Mundane Doesn't Describe It

For the slackatudinally challenged.

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Location: United States

I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting. Mark Twain, Hard work doesn't harm anyone, but I do not want to take any chances. - Unknown, I am retired and have tried to do as little as possible - slowly. Me.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Playing in the Cotton and Hay.

In Arkansas when we lived in the second house with the two stores near by, Fdad had a shop and shed behind the D’s store. On the farm we had tractors, trailers, a combine, a bushwhacker, harriers or hay rakes, and many other types of equipment. The shed and the shop were actually quite large. Fdad used the shed to store equipment and to also store trailers filled with cotton and other stuff grown on the farm.

Then there were the two barns that were close to the house. The one nearest was built upon a high round hill. The bottom or basement part was open out storage sheds on both sides. I guess you could say the ground floor or what was built on top of the hill was storage bins or rooms on each side with the middle of the barn being open enough for a tractor and trailer to drive through the barn from front to back. At the top of the barn was all open and used for hay storage. I remember really disliking this barn during hay season because you had to get the hay off the trailers and all the way up into the top of the barn. That was some backbreaking work. The second barn was about 150 yard away from the house and was by far the biggest. From the middle part of the barn to the front was all hay storage and it was a large large area. All around the back and sides of the barn were stalls and storage areas. Back at that time we had four horses and three Shetland ponies that stayed in the stalls.

Now that the lay of the land is somewhat done, I remember when my friend M would come over. One thing we used to love to do was dive bomb the cotton trailers. The rafters in the storage shed were pretty high and we would get to the top and try to do flips down into the trailer filled with cotton. I remember when I’d land in the cotton I would just seem to keep on sinking down into it. I actually think landing in the cotton was much softer than any landing I’d ever done in water. Anyhow, I’m still surprised we didn’t break out necks trying to do flip from that high into the cotton trailers.

Then there were the barns. M and I would go into where all the hay bales were stacked. The hay bales were the old rectangular one and not like the huge rolled round ones like today. We would play at mountain climbing on the bales. The big barn was so large that we climb up 25-30 feet to the top. It was fun getting to the top as fast as you could and then jumping from bale to bale to move all over the barn. One time when we were feeling very unslackerly we decided to make a castle out of the bales. We did the best we could, but I remember we made a crawl space going out from the castle. One day my older brother had been giving us a hard time, and M always with the smart mouth taunted him to the point of him wanting to beat the heck out of us. I don’t know why, but M’s smart mouth always seemed to get me into trouble too. Anyway we hightail it to the barn and make it to the castle. My brother starts to climb up to the castle, and we start pushing bales of hay down at him. From that height and angle they rolled pretty good and had a little bit of speed to them. When we had gotten the last one down on him we jump into one of the crawl space and pulled in a bale to close if off. We could hear my brother yelling at us and telling us what he was going to do when he caught us. We were inside the crawl space giggling and whispering to each other that he would never find us. There was one thing we didn’t think about though. The crawl space was pitch dark and hot, very hot. We thought my brother would go off looking for us, but he didn’t. He stayed there yelling he knew we were hiding somewhere and we couldn’t get out without him seeing us. M and I sat in the dark and sweated and sweated and sweated. So after what felt like hours, and I’m sure it wasn’t more than 10 or 15 minutes, we come baling out of the crawl space gasping for air and soaked in sweat. I was ready to take the beating I knew my brother could give to us just to breathe some fresh air and to cool off. My brother really surprised me that day. Instead of tearing into us, he saw how pitiful we looked and took pity on us. He got us out of the barn to the nearest water faucet and made us start drinking water, not that we needed that much prodding at the time. Like I said though, my brother surprised me because his usual course of action was to rain havoc down on us.

M and I escaped my brother’s wrath that day and we continued to dive bomb the cotton and climb the hay bales, but we never went back into the crawl space. We had learned our lesson on that one. I’ve thought many times before that I had a pretty good childhood. Living out on the farm you had to come up with different things to do or play. I had many wonderful carefree days and a lot of fun doing stuff as simple as jumping into a trailer of cotton or climbing bales of hay.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It Doesn’t Bode Well.

