Friday, October 28, 2011

Kind People

Today is a rainy, cold and raw day.
LC and I had planned to go to a high school football game tonight.
The same high school that both of my sons graduated from.
One of the teams that my son works as an Athletic Trainer for is playing there tonight. 
He just called telling me that he is very sick with stomach flu but still has to work and is coming to the house to sleep for a while before working the game.
So he will come here and sleep, head to the game and we will head out tonight on a cold and rainy and raw night to watch the game.............

We have been trying to sell our trailer for a few weeks now. 
Some calls of interest, but no-one interested enough to actually come to the house to see it.
But while LC was on the phone with the boat owner yesterday he received a call from yet one more interested person about the trailer.
Yesterday we bought the boat. 
This morning we sold the trailer for exactly the same amount.
I do not really believe in "fate"
But over the years I have been constantly surprised at how life seems to have a way of working itself out.
Concerned about the GMC pulling so much weight across country we tried for a short while to sell my Chevy Silverado in Cody so that we could buy a 3/4 ton, but as with Juneau nobody wanted a two-wheel drive truck.
We tried all over the state and in parts of Montana and Idaho to trade it without success.
And then one day we saw a red 3/4 ton on a local car lot and were shocked and surprised and pleased when they said they would trade my Silverado even for the red 3/4 ton.
It turned out to be a beast of a vehicle - pulled the trailer without problem, eats a lot of gas but less than we had steeled ourselves for, and we both love the lines of it.
The same holds true with the trailer.
We looked all over the state for a 16 foot trailer that we could afford.  The ones we could afford were already gone by the time we contacted the owners.
We had reserved a Uhaul just in case we could not find one in time, but hated to throw the money away.
We both looked non-stop (both for the truck and the trailer) online, in people's yards and constantly on every sales lot and in every parking lot we passed.
And then finally we found a dented and beat up frame of a trailer right in Cody that looked like a piece of junk and was priced as such.
Using a friends' garage LC and the friend welded parts, undented frames, painted and pieced, scrounged matching tires, fully wired it and then called in a favor for wood for sideboards.
Working day and night for days while I packed up the house my intrepid Mountain Boy built a trailer.
That got us home.
And then got us a boat..................
Yes, a blog of random pictures...............

The house is still in chaos but the chaos is a little less every day.
A bad picture taken late in the day of part of the green and white living room that I painted last weekend.
A lady that I used to work with gave us the couch which was a wonderful and unexpected surprise for which we are very grateful.
It's a name brand couch but I do not remember the name, and they were replacing it with a new one in their own home.
My lobster trap has been all the way to Alaska and back and surprisingly made it in (more or less) one piece.............
LC laughs and shakes his head sometimes because sometimes I take pictures of the most ridiculous things.
I photographed this cantaloupe while we were still holding up at M&M's cabin last month impatiently waiting for nasty people to move out of our house.
It was a huge and perfect and perfectly delicious cantaloupe that was grown locally and purchased at a country gas station slash convenience store.
It cost all of $1.50.
Two of my colleagues up in Juneau were a married couple who were also from Tennessee.
We worked in the same field and probably attended the same conferences but did not meet each other until Juneau.
The woman told me while we were all still up there that she had seen a sign in a grocery store for "Cantaloupe 89 cents" so of course bought one.
She did not realize that the fruit was actually 89 cents a pound until she was checking out and ended up paying more than $6 for it.
I heard about it for days.
She and her husband are no longer in Juneau, leaving about sixteen months after they arrived............
When I was eighteen years old I bought an old platter at a flea market for $5.
It was a fancy shape, had flowers in the center and fancy gold decoration around the outside and although it was an unusual thing for an eighteen year old girl to buy I soon became its proud owner.
I moved out of my parents home when I was seventeen and worked nights in a donut shop to support myself during my last year of high school.
My parents moved back to Australia when I was eighteen and I elected to stay in Canada and through the years that beloved platter went everywhere I went.
When my oldest son got married a few years ago one of the gifts that I gave to him and his wife was that platter.
I bought this one about a month ago at a yard sale.
A $2 find. 
It is not as ornate.  Not as fancy.  A little stained. 
But I like it and right now, until it finds a better home it is resting on my kitchen table.............
Not too long after LC and I began living together we stayed for a few days in a mobile home owned by someone that my Mountain Boy knew well.
LC headed up there mid-week and I met him there a few days later.
The place is known as "Top Of The World"
Nowadays it is gradually being taken over by well-to-do residents and those who can afford fancy weekend homes since it borders the Smoky Mountains.
But in back of those well-to-do homes are many side roads that wind up into the mountains and that are barely passable during the Winter, with residents who have lived in the area for generations.
They are mountain people with "mountain folk sensibilities".
Primarily very poor.
Many who barely, if at all, could be classified as law abiding.
LC knew many of them through his work in law enforcement.
One of those people is Eddie.
Barely law abiding - at least in terms of never having spent time in prison - Eddie has a long and very very colorful history and law enforcement knew him well because although Eddie often skirted the law he also knew everything about everybody.
A bad guy but not a BAD guy.
He is older now.
More settled.
With a ready smile.
A man who was a wonderful and very sweet man with me and I instantly felt comfortable in his presence.
We stayed at a mobile home owned by Eddie and while we were there my retired cop and a man who used to be one of the toughest rednecks on the mountain spent hours around the campfire laughing and telling tales about days past.
I had a wonderful time with these two grizzled men.
Listening to sometimes unbelievable stories of life in the mountains................
While at the Top of the World we also visited Tree Topper.
He is Native American and Tree and LC met each other in Vietnam.
Tree was pulled by LC and his team out from a deuce and a half - along with a handful of dead American soldiers.
Surprisingly Tree was badly injured but not dead, and he was medivaced to a hospital and then sent stateside.
Tree and LC met up with each other one more time in Vietnam and then once in Florida before losing touch with each other.
Fast forward a bunch of years and LC received a call on the radio for an out of control Vietnam vet.
When he answered the call it was Tree Topper.
LC talked him down and they have been friends ever since.
Tree got his nickname because he has spent many years cutting down trees - literally climbing to the top and then cutting his way down.
His head is often still in the Vietnam era. 
Someone unable to put it behind him as much as Vietnam vets are ever able to put their time over there behind them.
The first time I met Tree he told me that he had lost a lot of muscle mass since "getting hit in the head with that cannon ball".
When he said that I looked at him inquisitively, because that is just not a sentence one hears everyday.
And he explained that he uses a cannonball on a chain to weigh down lower limbs so he can cut them.
A wonderful, sweet, chivalrous, tortured individual who touched my heart when I met him for some reason that is still a mystery to me.
I like him very very much.
He lives in this house and has been building another home on the same property for what seems like forever.............
The trailer we stayed at during that long July 4 weekend...........
And a couple of pictures of the inside.
Decorated in Early American Redneck............
During our time up on the mountain LC showed me some of his old patrol area.
In the early stages of our relationship it was strange to hear some of the stories of what had happened in this parking lot, or that house, or that bar, or this pull off.
The silly stories made him laugh and there were many.
The horrific stories made him quiet and there were also many.
A life different from anyone I have ever known..............

We drove the Dragon's Tail which was also part of his patrol area:

It was a long weekend of learning more about my Mountain Boy, seeing for myself exactly where so many stories he had told me took place, and meeting other mountain boys.
It was a very good weekend................
When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.........Abraham Joshua Heschel

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