Big Snow at the Little Log Cabin

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  One of the neighbors, Patrick, was kind enough to send a picture of the little cabin in the snow.  We got 13” he said. Wish we could’ve all been there!

Maybe next time.

Merry Christmas!


A Great Thanksgiving…

  You know it’s a good Thanksgiving when you laugh so hard you accidentally suck a grape down your windpipe, then have to drop the camera onto the table so you can give your son a panicked look that makes him to raise one eyebrow and say “Heimlich?” 


  But a great Thanksgiving is one where you stare wordlessly back at the boy, unable to answer for what feels like an eternity because the grape has blocked your entire throat- Then with a sudden gasp, you inhale and say “No.  Thanks. I’m good.”

It was a Great Thanksgiving.


My New Boyfriend and My Other New Boyfriend Come Calling

This is my new boyfriend. 

032 He arrived yesterday afternoon at the cabin door, hanging back behind my other new boyfriend, Hank.

033 There he was, living proof that “If you ain’t the lead dog, the view never changes,” is a lie- Because from the second our eyes met, I knew Hank was in danger of losing his Number One spot in my heart.

I think Hank knew it too.


But BoBo, (That’s what I called him), was a sport about the whole deal and did his best to smooth the situation over.  And soon Hank was cool with the whole idea.


Until it came time to play the game Hank and I always play alone- Fetch.

Bobo caught on right quick and therein lay the trouble…Hank will share me in a heartbeat, but when it came to the bone…not so much with the peace and brotherhood, what’s mine is ours notion.

 053   There were a few tense moments, a bit of the Run for Your Life game…


And then all was forgiven as I seemed to have been forgotten…


  Oh well, I’ll make do I suppose.


Life in the Country…Dry Heel Draggers and Such

Big doins at the little log cabin this weekend.  Glen and Jeanette next door invited us to the Ruritan Club to eat and listen to the Dry Heel Draggers (some, a few, or most all of them.)


Glenn danced but he’s so fast, the camera had trouble keeping up.  He’s a great flat-footer.


Fried fish, turtle, frog legs and some of the best potluck to be had for miles around.  Good music, good eats, good company…




Tuesdays in the Nursing Home- Believing


He is a small man now, his back bowed by age and the effort it takes draw oxygen in to his failing lungs. Until today, I’d never seen Clyde’s health bother him. On any other day, he is up, smiling and speaking to everyone he passes as he wheels his walker around the nursing home. An oxygen tank sits in the white wire basket attached to the front of his cart.

Nothing gets Clyde down.  He stopped me once and said “You know, if my wife had lived this would’ve been our 70th anniversary.” 

I put my hand on his arm, uncertain what to say- do I congratulate him or offer condolences? I settled for a bit of both. 

He smiled, told me the secret to his long marriage was keeping his mouth shut, and wheeled along down the hallway.

Today he wouldn’t leave his room and hadn’t eaten for over 24 hours.  A clear plastic mask covered his mouth and nose as he fumbled to open a packet of sugar and empty it into his coffee.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with me,” he cried.  His frail bones felt hollow as I stroked his back.  “I don’t know where I am. I don’t know what I’m doing. There were 13 of us, now there’s but 3.”  He looked at me for an instant, his eyes searching my face. “My sister died yesterday. Now’s there’s only three.”

His hands shook harder.  Packet after packet of sugar and creamer spilled into the cup and were hastily stirred with his fork.  He tasted, sipping like a tiny bird, in quick, shaky bursts.  More sugar. More creamer.  “I can’t eat,” he said, tearing up pieces of bread and tossing them into his Cream of Chicken soup.  “I just can’t,” he said, spooning the soup into his mouth like a starving man. 

The vanilla wafers were next.  He ate them all, sweeping the crumbs off his tray, into his hand and then tossing them into his mouth.

“Are you afraid of dying?” I asked finally.  No answer.  He dodged me, darting down a dark mental alleyway and putting up a smokescreen.  “We weren’t that close.  She was only two years older than me. Two years!”

But was he afraid of dying?  No answer.

“What will happen if I die? Who will look after everyone?” he asked, his voice breaking.

I am a slow study.  “Are you afraid?” I asked.

Then, “Are you worried?”

“Eh, worried? No, I’m not worried. Well, I might be. But I don’t know what for. If it’s time it’s time.”

“Do you think you’re dying?” I ask.

“No, no.  Couldn’t do anything about it if I were.  When God calls you…” 

The rapid-fire denials suddenly stopped. His eyes filled with tears. A drop of coffee dripped unnoticed from his chin, splashing on the home-sewn, light blue and red-striped bib he had absently thrown across his lap. 

“What if I’ve done something wrong in my life?” he asked, trembling. “What if I said something to someone and they were offended and I didn’t know it? What will God think? What will he say?”

I stroked his arm, circled his bony back with the palm of my hand and tried to reassure him.  The woman in the room across the hallway watched us curiously, her hearing far keener than my patient’s.  When I caught her eye, she waggled three fingers at me in a casual, to-ta-loo salute.

Clyde was trying not to cry by picking up his soup and drinking from the bowl, abandoning any attempt at using his spoon.  He was in a frenzy, panicked by the thought of being snatched by God before he could eat or explain or live enough to be ready.

“Yesterday I got down on my knees and begged him to forgive me if I’ve harmed anyone or done something wrong I didn’t know about.”

I looked around his room at the proudly displayed posters of his cherished Yankees.  I am a Phillies fan.

I held my friend, trying my best to reassure him, wishing I knew a way to soothe without shouting. 