Yesterday I drove the two miles into town. In the two miles I saw something that made me think this summer is not going to be good. In the two miles I saw four big snakes that had been run over and were dead in the road. Now for those of you that know me and know how I feel about snakes, this doesn’t bode well.

From some summers back when I was weed eating at the pond and a water moccasin slithered over my foot going into the pond, I’ve sort of been hesitant just walking around the edge of it. The last couple of summers I haven’t been too worried about it because I haven’t seen that many snakes. However, when I saw the four in the road, I thought OK they’re back and they’re going to be seeing if they can give me a heart attack this year.

The thing I thought about the most was George. He doesn’t know to be afraid of anything, and if he saw a snake he would run up to it and bark and sniff. For a long time I’ve just taken him out and let him run around in the yard. Now it looks like I’m going to have to put him back on the leash. I figure if I see a snake that my natural reaction is to run like hell. At least if George is on a leash I can drag him along. Otherwise without a leash I’m afraid poor George would be left alone out there.

It’s not just with the normal snakes around here anymore. I saw a news story that has heightened my concern. It seems that down in Florida they now are having trouble with Anacondas and Pythons. The news story showed a Python that had swallowed a six-foot Alligator. Both the Python and Alligator were dead because the Python had exploded somehow. Now in the last couple of years they’ve found a couple of Alligators in ponds around here. It seems now besides the normal snakes, I have to worry about Alligators and giant snakes.

Now back to George. When I let him out just to do his business or to run around without the leash, he has his own way of hearing me. When we first go out, he’ll stay on the patio. I tell him to go on or get out there and do something. He’ll just look at me for a second or two and then walk around on the patio. When I don’t say a word, he’ll look at me again and I swear it looks like he shrugs his shoulders, and then goes out into the yard. After a good while I’ll yell at him to come on in. He does that same look, turns around and just keeps doing what he wants. No matter how many times I tell him to come on, he gives me that look like “who the heck are you talking to.” So after awhile I’ll get up from the chair and open the door and go inside. George is never out of my site, but I’ve figured he must be thinking, “he’s really going to leave me outside.” So I open the door and he’s in like a flash.

Now for the last time, back to the snakes and/or alligators and George. I figure if I see something and start yelling at George, he’ll give me that look and he’ll go over to bark and sniff at whatever is out there. So my only alternative is to put him on the leash again. Although, I’ve wondered if I could get a litter box and train him like a cat? Maybe put grass clippings down in it or something.

All I know is that seeing four snakes on the road doesn’t bode well with me. At least though, I haven’t seen any Alligators or Anacondas/Pythons on the road…………..yet.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


I talked with my youngest brother yesterday and he wants me to go to Orlando with his family and my oldest brother’s family in June. I think he has a time share condo down there and he’s trying to get all the family to come down for a week. I told him I would think about it, but I’m not too hot on the idea. For one, I know I would like to go places and look around, but I’m not able to walk that far right now, so I can see me stuck in the condo for the whole week. Two, I really love my nephews and nieces, but stuck in a condo with them for a week is a little beyond me.

My brother had taken Fmom down to Orlando with them one time. It ended up Fmom couldn’t walk that far either. When they went to Disney World they got a wheel chair for her and pushed her all around the park. My brother reminded me of that and said if I would go with them, they would do the same thing for me, and push me all around the park. So my “can’t walk far” excuse isn’t holding up at the moment. Plus I think my brother has an ulterior motive. He didn’t mind pushing Fmom around, but he said one of the benefits was with someone in a wheelchair you get to go to the head of the line.

I don’t know, but the more I think of it, the more I think I might go. I’ve been cooped up so long in this house that I’ve forgotten what a vacation is like. Of course if I go I’ll have to let my brother know that for the pleasure of my company it will have to be an all expense paid vacation. I mean that’s the least he could do.

So how has everyone’s week been going? Mine has been going slowly. My oldest brother and sil are leaving to go back to Arkansas today, so I’ll have the house to myself again. I’m more than ready for that. If for nothing else, just so George will stop barking. For the last week he has been in a non-stop barking mode.

