad to see that they were, in the flesh, doing well enough!

“Memorial Day” (on History.com, by Editors, original 10/27/2009) -- “originally known as Decoration Day” -- was “originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.” The USSA Democrat Socialists do not want us to remember the origin of Memorial Day or the reason why we remember.

My father-in-law and I exchanged a brief word, on 3/31/2021, about the almost countless number of soldiers, who died, in multiple wars, in sacrifice for our freedom. My mind was overwhelmed for a moment. I could not fathom the almost countless losses.

I wish that this once great nation would live in honor of those, who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. Well, I know that many of us do. I know, however, that the Socialists do not care -- sadly. They live in dishonor. We who honor live in honor.

D-Day

On June 6, 1944, Allied troops invaded Normandy, France, to fight Nazi Germany in World War II. It was the largest invasion force in history, with hundreds of thousands of American, British, Canadian and other troops. It was one of the most important events of the second World War. More than 13,000 aircraft and 5,000 ships supported the operation. An estimated 10,000 Allied forces were killed, wounded and missing in action. The invasion is credited with sparking the liberation of German-occupied northwestern Europe from Nazi control and laid the foundations for the Allied victory on the Western Front. (Source: https://www.military.com/video/77th-anniversary-remembering-d-day-june-6.)

My Mom, Betty Lou Wood Ferrell, was age 11. My Dad, Earl Henry Ferrell, was age 16.

Place the recent political trivialities (e.g., the transition, on 1/6/2021, of the USA into the USSA, marking the beginning of the fall of this once great nation) into the context of D-Day, on June 6, 1944. Doing so will provide historical focus. Read or watch a few documentaries, if you need to do so.

Aside from a random mention in the news media, I wonder how many folks, in this once great nation, even remembered -- or cared. I did not find any D-Day movie or documentary on TV, at the times when I searched. This was another example, of the early stages, in the fall of this once great nation. Give it about 70 more years or so.

Conclusion

My first article today made me laugh a few times. I hope that it made you laugh too. This article saddens me. It needed to do so.

This writing honors the sacrifice of the many, who died and served, to save this once great nation, from Nazi Germany and Japanese Imperial threats, during World War II, and in so many other wars. Sadly, this once great nation is not living in honor of their ultimate sacrifice for our temporal freedom.

Jesus, the Christ, paid the ultimate sacrifice for our everlasting freedom. Many have accepted the free gift of salvation and freedom. Many have not. Wisdom dictates that those, who have not, will join those of us who have.

TUESDAY 6/8/2021: “LIFE, SUCH AS IT IS," UPDATE FOR FUN!

 Introduction

In the most recent article, of 5/23/2021, I promised that my next (this) article would be more entertaining. It has taken me a while to get here, but here I am! With apology to Shirley Temple, “let me entertain you! Let me make you smile!” Don't worry! I know May 31st was Memorial Day and Sunday was the anniversary of D-Day. My serious article on those follows this one.

You might want to click the links, for some side-click fun! That's why I set the links. The banty rooster was still growing, apparently. He sounds like me, when my voice was changing, when I was about age 12.

Crowin' Like a Banty Rooster!

Dad used to tell me, when I was “feelin' my oats” and “braggin' a bit,” that I was “crowin' like a banty rooster.” (I enjoyed “Possibly the funniest Bantam Cockerel crow ever!” On Olive Tree Farm (YouTube), 7/21/2014!) Sometimes, he said it when he was proud of me. Often times, he said it to “bring me down a notch.” I think that Dad would like the crowin' I do below!

On 5/2/2021, Sunday, I ordered my decorative license plate and frame. $35 well spent! On 5/11/2021, Tuesday, I bought and own my “Appalachian Irishman” website logo. $40 well spent. The image, above, is my website logo. (I will add it, on the main page of my website.) I had to buy my logo for the decorative license plate. On 5/19/2021, Wednesday, I received my decorative license plate and frame. The license plate has my logo on it.

On Sunday afternoon, 5/23/2021, I finally got around to placing my decorative license plate, with my logo, on the front plate holder of my new ol' truck! I will publish an image of my truck wearing his new decorative plate and “tars” (below) eventually.

Okay, Dad, I'm done crowin' now! Are you proud of me? I thought so.

Tars” for my New Ol' Truck

You need you some new 'tars,' son,” as Dad would have said. Yes, Dad, I have known that my new ol' truck ('06 Nissan Frontier) was needing a new set of “shoes.” The “tar” tread was getting thin enough. I've kept the song “Pardon Me Roy, is that the Cat that Chewed your New Shoes?” in my mind recently. Do you hear, “Pardon me truck, it that the road that chewed your new tires!” I do!

On 5/18/2021, Wednesday, I asked the Express Lube in the Halls area of Knoxville to order the set of four “tars” that I had selected.

They look like good “tars.” Cooper Tires are make in America. You do not want to know the price. You can't buy a good set of “tars” for $50 a “tar” anymore. “A dollar ain't worth much now a days.” The “tars” arrived.

On 5/22/2021, Saturday, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I had a little fun. My fine barber and friend, at Tony's Best Clips, gave me another great haircut, while we regaled ourselves in several conversational points. Afterward, at 11:45 AM, I arrived at the Express Lube, in hope of having my new “tars” mounted and balanced.

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman was in line, awaiting an oil change on our '08 Honda Civic. I knew that she had planned the oil change. Her car got an oil change.

They were, however, too busy, with oil changes and others getting new tires. I could have left my truck, gone home in the car with wife. Later, we could have gone back, to get my truck, once they had been able to get the tires mounted and balanced. No deal!

