which meant one step up on the porch, carrying wood, one step down on the ground, repeat until wood off ground and onto rack. The large piece, left, will be used as a back porch table; a sweet reminder of the gift of the sugar maple. In the interest of full disclosure, the back side is what I did before leaving to do errands. The front is what Faith did when she came to help yesterday. Still, immodesty bids me also tell you, Faith is 2/3 my age; she’s 21 to my 62 so your adulation and praise should not be withheld on my behalf (HAHAHAHAHA).
There’s one more wood rack to fill and, in the next few days, the boys will be along with black locust. I’ve got a couple of things to finish in the house and then let Ole Man Winter come! But, not until then please and thanks.
Coming home yesterday, of course I stopped to take photos.
A beautiful white tailed deer.
The Cove from another direction. This taken from about where the “Half Mile Tree” stood until it succumbed to Father Time and Mother Nature. The tiny white spot, about center left is the Cove church, no longer used for services. Thistle Cove Farm cannot be seen due to the rolling nature of the landscape and much of the land in this photo belongs to the estate of Smiley Ratliff, a local southwest VA (Grundy, Buchanan County) boy “who done good”…very, very, very good. Dave and I were welcomed into the Cove by Smiley, long before we knew who Smiley was. To us he was simply a kind man, a good neighbor who invited us to his home for cook-outs and a good time. If you click on his name, you’ll read a Washington Post article that describes Smiley and our part of Appalachia to a T. In the 1950’s Smiley was on the cover of Time magazine. Like I said, a southwest VA boy who done good…very, very, very good for himself and a lot of others.
As an aside, when we first moved to the farm, a young lad who helped us told me he used to play junior varsity football. I asked him why he’d quit and he replied, “Waelll, we’un’s ‘uld play agin Grundy and I’d be on the line and look up and that thar feller ‘n front of me ‘uld have a mustash. Heck, Miss Sandra, that just ain’t right…them Grundy boys go back to school in September so they’uns could play football and they’d quit by Christmas. Some of them had been in the 8th grade 3 and 4 times!”
Smiley coached Buchanan High School football and was once asked what was the best pass defense. He replied, “A quarterback lying in a pool of blood, dyin’.”
They don’ grow ’em as tuff as they us’d tuh.
Blessings ~ Smiley Ratliff ~ firewood ~ the Cove ~ black locust ~ sugar maple ~