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  • The Young Prince and I got home last night from a mission trip to Appalachia. About half the boys in his class spent a couple of days helping out with cleanup and rebuilding at a home that was damaged in recent flooding.
  • The area we went to is an old coal-mining area. My memories of rural Russia and parts of Latin America kept jumping up as we drove around.
  • For Boo and his classmates, we may as well have been driving around on Mars.
  • Most of these kids are significantly higher on the socio-economic ladder than the folks we met, and I think they got quite a bit out of it.
    • A couple of them, on the other hand, wouldn’t know humility if it wore a “Hi, my name is: “ name tag.
  • I’ve worked with small explosives, been shot at, and been on multiple aircraft who decided to see what was going on 3,000 feet lower in about 2 seconds, and I’ve never been more nervous than the first time I watched these boys use a circular saw.
  • Day one was all new and fun. Day two was sore muscles and ‘let’s get this done!’
  • It helped that a group of girls from their grade had gone on the same trip a few weeks before, so they had a goal to get more accomplished than the ladies.
  • In 3 days, we went through all 4 seasons. It was chilly and rainy on Wednesday, warm and sunny on Thursday, and pouring down rain on Friday. The trees were even changing colors.
    • The boys seemed to roll with it, although a couple had to be reminded that they were not made of sugar and would not melt.
  • Thursday evening, we went to a bluegrass music performance. The look on these young men’s faces was comical when we walked in.
    • Apparently, mandolin and banjo were not on their list of previous experiences.
    • Over time, they got into it and a few went to the dance floor to join the crowd.
    • A few of them even danced with females.
  • The ministry we worked with provided very nice facilities for us to stay at. I had my own small room, which was worth its weight in gold because it was far enough away from the boys that I couldn’t hear them for a few minutes.
  • It only took 3 times of me asking the nice lady running the dining facility if she needed any help and being being told, nicely, no, for me to get the hint. It was then that I remembered that I was in Appalachia, not Louisville, and that was her kitchen.
    • I may be assuming a bit here, but I seemed to be more than welcome to partake of her fare, and to even make a pot of coffee using her pre-measured coffee portions, but she was emphatically in charge of cooking and cleaning.
    • I knew I was going to be working with a matriarchal system, but I forgot it was that kind of matriarchy.

Today’s Earworm

Thought for the Day

Thought for the Day

Today’s Earworm

Thanks, Bud. God be with you.

A Decision Has Been Made

The other day, Irish Woman and I were discussing our plans for the yard this year. She wants to relocate some blueberry bushes and put in another vegetable bed.

I commented about how the lawn mower needed its annual service, and that we’d probably be doing our first cut of the year by the end of March.

That’s when the… discussion started.

It appears that since we moved to our current house, I have been monopolizing the time spent riding around on the lawn mower. I have, with malice and forethought, given up about 1/4 of my weekend to mow, trim, and clean up our yard.

How awful of me. To go out on a Saturday morning, gas up the John Deere, and spend two hours mowing the lawn. Then, I put a battery in the string trimmer and whack weeds and edge along the driveway and sidewalk. I oppressively make sure the areas around the mailbox, trees, power poles, and the still-unused basketball goal are neat.

And let us not forget the pure ecstasy of using a leaf blower to get all of the clippings and dirt off of the sidewalk and driveway so that they aren’t permanently stained green the next time we drive or walk upon them.

I am robbing, yes robbing my family of the enjoyment of having to take a shower until the water no longer runs green. I am denying them the joy of having a pair of shoes so nasty by July that I have to throw them out in September.

Why, I am even taking away the joy one gets when you are 30 feet away from being done and have the weed whacker run out of string or battery, or both.

To atone for these and other sins, I have made a decision, in keeping with my powers as Pater Familias.

This year, I ain’t mowing a damned thing.

Instead, I shall sit upon my deck, drinking coffee, and watching the grass grow on Saturday mornings. I shall refrain from purchasing lawn mower parts, not even the fuel needed to have the movable feast that is riding a lawn mower through clouds of gnats and straining grass clippings out of a beverage with my teeth.

Instead, I shall leave that pleasure to the ones I love. In fact, I will leave it all to them. Far be it from me to deprive my son of the lesson of getting out of bed at the crack of dawn on a Saturday so that you can start that mower up right at 8 AM.

My wife will know the joy of having to set a calendar event on Friday night to make sure the batteries for the weed whacker and leaf blower are charging before she goes to bed.

I, on the other hand, will know the shame of sitting in their usual spot, watching someone else toil. Perhaps I shall sip coffee, or maybe even iced tea. I shall, on occasion, take a cold beverage out to them, then get pissy when they neither see nor hear me trying to get their attention.

Oh, my family, how I have wronged you. Fear not, for I have recognized my sins, and will endeavor to not repeat them. Enjoy the chlorophyll tattoos on your calves and ankles, the chigger bites, and the sunburns. I shall do my penance by doing things in the air conditioning for a summer.

That Woman is Trying to Kill Me

But I will die happy.

You see the ingredients for a ‘confection’ that Irish Woman is making for the fish fry tomorrow night. I’ll calling it Cinnamon Catholic Crack. She’s going to have people stroking out in diabetic shock just from contact, and I don’t think they could survive making cookie crumb angels with this.

Didn’t know you could buy this in bulk. All I need now is a mirror and a razor blade.

This may be my last transmission. I have been warned to keep my hands off, but I’m thinking it’s worth the promised untimely demise.

Today’s Earworm

Overheard in the Living Room

She Who Shall Not Be Named – Hey, that bourbon tasting is coming up again.

Me – Cool. You want to go again?

SWSNBN – Oh, yeah. It was great last time we went.

Me – Sure, we can go. But this time, it’s my turn to drink.

SWSNBN – Oh, then I don’t need to go.

Me – ….. What the shit?

Today’s Earworm

I don’t always listen to this kind of music on headphones while I work, but when I do, so does everyone else in the cube farm.

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