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Category: Another Day in Appalachia

Stories that didn’t fit anywhere else.

The Man, The Myth, The Legend

My oldest friend turned 91 this past July. This is a picture from his 90th birthday. Joe Woods was super intimidating when I went to work for the Co-op in 2001. He seemed gruff, no-nonsense, and had the demeanor of the remarkably smart. For someone as wet behind the ears as I was, the best I could hope for was to stay out of the way. But as you all know, Joe is none of the above, other than the exceptionally smart part. He loves nothing better than a good joke-as long as it’s not on him. He helped me approximately 14,788,923 times during my years there. He probably repeated everything he told me at least twice. I still can’t tell you how to kill duckweed in your pond without killing your fish. I do know that you better put the lime to your garden and water in the morning if you don’t want your tomatoes to get “the rot”. I also learned to never, ever, ever ride with him, even if it’s just to Frank Allen’s. I depended on Joe daily, and I never thought twice about calling his cell phone if he was gone to the post office or “checking on some corn” out in Wears Valley. That’s why he gave it to me. And I was his IT person. This meant I showed him how…

Lets Not and Say We Did

I was taught to lie at a young age.  I also had my butt busted at a young age for lying about the least little thing. It did not occur to me until this morning, at 38 and a half years old, that I was brought up a liar.  I was frying bacon and eggs for a sandwich. I thought, “Oh, goody! We can use our new Christmas plates since this is just a sandwich and we don’t need big plates.” I then went over to the table and felt their heft as I lifted them. Maybe this wasn’t such a bright idea. I broke my new turtle glass the other day, and I didn’t want to risk these so early in their life. What if I couldn’t replace them? I mean, they’re just Wal-Mart plates but I really like them. No, not the Pioneer Woman ones they’re pushing. These are the Twelve Days of Christmas. I could just see me washing them and their soapy slickness slipping through my grasp and thirteen million pieces as it went everywhere. So I set the plate back down and thought, “Lets not and say we did.” Which. Is. A. LIE.  But that’s a passable lie, since it was always used in jest. Like when I wanted to do something that nobody else did, like go to the store, or…

GET READY!!!

These emails that say “get ready for best deal/sale of the century/ deepest discount” etc. make me wonder exactly how I need to prepare. I mean, I’m just reading. Nothing has ever came through the phone/ tablet/ computer/ pages for me. What’s fixing to happen? How do I get ready? Read under a table or desk? Hide in the closet? Bite my nails and take a Xanax? Maybe a gin and tonic? I’m just not sure…but I do like that last idea. It’s almost alarming. BLACK FRIDAY!!! They shout. Support Small Business Saturday! tout Facebook pages. Cyber Monday all day Sunday!! And don’t forget about Giving Tuesday, coming in at the end after you’ve effectively spent all your money, your end of year bonus, your grandfather’s war pension, your childrens’ college funds, and the tax refund you haven’t even applied for yet. Then all the sales are prolonged. It goes on forever. Well, I must go brace myself before opening my emails. Ta-ta for now.&nbsp…

Just Another Day

November Writing Challenge Day 16 Just another day. What’s “just” another day? Today? None are exactly the same…the all have a general theme of aggravation and reminding myself I’ve actually got it pretty good. But my day? My typical day starts between 5 and 5:38, depending on whether I get up at J’s alarm or mine. Today it was his. First things first, a quick shuffle to the water closet. I mean, this is full disclosure, right? If I remember, I take my vitamin, my allergy pill, and my blood pressure pill. I generally forget. And although some people think I’m lying, I make the bed. Ask Shug. With all 300 throw pillows (that he says he despises but secretly loves). If it’s chilly, I pull on socks and my robe and stumble my way to the coffeepot. If it’s summer, I just yawn and make my way to the couch. I scroll a little Facebook, maybe glance through emails while I try to wake up. I check the weather to see what to wear and if we can go forward with staining jobs or what have you. I think about how good Chick-fil-a would be for breakfast…or a doughnut. But maybe I should concentrate on the present and grab a Snapple and some Nabs (tip of the hat to you, Southwest Virginia readers. To the rest of the…

Vol For Life…and Death

I‘m a hopeless optimist. Ask anyone who knows me well. I stay to the bitter end, hoping against hope things will get better: my jobs, relationships, food. You name it. Don’t fault me for wearing orange. I have no more say in the matter than I do over my skin or eye color. It’s game day Saturday? Bet your best watch Amy’s wearing orange. It’s almost indeliberate and automatic. If we’re not in attendance, we’re watching from wherever we are (including the Walking Horse Celebration and a bar in Florida) and looking for the checkerboard with every play.  Sure, I’ve lost hope several times this season. It’s depressing. I’ve said for a long time-it’s hard work to be a true fan. Anybody can root for a winning team. But to support a program when they’re down and out takes a special kind of loyalty. Some may call it stupidity. But Rocky Top does something to me. And orange is never wrong. Additionally, you can always cheer on whoever is playing Alabama or Florida. Lots of ways to keep occupied as a Vol fan.  If nothing else, I can be proud of our band. Pride of the Southland never makes a false step. They’re the majority of the pageantry: the Power T that the team runs through, the…

