Here’s to the grand holiday season starting today, all the family get-togethers and sharing.
Why did I post that egregiously egotistic thing about a Navy bigshot pinning a whoopee medal on me? Short answer: I wanted somebody to know something about me, what made me who I am.
I have lived here deep in a western Kentucky hardwood forest (I own 93 acres of it) for over 20 years alone. Early on, my older brother did come around, but it was to steal anything he could. He walked off with my building supplies, tools, food, paint supplies, insulation and broke in while I was in town working. I bought dwarf fruit trees to make a small arbor. He stole them and my gardening tools.
My Mama lived her last two years here 2015-2017 and regardless of the way she treated me as a child, I took her to explore foreign places, made her new clothes and cared for her all I could. The sister five years younger than me has not spoken to me since I lived in San Diego and came to South Carolina to visit her and Mama about 30 years ago. My other sister ten years younger does email me a few times a year and helped me set up a storefront that never sold one item. She hits the ‘like’ button on my posts. They both live in Pennsylvania.
I have no neighbors within a mile. A logger with EPA credentials came by every few weeks early on to do practical and concise logging to help the forest and continued for a while as I worked in a city tobacco processing plant where I could bring home bags of loose-leaf tobacco for him. He sometimes brought his wife and they helped my do things around the cabin. When I got a new manager at that job that hated me and harassed me to nearly ashes and then fired me, no more free tobacco, the logger and wife quit coming.
I wrote many stories, some posted on this site. I wrote science fiction books, a bat book, short story books, historic fiction books and none ever sold, not one. I do surrender my beloved decades long book collection on ABE Books as Old Lady Who and do sell a bare few. I live off the retirement fund from the place that fired me. I work diligently on keeping the cabin up, doing all I can with lots of tools and a very tall ladder, alas without any help.
Now the only humans I physically see are at the Post Office and grocery, occasionally the hardware store. I am an introvert but still wish there were some I could talk to as friends. None. I get very depressed at holidays (such as those hurdling my way now) as no family comes around and there is no reason to cook anything special or decorate. Nobody in this area, the little towns north, east, west or south, know me for who I am or ever visit. I get a truck delivery of something I ordered every blue moon, that’s it. I really miss working at my city jobs where I could bring in cookies and cupcakes for sharing and fun but nobody here wants to hire anyone in their 60’s, especially a woman.
I just wanted somebody to have an idea of who I am. I apologize for the poor editing of that Vets post. I did correct it. Please do not leave this blog. I promise not to do anything like that or this long letter again. I will post nature pictures and some of the things I have painted or otherwise made as before. Positive comments brighten my day.
If anyone did read this far, thank you greatly, I appreciate it.
Being a Navy Machinist Mate, Nuclear Grade for quite a while, I learned great respect for all the military. I was never in a war, but I (as the only woman qualified to to) did go into the reactor compartments on nuke submarines as part of repair crews to fix or provide needed inspections. I specialized in radiation and contamination control and learned much about the ways of shielding and dosimetry.
The initial thing I did after over a year of nuke schooling was to catch the USS Dixon in Honolulu, their first WestPac cruise stop. We went from there to the Philippines and on to Diego Garcia where the US and British have secret ops that are well guarded. After two months there servicing the ships and subs coming in from the Mideast where there was a terrible hostage situation going on, we headed for Australia!
Over half the way there, the old ship had a rusted part of the side that caved in and we started to sink during a storm. Most people on the ship were scared and puking or looking as if they were about to. I wandered all around the ship with candy bars and chips checking them out, then went out to observe the welders leaping over the side to place a large metal bandage over the hole.
We eventually got to Sydney and while the repairs were made more permanent, I explored the country with the guys and loved it! We stayed there about a week, then aimed back to Hawaii where I got to look around much more than before. Back in port at Ballast Point near San Diego, I worked on the submarines, and we visited many other places like Acapulco, Seattle and more.
It has been decades now, but today I think back of my old buddies and the valiant shipmates and the submariners I met and had good times with. The medals? One was for being a nuke mechanic, one was for crossing the equator at the world timeline and the last (the one with the big star, the Navy Achievement medal) was for working with a team on the Dixon to create a working method to solidify the submarine reactor water purification water granular media filtration onboard our ship instead of heaping up more and more hot drums in warehouses on land. Some of those stored drums were there so long that they leaked or otherwise became partially rocked up making solidification impossible.