I had arranged, on 6/3/2021, while working at the office, to work from home the next day. The next day, Friday, I worked from home. I took time off from work and got the tires on my truck! It was an Appalachian Irishman victory – despite my “bionic” whatevers. (The poles outside the tire shop helped me stretch out my left shoulder, down my left side, to my left hip. My right foot took the pavement pounding, while fussing at me.)

Molly! Good “Puppy!”

The image below is our “good ol' puppy,” Molly! She and I were hiking, on 11/26/2015. She was almost a year old then. She still looks about the same now, at age five going on six. Well, she has adult dog weight now, but Molly is still all muscle!

On 5/24/2021, Monday, my wife and I had our usual chiropractic adjustments. I had been needing mine for over a week! Dang, unkink my left shoulder, to middle back, to left hip! With apology to Survivor, “the Burning Heart,” it's me against me; it's the paradox that drives me on. When the “whatevers” rise up, as lately, I beat them down, again, as usual.

Anyway, after having arrived home, Molly was too busy in the back yard to “come see the man.” Instead, once we were inside, I happened to see Molly! It was about 5 PM. She was in our “back 40.” A yearling deer made the mistake of visiting. Molly, running in “super doggy” speed, almost caught the yearling at the left hind quarter! Molly, my wife, and I almost had venison! Molly would have had the first serving! I wish that I could have had our video recorder! My mind's eye remembers! Good “puppy!”

Molly sleeps in her basement “condominium” nightly, after having spent the evening inside with us. About 6:30 AM, my wife fixes Molly's breakfast and sets her out to “guard” our property. About 7:30 AM, I bring Molly her “front porch snack.” She's usually there, with tail waging and ready! Molly always gives me a very intelligent look that says, “I love you, man. Thanks for the breakfast snack!” A man and his dog help a man endure the realities of life!

I use my hands, going against the grain, to get “snow doggys” off Molly, in the warm weather. Twice a day is best, morning and evening. She sheds (makes “snow doggys”). I like to see the “snow doggys” pile into clumps in the yard. They look like spots of snow.

Once Molly is inside, in the evenings, she wants to, first, twirl around on the couch. I take off her “doggy necklaces” (collars). Eventually, she goes to the kitchen for “Molly waters,” to get a drink from her water bowl that we bring in from either the garage or the front porch. After a while, once Molly has gone out and back in, through either the back or front doors, a time or two, it's time for the “Got-Ems” game!

The “Got-Ems” game is fun! I divide six favorite treats into two, to make twelve, plus a “brush your teeth doggy” biscuit. I count to Molly as I divide her treats.

I can't get Mrs. Appalachian Irishman to video record Molly and me, playing the “Got-Ems” game! I've tried. Imagine the following: I'm standing, with “Got-Ems” in hand, in the living room, near the steps to Molly's basement condominium. Molly is near my feet. She has “readies!” That is, her eyes are bright and looking up. I toss up, just above her head, one “Got-Em” at a time, counting as we go. Molly catches most. Sometimes, she has a “tooth bouncer” that lands on the floor or goes down the stairwell (which I retrieve for her). Number 12 is the “finish strongly” final “Got-Em,” before the “toothbrusher” doggy biscuit. I don't know if Molly enjoys the “Got-Ems” game any better than I do! I catch Mrs. Appalachian Irishman smiling at times. Video record us, dear! I had wanted to publish the video now!

I Had to Write This, Dear!

I had told Mrs. Appalachian Irishman that I wouldn't write the following. Sorry, dear! I changed my mind!

On 5/27/2021, Thursday, I had returned home from working at the office. My wife had beaten me home from her job. (Her last work day was 6/1/2021. She's on summer break now. Oh, I must add that summer started on 6/1/2021. It does not start on 6/20/2021. I know. I can prove it.) The sun was out fully. I came in. My wife was in the kitchen. I said howdy. I noticed that the kitchen light was on, with blinds still closed. (I'd left them closed, before driving to work, about 7:30 AM, to keep the sun from coming in the south side windows. The sun was on the other side of the house now). I open all south side window blinds. I turn off the kitchen light. I turn off a lamp in the living room. I wondered. I asked. Well, that was my mistake! I was just “deviling you a bit,” dear!

On 6/2/2021, Tuesday, I was working at home. My wife had her first day of summer vacation. She wanted to run an errand. She couldn't find the keys to our '08 Honda Civic that she drives. Earlier, about 7:45 AM, I had noticed them, on the passenger side windshield of the car, which was in the garage. (I'd been visiting with Molly, before work.) I had placed the keys, stealthily, in the microwave – knowing what would happen eventually. About 11 AM, while I'm working at home, my wife indicated her errand. She looked for the keys. She couldn't find them. She looked in the garage. No keys were on or inside the car. I took a break from work. What are you doing, dear? Trying to find your keys? Look in the microwave! Well, I got a smile on that joke! She decided not to rake me across the coals that time! I was lucky!

By the way, dear, this is my third article, since I “hid” your anniversary card, on 5/16/2021.

Will you ever find it? Did you find it? If so, has the “cat got your tongue?” I look forward to your pithy comment – if you ever get around to it!

By the way, I love you, dear! If I didn't, I wouldn't “devil you” with my humor as much! Thanks for being the “long-suffering” Mrs. Appalachian Irishman.

Conclusion

Comedy is the best medicine. I use my verbal and written artistic talent (i.e., my blarney) and sarcastic sense of humor, as one way to endure the realities of life. Life is good. Life is bad. It varies.

Use the everlasting perspective, to place this temporal life, into the context of everlasting life. That's the best way to cope with life realities, when they are “not too good,” as Hoyt would say, on John Boy and Billy.

By the way, why do folks drive all that way and do whatever they do, to get tickets to the Smoky Mountain lightning bug show? No, they are not “fire flies!” I can watch lightning bugs from our deck. Come on, man! (I thought that you might like that as an ending.)