The novel I completed last week titled “Home to Big Stone Gap” said that when mountain people die they are “taking a dirt nap”. Now, I was raised a stone’s throw from there and I was not aware of that saying. I must say, I prefer that expression more than any other I have heard. Whenever I think of it though, I do chuckle a little. Mom and Dad are buried in an above ground crypt. I guess they would be taking a “tunnel nap”? Jerilyn and I plan on being cremated. I guess we would be taking a “hot nap”, or a “nap in a jug”? Maybe, an Urned nap? Aw, shucks! I could have all kinds of fun with this subject!
I was in the middle of my bike ride the other day and noticed a neighbor down the street was washing his van. We had never met. I knew him as the “Tax Man”. He worked for the City of Poquoson and was responsible for assessing the value of all homes in the city. Needless to say, he is disliked by everyone. I swing my bike over to the curb and introduce myself and so does he. I tell him that I will be retired 1 year on October 1st. He says he has been retired 3 years. I ask him how he likes being retired and he says “Oh, fine, if only I could catch up on all the chores my wife has for me”. “Bill”, says I, “I will let you in on a little known secret! I allow my wife to give me 1 chore each day, it cannot last more than a couple of hours and Saturday & Sunday are excluded”. He looked very thoughtful for a minute or so and I could see the wheels were turning in the back of his head. “I dunno”, he says, “My wife might not go along with that”. “Ok”, I say, “let me tell you how to do it. First, put a lot of your stuff on your To-do list and make sure she is aware of what you are trying to get done. Next, when she comes to you with things she wants done, pull out the ole list and let her watch while you ponder where you can work at least one of her chores in. Now Bill, here is the most important thing you have to remember: This is a weekly list, not a daily list. Do not tell your wife this. Take your time with the items on your list. Soon, your wife will get used to only getting one of her daily items on your list and you will have most of the day to do what you want to do”. I pedaled away smiling; knowing Bill would be struggling for weeks. I will check back with him in several weeks to see if he has made any progress.
I will be leaving on Tuesday, headed for western Tennessee. I have volunteered to help my son move some of his stuff here so he can start his new job on October 1st. I will be traveling in our pickup truck, so the ride will not be as comfortable as our car. Jerilyn will not be going with me, so the trip out will be a little lonesome. It takes about 15-17 hours of driving time to get there. I plan on driving halfway (Knoxville, TN) and spending the night. I have a granddaughter (Christine) that lives there, so it will give me a chance to visit with her. She is a delightful young lady, embarking upon a new career as a Message Therapist. My youngest granddaughter (Chelsea) celebrates her 15th birthday on the 30th of this month. Since we have to leave there on Saturday, September 29th, I’m hoping we can celebrate before we leave. Can I remember my 15th birthday? You betcha! Back then, Virginia let you get your driver’s license at age 15. I turned 15 on Saturday and took the driver’s test on Monday, passing of course. All of a sudden, my community became a lot less safe. If parents knew I was out with the car, they hurriedly gathered their children and took them inside. I became a menace to society. It is a blessing that they, and I, survived my recklessness. I suspect that when I boarded the bus after high school graduation and headed off to the US Air Force, there was a collective sigh of relief in our town.
My Window on The World at 9/22/2007 02:24:00 PM