"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"-MARK TWAIN

Friday, May 22, 2020

Memorial Day

There's lots of news, nowadays, about the shape our Country is in.  Depending on who's talking at which time, we're all going to die soon from the virus, or our economy is going to tank and we're all going to starve to death.  I don't have a clue as to who might be correct, but I do know one thing.

If it were not for those that have given their lives in the past, we wouldn't be here today to worry about it.  World wars I and II. Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq, Afghanistan, and so on.  Right or wrong, thousands of men gave their lives for what was believed to be the right course of action.  We need to honor their lives this weekend as we try to find the "new normal" in our lives.

What have we been doing?  Not much.  I've been helping my friend and neighbor rebuild his fences after the tornado.

We've built back about two miles worth with the assistance of his son and grandkids.

Mothers Day found us in Natchez visiting the kids and Grands.  First time we've all been together since this mess started.  Thought a crawfish boil would be the way to go as all the spices would kill the virus.

Friends purchased a new Escape fiberglass trailer and had it delivered to the Dallas area.  The original plan was to pick it up at the factory in British Columbia, but with the border issues as they are, they shared delivery expenses with another buyer.  With the price of fuel being as it is, they actually saved money, though they missed a great road trip.  They asked if we would like to meet them for a couple of days as they checked out everything on the trailer.  Mississippi state parks had just reopened campgrounds to self contained units, so we jumped at the opportunity to go camping.

Sally giving me the stink eye for waking her up.

Way back about half a century ago, I climbed lots of telephone poles. Picked up a few insulators along the way.  We had a number of them on the fence posts down our driveway before our storm in May of last year.  Wanda picked them all up as we cleared trees and debris.  They sat in a box on our porch until one day last month.  I decided to build an Insulator Tree.

Wanda is still doing jigsaw puzzles.  She does two or three a week, normally.  One of the daughters gave her this one for Mothers Day.  It took her almost a week.  A thousand piece, busy, busy, Alice in Wonderland.

The gardens growing. Squash and zucchini are in.  Might have a ripe tomato by Monday.  Corn is tasseling.  Going to be eating really good, soon.

Other than that, things are quiet on Chapman Hill.  Sally says she is ready to hit the road....


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

That Time of Year

Normally, the first of May finds us on the road someplace.  But like most everyone we know, home is the place to be.  Lots of piddling for me, and puzzles for Wanda.

She amazes me with how easily she does those things.  She  can't read a road map worth a darn, but can put together a thousand piece puzzle in just a day or two.

Our weather the past three weeks has been quite frightful.  Beginning on Easter Sunday, we had tornadoes develop just east of us that destroyed lots of property and killed fourteen people.  Then the following Sunday we had one develop just south of us which killed one, while devastating an area almost a mile wide and nearly sixty miles long.

Last Thursday(April 23) our phones awakened us at 3AM for a tornado warning.  Clicked on the television to find that the tornado was only miles from our house, and we were in its direct path.  We quickly got dressed, grabbed Sally, and got in our middle bathroom. Almost immediately our lights went out and we heard it coming.  Never before had we heard the sound so many speak of.  That train coming.  We heard it loud and clear as we cowered down.  I don't know if  I've ever felt more relief than when we heard that train leaving.  Heavy rain was falling as I opened our front door.  Pitch black darkness, but I knew it hit close.  I could smell the broken pines on the wind.  We called all our neighbors to check on them.  All were shaken, but no one was hurt.  One knew he had damage to his home, but with darkness we couldn't assess much.

As it became light, we could see the path.  It missed our property by a couple hundred yards, but devastated our neighbors farm.  Actually missed his house by a scant twenty yards.  His barn and many outbuildings destroyed.

                                                   Our power lines under those trees.

Many of you have seen pictures of what we call our little lane.  It's the road past our house, and the one we walk most days.

This is what it looked like on Thursday morning.

I spent the day Thursday with a chainsaw in hand, helping to clear our road in both directions.  We live in the country, and waiting for the local government isn't really an option.  Friends helping friends always works better.  We spent Friday doing much the same, helping out where we could.  Saturday we slipped off to the bayou for a little time with family.  We social distanced best we could, and had a great time. 

Saturday afternoon as we returned home the power company was working on our road.  About 9:30 Saturday night our power was restored.  One can't say enough about what a great job those guys do in such adverse conditions.

Sunday morning was quiet in the neighborhood.  Everyone was worn out.   We decided to take a walk down our lane.

                                            I don't think it will ever look the same......jc

Monday, April 13, 2020

A Status Report

Though we have been living a pretty boring life the past six weeks or so, we have received numerous calls and emails since Sunday, checking on our well being.  Mississippi was blessed on Easter day with not one, but two, devastating tornado's.  Both developed within a few miles of our home, and traveled parallel paths about ten miles apart for nearly a hundred miles.  They traveled through mostly rural areas, but one small town was destroyed, and eleven people lost their lives statewide.  We only sheltered in the bathroom one time, and were unscathed except for about four inches rain.

What have we been doing?  From March 8th, through the 15th. we were at a campground in Alabama.  We, along with eight other original founders of the Green Eggs and Ham Gathering, met up at Millers Ferry campground.  The original home of the rally.  We had an uneventful, but fun time together.  The Corona virus was just beginning to get some local press coverage.

Shortly after returning home we began to get clues of what was to come.  New Orleans, which is only a hundred miles away, was being ravaged by the virus.  Louisiana was one of the first places in the nation to initiate a stay at home order.  Hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and bread became hard to find.  Schools were closed until further notice.  Things were getting serious.

 I received the first, of what was to become many, reservation cancellations for our planned travels in April and May.  Since our planned trip back to the Southwest was off, I decided to plant a garden.  Haven't had one since 2009, when we hit the road.

We are blessed that our daughter and son-in-law own a camp on a bayou in northern Louisiana.  It is about a two hour drive from our house.  We can leave home with a full tank of gas, stay there during the week while they work, and return home without having to stop for anything. 
A welcome change of scenery.  We've been over a couple of times.  The Crappie were spawning a couple weeks ago, and we caught a few before rain shut them down.  Nothing like fresh Crappie filets.

Back at home, we take morning walks, Wanda works jigsaw puzzles, and I piddle at different things each day.

My brother and I have started another little house.  The first in five or six years.  It's going to be a deer camp, deep in the woods of Yazoo(yaa-zoo) county.

   Walmart pickup makes grocery shopping tolerable, and we're eating too well.  

We order to-go plates from our local restaurants a few times each week to help them stay in business.  Our Lord only knows what shape our Country is going to be in when this mess is over.

Keep the faith, stay safe,  and pray things return to near-normal, soon......jc