These are the times when I long for a magic pill or a wand or a letter of guarantee from God stating death and the process of dying will not be scary or frightening and that there is indeed a Heaven.  Furthermore, the letter would inform Clyde that he’s definitely “In” and that Heaven is truly much more wonderful than anything he’s been told.

I don’t have that kind of power. 

This time is one of the rare times I walk down the hallway, worried about Clyde’s panic and breathlessness, and tell his nurse to give him the morphine his doctor has ordered for times like these.

A half an hour later, the nurse stops me.  “That rascal!” she says.  “I told him if he had the morphine, he had to promise not to get out of bed or he’d fall.”

My eyes widen.

“Yep,” she says nodding. “I walked in just in time to catch him.  And do you

know what that rascal said?”

I shook my head, too pleased to hear Clyde had been elevated from panicked to rascal status to care.

“He lay back in my arms, smiled up at me and asked ‘Who was that pretty lady come in and talked to me? I sure did like her!’ Pays no mind to the fact he could’ve broken a bone disobeying me.  Just wants to talk about the pretty lady. Can you believe it?!” the nurse demanded.

No, I couldn’t.  But then, it doesn’t matter what I do or don’t believe.

Faith it seems, is very much in the eyes of the beholder. 



Life in the Country- A Haunted Hollar Halloween



A while back, Skeeter the Dowser, came and used his brass divining rods to pick the best spot to drill the new well.  He said something about electromagnetic energy and that there were three caverns below the spot he elected to drill.

Sure enough, old Skeeter hit water.  But did he also hit something else?


A few months after Skeeter installed the well, one of the remaining members of the land’s original owners popped by for a visit.  As I’d heard rumors about an unmarked Confederate soldier’s gravesite on the property, I asked him if he knew where the boy was buried.

“Yep,” he said, nodding out toward the field.  “Reckon he’s about right where you put that new well.”


Okay, I thought he’s playing me.  I’m the City Girl.  He’s the big, strong, Country Man.  I thought that all year…until today.  Today I found this.


Be afraid, people.  Be very afraid. 

They’re electrostatic, they’re translucent and they’re on the move!



Life in the Country- Night and Day Difference


  By day- just an ordinary shed surrounded by an overgrown garden.

 289 But by night- The Wild Things are about…



Yep, here in the hollar it’s peaceful by day…

362 But when evening comes, beware…

Wild Thangs are everywhere!423


Life in the Country- Fish Tricks and Wooly Worms

  Another week, more color…

092   A good time to entertain friends who’d never seen the little log cabin.  Cold enough to send the snakes shivering underground so we could tramp around the old Wade home place.


  Mert’s trained the fish to do tricks in return for Saltine cracker crumbs.  But with it so cold, they wouldn’t even surface to show off for the city girls.  It was sad. Other than “Surface and Eat” the little bass don’t really know too many tricks and it was supposed to be the highlight of the farm tour.

078  At least we were able to accurately predict the rest of the winter’s weather. We found a Wooly Worm with two thick, black lines. 

081  I think this means two snow storms…or not…I couldn’t find the Wooly Worm Prognostication Manual.


But the leaves and the color, the crisp bite to the air, surely that made up for the lack of fish tricks and cable car rides to the top of the mountain.

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Fall Comes to the Hollar

  The leaves are beginning to turn.  The air is crisp and when evening comes, it gets downright nippy.


   With a hard freeze coming any day now and the trellis bowed by their weight, it’s time to harvest the gourds.



  But inside- it’s warm and cozy and we are enjoying the first fire of the year in the big stone hearth.


Tomorrow morning there will be hot coffee and plenty of plump, gooey cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

Life’s always sweeter in the country.


Morning Coffee on the Back Porch

  Okay, so the date’s wrong by a month, five years and two hours…but the rest was just right.



Training Wheels for the Cycle of Life

It is dawn and the first day of bow season.  Down by the pond next door a light is on outside the tiny trailer.  I know what that means.  My city girl roots are showing.


Last night I saw Mama and her two remaining babies down by the creek, munching in the neighbor’s clover patch and I wanted to scream, “Get out of there! If you do that tomorrow, he’ll kill you!”

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Okay, I don’t know all the rules but I’m fairly certain he won’t kill the babies- Maybe not even the mama.  But I’ve watched over them since Spring.  I mourned when the trail camera caught the bobcat dragging the third baby away.  And don’t tell me it’s the cycle of life.  I work in a nursing home, remember?  So I’m down with the whole cycle of life business.


There are just some times when I wish I had a bit of control over the whole thing.  Instead, I am relegated to standing out on my back porch, shooting the moon.



See How They Grow


   The gourds finally began to grow, a surprise, probably left over from last year’s Big Ugly Fiasco…032


  By August 12th the vines were covering the left side and sprawling fast.  White blossoms began popping out all over.

079   We found 2 little gourds growing on the bottom row.


Sept. 5th…


Sept. 5th




Sept. 12th




  Sept. 21


  Sept. 26th.


  Sept. 21st…


It took a week to weigh down the basket.  Sept. 26th


Last Friday…


  Maybe two weeks before first frost?


Where the Wild Things Are…

What the neighbors must think…It’s pouring down rain and there I am, wearing my dad’s old foul weather gear and…


stalking wild bear poop…PICT0032

At least, it sure looked like huge, wild animal poop. 


Believe it or not- it was only a hard, stubby mushroom.

PICT0033   Oh, well…There’s always something of interest to be found out here where the wild things are…even in the pouring down rain.