The Secretary of the US Navy flew in to pin that medal on me as all the crew watched. When I had to turn and speak into the microphone, I heartily announced that the crew and the team I have worked so diligently with were the key. The pic below is the initial thing we started that project with, removed so we could make the changes to enable proper function of the concrete powder application. The team secretly decontaminated, cleaned and got a plaque made that surprised the heck out me. I have it hung in my cabin now. We were indeed a fine set of sailors.
“Ma’am, why did you insist I come in so late?” He sat before her window, barely opening his mouth, hands in his lap.
The clerk looked over to him and pulled her professional smile to the right side of her face. “To tell you that you are approved for an interview and to get you application corrected. As for the lateness, we’re getting lots of applications and have to put in overtime; you’re the last one tonight.” As she returned her gaze to her screen, she added, “I would suggest you get a haircut and shave before Tuesday!”
He tried to grin a bit. ““Ma’am, I did fill out the form correctly, and I will be clean shaven and well dressed for Tuesday. Forgive the way I look now; this was just not a good time for me to be here.” He stifled a growl.
She found his form and perused it. “Mr. Wolf, sorry, Mr. Jansen, anyway, you stated your first name was Were? Are you foreign?”
He almost put his clawed hand on his forehead in distress. He slapped it back to his lap and said, “Uh, no, my name is Thomas. It should be Thomas Jansen; you were right after all.” He unconsciously peered deeply into her eyes and licked his lips.
The Tuesday morning interview went quite well. Tom, dressed like a professional, shook the Director’s hand as he was told he got one of the Forest Ranger jobs and that training would begin the coming Monday. A Forest Ranger! Nature! The beautiful wildflowers and waterfalls! The tasty hikers!
Avo entered the huge gathering and surveyed those present. ‘Hmmm’, he thought, ‘they need some agitation!’
He whirred up above the crowd and shouted, he bragged and flouted, “I am the ghost with the most!”
He followed with describing his various haunts, his many jaunts; he was the best, no jest!
The host of the meeting zoomed up, furious! “Why do you claim such fame; we’re all curious! Come on spook!” In a lower voice he belted out, “You stupid kook! Tell us the reasons for touting to be Sir Supreme for all the seasons.”
Avo took the form of a gaunt old ancient fellow in a flowing white toga. “I am a ghost from the Elder Days, I’ve learned all the languages and all the ways.” He peered into the avidly listening crowd. “I’ve haunted ships and gamblers’ chips, I’m the most knowing and the best at showing my outlines in hallways and as a child in public walkways.” He paused a few seconds before adding, “I’ve aided magicians with alchemy and helped students in more than one academy.”
He started flowing around the large room, his toga longer and then got more serious. “I’ve brought true loves together, I’ve warned ones at risk of vicious weather, I’ve prodded little children to better obey and I’ve taught teens not to be frivolous and stray.” He drifted to a tall cabinet and sat up straight. “I’ve urged drillers to think about solar lighting and spent time with the intolerant to stop their incessant fighting. Sometimes I wear a toga, sometimes a jacket and hood; whatever it takes to enlighten the baddies to do good!”
The host ghost looked cowed. He said, “Yes, you are the best.” Then he bowed.
The group below gathered up and screamed, “You’re the best we’ve ever dreamed!”
Avo smiled. He had much to teach those wafting ghouls, they couldn’t all be fools! Perhaps some could be useful tools?
I’m Bobo and I want to belong SOMEWHERE! I go from here to there and on to everywhere to find somewhere to rest. All I find is people who can’t see me or get afraid or even mad. Depressing that nobody will give me a chance.
I thought about it for a long time and finally got brave enough to slip into a school. The kids laughed, poked pencils through me and sang out, “Pukey Spooky” and “See-through Boohoo” until I had to speed away. So much for thinking those about my age would accept me.
My habit for years since I lost my family has been to pick out a car or truck in a parking lot, driveway or even going down the road and slip into the back. I like somebody taking me somewhere more than wafting around by myself. I’d gotten bored with going driveway to a parking lot and back. No fun. So, I tried to pick out a different style vehicle.
