Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rest For The Weary

One of my life's pleasure is this place called "Pumzika Acres".  If you are a regular follower of this blog you already are aware that this is a Kiswahili (language of East Africa) word and that it is in the simple imperative form, meaning simply, "You Rest!"  Naturally, after my recent attempt to walk the "100 Mile Wilderness" section of the AT, I thought it would be a good idea to come out here for a few days and rest.  Of course - after letting things go here for a year now, the first thing was a little bit of cleaning.  In the picture below you see that I have pulled on a rubber glove to dig the last of the rats out of the stove.  The medicine I put out last September has taken out at least a dozen of these fur-lined and industrious critters.

Here you can see the ambitious plans that these critters had, as they carried paper, cotton, pieces of wire, immitation flowers, paper towels and cotton under the stove top.

My missionary friend, Gordon B. spent the better part of the day burning up fallen limbs from the horrific gusts of wind we have had in East Tennessee this summer.

I washed the dishes one day in water fetched from the creek.  It was such beautiful weather outside!

As some old rotting pieces of lumber were tossed onto the fire, this young snake crawled out and headed straight for me.  Fortunately I saw him before he saw me. 

One day my good friend (Ed W.) brought his accordion out and we sung til we could sing no more.  This man is an accomplished musician who has written over 200 songs - some of which have been very popular in church music.

On one of our trips around the mountain (riding the Kawasaki Mule) we spotted this beautiful butterfly!

And another butterfly!

Across the creek we met Bonnie and Lee.  Lee is a Baptist Preacher with a wonderful testimony.  Very interesting couple.

Friday, August 10, 2012

I'm Still Here!

It has been so long since I have posted here on my "You Rest" Cabin Blog.  "Pumzika", the Kiswahili word for "Rest" is what I have had to do because of the bout I have had with Stage IV Colon Cancer.  "Stage IV" meant that it was spreading and doctors declared it could spread quickly to other vital organs if we did not get treatment immediately.  It was discovered last October.  I had surgery in November (the week of Thanksgiving).  In January the doctors started treatment with a specially mixed Chemo-cocktail.  In February I felt the need to get out here to mow and check on things at the cabin.  I found that 3 of my neighbors had mowed the grass for me.  I finished the treatments last month and doctors now say they see no signs of remaining cancer.  Thank God!

Of course, the Lord had said to me in a dream last November just before surgery, "I'm healing you."  The book of Joel reveals that in the last days "your old men shall dream dreams" - so I guess that means I'm now "old".  I don't feel old yet - but I'm getting there.  Ha.

I think it was late June when I took my brother (Lowell) and his wife (Janis) out to the cabin for the purpose of picking blackberries.  What a wonderful time we had and together we picked a gallon and a half of berries.  On another day I took Lowell out and we dug sassafras roots for tea.  I've had two missionaries out here in July and August ... Gordon B. amd Jack M. both seemed to enjoy themselves.  So the cabin has not been sold off nor forgotten.  The main problem was that I had not the strength to compose my thoughts and take the time to write about these experiences during my time of sickness. 

Here are a few pictures.  Hope you enjoy them.

Lowell Boarding The Mule

Lowell Removing Thorns From His Hands

Janis Picking Blackberries

Treating Ourselves At The Fast-Food Place For Supper

A Black Walnut Tree Loaded With Walnuts

Missionary Jack M, From Australia Sitting On The Porch Swing

Recent Thunderstorms Meant We Had To Cut Logs Out Of The Trail

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Break In's Are Downers!

I first posted this on my "Fred Alton's Page" without realizing it.  I must be getting old.  Old?  Naaaaa.  It's just the drugs I'm taking.  Doc has me on 81mg aspirin every day - so I'm on drugs, right?
Well...some of  you know that I am on chemo-therapy for stage 4 colon cancer.  So maybe I did have somewhat of an excuse.  Anyhow - I'm moving this post to "From The Cabin."
On Wednesday, February 8, I woke up feeling fine. I drove myself to Chattanooga to the doctors office for my regularly scheduled blood test and then back home by 9:30a.m. William W. ( good friend and fellow church member)was bringing me a dump truck load of driveway gravel and was bringing his Bobcat to help me spread the gravel and perhaps help me with a few other touches on making the grounds look better. When we arrived, this is what we saw!

Screen ripped off the window leading from the kitchen to the front porch.

A rocking chair had been taken from the front porch and placed in front of the bed-room window. Both glasses had been shattered.

Inside the bedroom the bureau drawers had been opened and rifled through. It appears to me they were looking for a handgun? How foolish do they think I am?
Now, while William dumped the gravel, I tried to find a board adequate to cover the window that had been broken. I found a piece of 5/8 Advan-tec - but it was too narrow. However, by cutting it with a hand-saw and stacking them, plus a piece of outside siding that had been in the scrap pile, I was able to seal it all up.

Naturally, my feelings sunk. I had no heart to eat. I managed to eat a pack of peanut butter crackers and drink a bottle of water. All that exertion had exhausted me. I think that's why the next day I still had no appetite and felt rotten. Checked the fever and it was too high. So - I was from the bed to the couch to the lounge chair for the next three days. Dr. Rick Moore, a friend and respected professor with a doctorate in Old Testament (who also happens to be a nephew) came by last night and prayed a special prayer for me. He is a rare individual who is in touch with God. Today, I'm much better.

