Saturday, January 6, 2007


Anyone who reads this blog will now know more about me than my mother, she doesn't care anyway.
So moving right along.
One of the things I enjoy immensely is four wheeling. A several years ago I felt my lovely bride, a city/beach girl should travel to where my family roots started, to help in understanding a few things that she found odd. We left the coastal plane and in a short six or so hours we stopped in Mountain City Tenn. for the night. My comment to the effect of "we'll be in the mountains tomorrow" got me a dry look and a raised eyebrow. Sure enough another three hours or so put us at the home place. It's a few acres on a creek where most of my still living relatives reside. It even gets a couple hours direct sunlight a day...... most days. Daddy used to claim that they hauled sunlight in with a wheel barrow. That's only a slight exaggeration, they did haul corn out in a jar I know for sure.
All of my cousins, and their dogs acted as though the intervening twelve or so years were only a day or two, the wife was a little befuddled by this welcome. The cousins are fairly flexible and forgiving. I showed her the land I own, six acres so steep leaves slide off, and decided to take her up to the family graveyard. As I said, I like four wheel drive. To get to the top of the mountain you first have to turn around and back up the road from the end of state maintenance to the strip mine road,then you can resume normal navigation. It's an easy climb and a half mile or so of flat dirt road, which brings you to a three way branching, the center branch goes up but hasn't seen much use, for years. Engage the front axle, tighten seat belt, the climb puts you in the recliner position. The bride started muttering, prayers can't hurt, and all the down is on my side. The first thing we do is go under a downed tree. Did I mention that the road didn't get much use?
The climb was fairly secure over rocks and a few slick places, and the mud on top was a little less than hub deep. The house on top looks a lot like the cabin in the cartoons. When we got into the yard to say Hi, about an Ark full of Gods little creatures came out to see who was visiting. No humans, turns out that might have been good because I heard that lately the residents have been shooting at strangers, and they know my family, not me. We walked up to the graveyard and had a peep at the final resting place of the cousins. It's good the graveyard is on top of a mountain, every where you look is down, 'cause that's as close to heaven as some of those folks are going.
The real fun started on the way down. Remember the recliner position? Reverse that, now I am virtually standing up, using engine braking, easing down the road. Did I mention that the love of my life is vertically challenged? She was muttering again and all the down was on her side, she was visibly sizing the trees to see if they would catch us did we slip over the side. Then her feet slipped and she was hanging from the seat belt. My! My! That was an upset little woman. I don't believe I have ever seen any thing kick and scramble quite that way, all to no avail. I am sure the coughing and choking covered the snickering from my side. I swallowed a bug, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. That's not our last time on the trail, but that's another story.

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