Put away your long-johns, Union-suits and Mackinaws. Get out your tank tops, Bermuda shorts, and sun dresses. Summer is coming. Well, it’s headed our way, but, sure, it has a long way to go to get here. Still, the shortest day of the year has passed and now the days they’re getting longer. As my ol’ pappy, Czar E. Yield, used to say, “When the days start getting longer, the cold starts getting stronger.” I hope Czar’s old saying proves wrong this year.
I have another trip to Tennessee to report on. Ol’ Nevah and I trekked to Nashville 10 days before Christmas to see our Tennessee grandson graduate from Belmont University. We left on a Wednesday and got to Springfield, Mo., where we overnighted with cousins and dined at the Bass Pro store with them and a favorite old college buddy, The Bull. His name has more to do with his stories than his physique. 😉
The next day was foggy and rainy all the way to Clarksville, Ky. We did eat at a good spot for rednecks — The Catfish House, located right on the Cumberland River.
The next day was an easy hour-long drive to the Air B&B our Tennessee family had rented for the post-graduation party and for overnighting. Before the family arrived from Pigeon Forge, Nevah and I struck out on some sightseeing. We landed at the Willie Nelson & Friends Museum and Merchandise Store, quite close to the Grand Ol’ Opry.
That was a treat if you like Willie and the old country music greats. I not only learned stuff I didn’t know, but I also bought a white cap with a logo that’s age appropriate for me. It says: “Born in the USA — long, long time ago.”
When we left Willie’s Museum it wuz noon and as soon as we hit the sidewalk we discovered a good food aroma wafting our way from the establishment next door — The Nashville Palace. When we walked in, a waiter said we were just in time for the start of the live noon radio program of station WMOT. Sure ‘nuf. As we sat down to order our meal, the first live talent came on stage and performed for 15 minutes. Before we left, four country or folk music acts had performed. That kind of stuff happens often in Nashville.
The grandson’s graduation ceremony was relatively short and sweet. It’s good to see grandchildren taking important educational steps in life. Plus, we got to meet our grandson’s most pleasant girlfriend.
Next morning the whole family went to breakfast at a hole-in-the-wall breakfast eatery named the Nashville Biscuit Company. The line wuz long so we figgered the food wuz good. We figgered correctly. Goes to show that outward appearances have little to do with the taste of the food in an eating establishment.
After parking lot goodbyes, we headed for Memphis, after a decision to return home by the southern route so we could visit our friends and accountants, the Penn Cilpushers in Rogers, Ark. That day was intermittent rain all the way to Memphis. We stopped for an hour at the Bass Pro/Ducks Unlimited Pyramid on Mud Island and bought a few Christmas gifts.
We overnighted north of Little Rock and ate at a build-it-yourself pizza joint. Turns out, we built ourselves a delicious pizza amidst a big bunch of fun-loving Arkansas Razorbacks fans.
The next day we detoured a few miles to drive through the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville. Lots of new buildings going up on that establishment of higher learning.
We spend Sunday night with our friends in Rogers and caught up on all the news in both our families and shared a bit of pre-Christmas cheer. Monday the weather finally turned sunny and, after stopping in Parsons, Kan., and visiting a bit with old and new friends at Farm Talk newspaper, we arrived home. As we turned in the driveway, I told Nevah, “Well, we cheated highway death again.”
I want to mention that the eastern half of Arkansas is one big loblolly. It’s as wet as wet can be. The rice fields are winter-flooded and the creeks are overflowing. In short, it’s a muddy mess.
Received an email Christmas joke that I liked a lot. It said Nancy Pelosi saw an example of Christmas spirit that warmed her liberal heart. In San Francisco, she saw a well-heeled man in an expensive suit give his wallet, his watch, his ring, and his smart phone to a shabbily dressed man on the street having only a knife.
Bumper snicker of the day: “Heaven has a wall and strict immigration policies. Hell has open borders.”
A devout agrarian tells his pastor, “I have a strong desire to live to eternity. What am I supposed to do to make that happen?”
With nary a second thought, his pastor replied, “Get married.”
“Is it really that simple?” the agrarian replied. Would getting married allow me to live forever?”
“No,” my son, the pastor intoned sadly, “But the desire will disappear.”
No wisdom for the week. Just have a good ‘un — HAPPY NEW YEAR, that is!