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Showing posts from May, 2019

A Rural Life

I grew up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge, in a community that believed in hard work and family, as well as a close tie to the land. We grew our own vegetables and raised animals, and we helped our neighbors whenever they needed it.
When we planted our gardens in spring, we always planted more than we needed, and so did our friends and neighbors. When harvest time arrived, we shared with people in the community. I remember my dad delivering corn, tomatoes, green beans and squash to a few of the older members of our community, or families in need.
We all did our share of the work, from plowing and planting, to weeding, fertilizing and harvesting. The agricultural practices in our community were never for profit, it was always about sustenance for our families and friends.
I remember going after school to help get up hay, or put up fences, or do simple repairs on neighbors homes. In summer, I would help other people do their work in their gardens, or take care of their animals.
We would…

Working Together

My dad passed away on this date, three years ago . I'll admit that I still have a hard time with it, knowing that I'll never see him again or talk to him in this lifetime. You always hear that time heals the heart, and the pain has faded some, but you never truly get over losing a loved one. What I am left with are the memories, for better or for worse. In my head, I can faintly see his face, can almost make out the sound of his voice among the the many others that have stayed with me through the years. Sometimes I try to remember certain things he said, and when I can't, it drives me crazy. There are things that I have wanted to tell him since he passed, but can't. I have questions about things that only he would know the answer to, but I am left wondering now for the rest of my life, with no access to that answer. I've ran into trouble with a car engine, or air conditioning unit, or electrical panel, and my life- line that was always just a phone call away, is no…

After Dark

I stayed up way too late last night. Chase called on his way home from work and told me that we were going catfishing. That's usually how things like this begin.

My brand new son- in- law Bryan was going too, although my daughter wasn't crazy about the idea. No worries though, she would stay at our house and await his return. She ended up asleep on my side of the bed until we got back. Apparently, their agreed upon curfew was 11:30, and he did his best to keep it despite Chase's nudging him to stay longer. My son has no concept of time when it comes to fish, whether they are biting or not.

So there we stood in the dark, on a bridge that crosses the Tyger  River. Every creature that flies or creepeth upon the ground was out. The noise from insects and frogs in the surrounding swamp was deafening. Chase was our catfish guide. He'd brought all the rods, bait and any tackle we might need. Chase's bait of choice was chunks of chicken breast marinated in his secret formu…

Hear That Lonesome Whippoorwill

This is something I wrote in my journal five years ago. I wish I had started a blog back then. Maybe I would know what I am doing by now. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read it.


One of the best things about living in the country is the unfolding of the seasons before you. I imagine that in the big city, one season just blend into the next, with the only noticeable difference being the temperature. I imagine that the sound of traffic drowns out the mockingbirds on May afternoons, and the sound of owls after dark. Having the great fortune of coming up in a rural setting, I learned at an early age to appreciate the simple things in life the most. Sunrises, sunsets, the trilling of the tree frogs, and of course, the whippoorwills song in late evening.

Each spring, one sure sign that nature is alive and well is the lonesome sound, floating through the valley, hanging on the breeze. Many a night has been spent around a campfire, listening to the haunting dirge from deep in the woods.…

Be Aware, But Not Afraid of Snakes

Spend enough time outside in the summer months, and it is likely you will encounter a snake. Our first impulse is to get away, or perhaps if the snake is near our home, neutralizing the perceived threat by having the snake removed or killed. Our ignorance sometimes causes us to make rash decisions like this, mostly because we cannot identify the snake or its potentiality to be a dangerous reptile.

There are only four types of poisonous snakes in the southeastern U.S.

RattlesnakesCopperheadsCottonmouth Water MoccasinsCoral Snakes Though it is possible to see a non- venomous snake almost anywhere, most people will never encounter a poisonous one in their lifetime. Learning more about snakes can alleviate some of the fear and anxiety people have, and give them an understanding of how snakes are an important part of our natural world. The presence of a snake-- even a venomous one--  is a good sign of a healthy and balanced ecosystem.

Snakes keep the rodent population in check, which in tur…

Lately...

I am a coffee fanatic. Nothing pleases me more than a French press full of freshly ground fair trade, organic coffee from somewhere halfway across the globe. Sumatra has been my favorite for quite some time now: the humid, earthy aroma, with a hint of high mountain rainforest in each sip, a perfect campfire coffee, as I sit and watch he fog lift from the surface of some remote trout river. Or, if you prefer an espresso drink, a nice grande flat white with heavy whipping cream, served by a caffeine jacked hipster with a face full of metal at the local Starbucks. Coffee is always my fuel of choice, wherever I find myself, but lately, I have become obsessed with tea.

My favorite so far is the old standard Earl Grey, which is black tea flavored with the unique spicy citrus flavor of bergamot oil from the Mediterranean. The caffeine content from tea is milder than in coffee, but it provides a nice pick- me- up, and doesn't give me the jitters after a few cups like my other dark drug doe…