Ode to Patsy

Here are a conglomeration of Facebook Birthdays to my reliable pickup I bought on Friday the 13th, 2000. That’s right, almost twenty years ago. She has been my everyday vehicle for the duration. She’s only had one set of brakes in her lifetime. She’s seen me through two wedding dresses (but only one wedding, think on that), three speeding tickets (all THP), and I don’t know how many French fries and fishing trips. When the finance manager at the dealership asked how long I intended to keep her, I answered firmly, “Until the wheels fall off.” I bet he would be surprised to learn that I’m still behind the wheel.  2014: Happy Birthday to Patsy, my beloved Chevrolet. She was bought 14 years ago today. It was Friday the 13th. That has proved to be exactly the opposite of a bad omen. She has been an excellent vehicle. I had $2500 in the bib pocket of my overalls for a down payment that night. My salesman was like, “you would bring cash…” Like it was a bad thing. She has hauled hay, saddles (there’s one in the seat right now), wedding dresses, bookshelves, & @$$!!! I’ve got the speeding tickets to prove it. But truly, everyone said I couldn’t afford it, I would hate being in something so big, I would go broke on the gas mileage. Gas was…

What I Like

I like fountain cokes and mountain dews in cans, I like sweet tea that crunches and Snapple because of the satisfying plop sound it makes when I open it. I’d recognize that sound in the furthest galaxy. I like cold milk with any dessert and I drink lemonade when I think of it. I like coffee flavored sugar milk when it’s below 50°. I like ice cold water first thing of the morning. I like bats and swallows, because they dine on mosquitoes. I used to like okra. I like bumper stickers (saw one yesterday that said “do you follow Jesus this close?”) I like people who drive fast but talk slow, and barbeque with cole slaw on the side. I like standing at the tide line and feeling the sand getting sucked from under my feet. I like sea turtles and sea otters and sleek seals. Simply put, I like the sea. I like trucks that aren’t afraid to get muddy. I like my tattoos, and don’t care if you do. I like eating crab legs and oysters outside on a wooden deck with never ending bottles of beer. I like fishing. I like slobbery, happy, goofy dogs who make no apologies for being glad I’m home. I like it when the tv is off. I think everybody needs a fence 🙂 I like witty church signs that make you think the congregation has a sense of humor…

Branching Out

I decided the other day I was tired of sunshiny, waxing nostalgic posts about the South. My beloved, mosquito-infested, sun-tea South. I wanted death and mayhem. It was a Stephen King kind of day. But instead of reading one of his tomes, I thought I’d try my hand at my own. There’s a little hotel in Seymour, my hometown, that’s been around since before me. Seymour isn’t a destination; it’s a place you pass through to get somewhere better. We have no attractions, unless you count McMahan’s Nursery. Generally, if you come to Seymour, you’re visiting relatives, and if they’re not crazy, you’re staying with them. If space is tight, or they don’t have a pool, you’ll stay in Sevierville. Preferably close to the Cracker Barrel. I digress. The name of aforementioned hotel is The Wayoma Hotel. I don’t know what it means, I’ve never really thought much about it. It used to have a teeny tiny pool out front, surrounded by a utilitarian chain link fence, but when I started doing my Google-based research I saw that it has been filled in and now serves as a “playground”. Read: patch of browning fescue where you might walk your dog. I’ve had it fixed in my head forever that this was a no-tell ho-tell, you…

Actions of Hypocrites

I know it, you know it, everybody knows it: Actions speak louder than words. But today, I got to see that ugly truth up close and personal. I have a new ritual. Every Friday morning that I’m not doing the secretary gig, I skedaddle down to the International House Of Pancakes to devour crepes. Usually I have a former cheerleader as my waitress, the always bubbly and pert Farrah. However, today, it seemed that I was an orphan, as I had no less than three serving my every whim. I have no idea which one I actually tipped. I was seated by a sweet girl that I would guess is of Indian origin. Indian like Taj. She offered to bring my drink while I looked over the menu. “She’ll be with you shortly,” she promised as she made her exit. “She” never appeared, so instead my hostess took my order (banana crepes with Nutella this week). Another waitress stopped by moments later to ascertain that my order had been taken. I was just sitting there, mildly enjoying the buzz of activity from people around me. The overall mood was one of merriment. I don’t know who these people are who aren’t at work on a Friday morning. They’re of all ages, and I’m typically the only one there dining alone. Frequently there are pairs of men, strictly business, chatting about this joint venture or…

Sing It With Me

It’s hard to be a woman. To be a fashionable woman, that is. First of all, hoop earrings. I didn’t know so much stuff came in contact with my ears until wearing hoop earrings. And they’re not even that ostentatious size that could double as bracelets. Just, like, nickel size. My fingers, my hair, my bracelets, keys, my shirt…I don’t know. Then there’s scarves in summer. Some women are able to pull off this accessory flawlessly. I am not one of those women. I am one of those women who just look sweaty and uncomfortable. And vaguely strangled. Because I AM. I live in Tennessee. It’s barely cold enough in January to justify them. This brings me to dresses and tops without zippers. That doesn’t sound so bad until ….dressing rooms. And then it’s too late. They slide on easily enough. Just pull them over your head and slither them over your pudgy skin. Maybe five minutes ago would have been an opportune time to try the Spanx shaping garments because now you can’t get it off. You tug, you pull, you cuss, you pray. You sweat. You panic. You wonder who is near the mall that could dash to your aid. You finally give up and hold your breath and jerk and hope you don’t hear a rip. Because then you’re either going to…