“There!” I liked this stretched out, shiny car and without a thought popped right into the back. I swirled around the big, long box in the back. It had handles and seemed fancier than the cardboard boxes I’d travelled with before. I was tempted to stick my head inside and see what it contained, but the car pulled into a strange place with lots of stones with writing on them. That grabbed my attention alright!
They stopped and opened up the back door. They took the box out and I followed with lots of curiosity. There were many people that watched the box get put into a deep hole!”
“I haven’t seen you here before, child.”
The spook stood next to me and being startled, I zipped up into a tree.
“Come on down, I won’t hurt you. I’m Dargano and I can help you.”
Bobo flitted down beside Dargano. “You’re just a spook like me. Can you help me find a place to belong?”
Dargano smiled. “We are spirits, sometimes called ghosts. Spook is a mean thing to call us. And yes, I know how to get you back into a loving family.”
“Really? How, please, tell me how!” I felt more thrilled than I could ever remember.
Dargano led me into a nearby building. I thought it was a school at first and cringed up close to my new friend.
“This is a church. The thing you need to do is call on an angel. Ask the angel to place you into a new family because you were such a small child when you died. I believe she’ll do that for you since I feel you are a nice and gentle spirit.
Bobo went to the ‘altar’ and asked for an angel. One came soon.
“I am Gisella, your Guardian Angel. I am the one who led you to the hearse to come here; Dargano works with us to locate the lost ones like you.” She grasped his hand.
Bobo turned and grinned at Dargano who waved back. “Thanks friend!” Then he went away with his angel.
Aldor pondered his mental itch with worry; he needed it scratched in a great hurry. “I want to do sly conjuring like any other warlock. But my brain feels like a store completely out of stock. I need a witch to assist with some spelling issues; right now, they’re giving me the bluest of blues!”
He assembled his crew and ordered each to find an appropriate witch or two. Soon they came back with witches by the pack. He had his Aide go sort them to find the best specimen.
“Let’s begin! Bring her in!” His smile bent to a frown as he thrust his fist out thumb down. “Blonde curls and a floral skirt that whirls?” Where’d they get these girls?
“Next and make it better!” What he saw was a girl in a pink sweater. “Ugh! Pitch that witch!” He sat back in his chair after smoothing his hair. “Bring another one on! If she’s not right, I’m gone!” They’d resent it, but he meant it!
He bent down to peer, whispering, “What have we here?” He stood tall with fists on hips. “Look, she’s doped or asleep!” He stared at his Aide, “Your errors are getting steep! Twitch that witch and go!”
He considered leaving all this, all this ‘no hits and miss, miss, miss’. He began to rise, then she caught his eyes. “Oh wait! That one!” Ahhh, her pointy hat, her stout wand, her black cat! “Come hither, darling,” he coaxed while admiring her black dress and cloak that shined like a starling. She strode close to him with a mystical look. She stopped at his feet and reached into her robe to pull out: The Scariest ABC Spelling Book. She laid it on his lap and raised her hand with a finger snap. She stated, “Aldor, it’s up to you to read it and also to heed it. I’m finished!” She waved her wand and poof, she vanished!
I heard some seriously hard knocking recently and walked all around the cabin (noting the grass needed mowing among other things) and finally saw the culprit: Woody Woodpecker!
True, there are holes up there with wood bees. Woody, I don’t need the holes even bigger! That’s what I get for living deep in a wild forest…and I would not trade it for anything!
Wow, the Dog Days of Summer should be done anyway, you know, when Sirius the Dog Star aligns with Sol and we all sweat and guzzle water. We had the heat waves alright; they should be gone for a while. And we’re only in the 90s today (humph).
I haven’t used any air conditioning in the cabin or car all summer and don’t intend to start now. On the inferno days I just work in the underground basement where it’s like a 20 degrees cooler respite. Except being down there made me notice several issues that need attention…oh well.
Oops! Barky heard me jabbering!
The cabin is rather large; I designed it to have enough room for all I needed until I go up yonder. Thus, the room over the built-in 2 car garage is the Art Room and Library. I have been reading since I learned to walk but did not begin acrylic floorcloth painting until I got here and read an art book on that very subject. I ordered a roll of sturdy canvas and went to it! These pictures are of the first floorcloth I ever made.
The color in the print area isn’t as white as it once was, the floorcloth was rolled up and stashed in a corner for far too long.
Here’s the whole thing. I finally decided to actually use it and now it is a prominent part of the living room!