Well everyone have a good day and take care.


Monday, May 04, 2009

First Fancy Date

Back in 06 SN gave me a list of things to write about. I just looked at the list and first fancy date struck my eye. It’s not a happy story, but here goes.

My first fancy date was when I was nine years old. There was a girl (GM) that lived across the dirt road from us, and I had a crush on her. Her mother (Mrs. M) ran a store in the front of the house and they lived in the back. If you remember from my previous story there were two stores around my house. One beside our house (The one where W and his family lived) and one about fifty yards away (GM’s house). The Wizard of Oz was coming on TV and she asked me if I would like to come over and watch it with her. Well Fmom and her mom got wind of it, and I think they were more excited about us watching TV together then both GM and I were. Fmom would not hear of me going over there unless I was dressed up. So I ended up putting on a coat and tie to walk across a dirt road to see a girl I saw ever day. Her mom was in on the whole thing with Fmom and GM had a pretty party dress on.

So as things went I got over to their house and Mrs. M was hovering all around us and making sure we had snacks and were settled on the couch to watch the show. Now this would have been a great evening except for one thing – her father. Her father was the kind of person that didn’t give a damn too much about anybody except for himself. I guess when it comes down to it you could say he was just mean. Anyway, we sat on the couch and started watching the show. About half way through it her father comes in from work. He goes straight to the TV and changes the channel to the news. He sits down and starts watching TV without a word to us or even glancing over in our direction. Needless to say I was feeling very uncomfortable, and I excused myself and left. As I was leaving I heard him yell to his wife when would dinner be ready. When I get back home Fmom asked me why I was home so early, and I tell her what happened. Obviously she was mad as could be, but looking back I don’t think it effected me that much. I mean I missed a few minutes of the show, but I got home took off my coat and tie and laid down in front of the TV and watched the rest of it. Funny enough, neither GM nor I ever mentioned what happened and it was soon forgotten about.

Spin forward about thirty-five years - Fmom and I went back to Arkansas with my brother and sil. She wanted to stop and see where we used to live. There was nothing there. No buildings, no trees – just fields planted with soybeans. It was hard to even tell where our house and the stores used to be. I have to admit that seeing where I used to live and the way it was now was a very big let down. I could remember all the carefree times I had there. All the pastures and trees and even the creek that ran down by the house. Now it was gone with nothing but open fields.

Next Fmom wanted to see GM’s parents. They had moved from where we used to live to a small town about twenty five miles away. I expected to see only the father and mother, but GM had gotten divorced and was living with her parents. We were sitting there talking for awhile, and they asked me what I had been doing. I told them I was divorced, retired from the Air Force and basically taking care of FMom. When I said this I could see GM’s eyes almost pop out. I now know how animals on the savanna feel when they’re being stalked. As soon as GM heard I was divorced and retired, she went from being formally nice to being almost all over me. Fmom, my brother and sil kept giving me these looks like what the hell is going on? We finally leave and Fmom, the brother and sil were kidding me that if we hadn’t gotten out of there sooner, that GM would have taken me straight to a church.

I thought it was funny at first, but the more I got to thinking about it the more I felt sorry for GM. From what I found out, she had been married for a good while and living in Atlanta. I don’t know the reason for her divorce, but I’d also found out she had been left with hardly anything and had to move back in with her parents. I would think that after feeling secure in a marriage and living in a big city that having to give it all up and move back to an out in the sticks little town would be very hard on anyone. That was the last time I ever saw or heard anything about her or her family. I’ve thought about her since then, and I keep hoping that she has found what she wanted and that life has been good to her.

So ends the tale of my first fancy date and a little more. I’ve thought of some of the people I grew up with out in Arkansas, and sometimes I think I would like to see how their lives had turned out. Other times I think of Arkansas as a place that I used to live but not home. I like where I live now and feel a lot more comfortable with trees, and pastures, and lakes and ponds around.

Hope everyone is doing fine and no bad weather has hit around you. Take Care.


BTW this is my 400th post!

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