NO...don't worry! Just breathe an extra prayer. I'm going to be fine. In Jesus' Name.

Friday, September 30, 2011

A Rare Treat

Saturday morning, September 24, 2011 was a rare treat for me.  Frances went with me to the Cabin for the day!  Here are a few pictures of what we did.

Frances sitting in the swing on the front porch. 

Frances asked me to collect these little flowers for her as we rode along in the 4-wheeler.

So delicate and fragile, just like my wife.
These golden colored mushrooms were so unusual...We did not try to eat them, but they sure looked edible
Our Prize For The Day - Ginseng!
Ginseng Berries

Here she is turning her water bottle into a flower vase!
More Flowers - with seeds - can anyone identify these for us?

A Toadstool

More Ginseng...note the yellowing leaves and red berries.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall Is In The Air

A Serene View Near The Cabin Just Off Duckett Ridge Road
Showing the beginning of fall's beautiful colors!

This Shows Dead Leaves Created By Our Unusually Hot Summer
I'm sure you have heard that a few times this week.  "Fall Is In The Air" seems to be on everyone's lips around our neighborhood.  As for me, I love this time of year!  With temperatures dropping into the mid-50s and up to the high 70s I can now get up early and sit outside by the firepit.  I look forward to the display of variegated color that will manifest itself in our forests for the next several weeks before cold weather sets in for the winter.  I can now squirrel hunt in earnest without sweating and having to fan the gnats and "no-see-ums" that plague our woods during the last few weeks. 

So far I have not shot the first squirrel and have hunted twice already.  I should have 20 by now.  It seems they have fled the country.  One mountain boy told me he saw a squirrel the other day but it had a pack on it's back...indicating that this one was only hiking through and not a native of these parts.  ☻ ☻ ☻

Thought one of my friends (maybe you?) would enjoy seeing this picture of me putting the finishing touches on ye old outhouse?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

First Squirrel Hunt of 2011

Saturday, August 27 was the first day of Squirrel season for the 2011/2012 hunting year.  I had a most wonderful time roaming the woods looking for squirrels.  Only saw one, but he saw me first, so no meat for the frying pan yet.  I did find that the squirrels are "cutting" on pine cones at this particular time of year.  There was ample evidence that they squirrels are in abundance, but my skills seem to have failed me yesterday.  Eyesight, agility, hearing, are all diminishing as I raced past 73 last month.  Ha.  But - there'll be another day, and I have lots of patience. 

It was also "Free-Hunting" Day in Tennessee.  Any resident could hunt squirrels that day with or without a license.  I don't know that this brought many hunters into the field.  If our game and fish commission are really interested in a way to entice more hunters afield, they should consider lowering the price of the annual license and also lightening up on the required hunter safety class requirements.  Note, I did not say "do away with" hunter safety, but I do believe it could be made easier and more affordable. 
Can Anyone identify this plant for me?

Here's a slightly better shot.
The berries are about the size of marbles.  I did not taste them, because Ginny of "Let Your Light Shine" had posted about the Castor Bean plant and I thought they could be poison.

Do you recognize this plant?  Poison Ivy?
Yes, that's my rifle underneath, which I had laid on the ground.

Yes!  That's a Wild Turkey Feather!

Time for Lunch!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Barney Creek

Last week a great and good friend that Frances and I met in Nairobi, Kenya came to spend time with my wife.  She is one of those kind of friends that feels a lot like family.  Since the girls wanted to shop, clean house (including painting one room) and cooking, I thought it best to get myself out of the way - so I headed for the mountains!  Ha.  The Cabin is my escape.  There is not much to do here, so I spend a good bit of time reading the good book (the Bible) and wandering through the mountains.  Occasionally I will help out with a church project or church "work day".  In a manner of speaking - this was not a work day but a day to play.  Day before yesterday, I went to Barney Creek to the site of the beginning of the Church of God with International Headquarters in Cleveland, Tennessee.  Today (August 19, 2011) we celebrate 125 years since the church was begun here in the mountains.  Now there are churches in more than 170 countries of the world.  To stand at this site and reflect on the humble beginnings of this group and realizing what great strides have been taken in those years is awesome.  Only 8 people with a determination to take the Bible as their only rule for faith and discipline banded together on August 19, 1886 and formed "The Christian Union" in the Grist Mill of Elder R.G. Spurling.  That was 125 years ago.  The church moved from here to the home of W.F. Bryant near Murphy, NC - and then on to Cleveland, TN.  Today there will be numerous vehicles in a caravan who will visit this site to pray and give thanks to God for the outpouring of the Spirit of the Holy on this small group of believers.  This site is only about 8 miles from me when I'm here at the Cabin.

Pastor Paul Fritts and Me
Paul Fritts is the pastor of the Tellico Plains, TN Church of God, where I teach a young adult Sunday School class.  He had asked me to come and help him make the Barney Creek site easier for visitors to access.  William Wright brought his Bobcat.  I met them at Hardees for lunch, then on to Coker Creek to the site on Barney Creek for a day of play.
This wooden sign covers his initials carved by R.G. Spurling
and the date when he built his home and Grist Mill

Your's truly, getting ready to play

William Wright, a third generation COG member
and Pastor Paul Fritts of the Tellico Plains Church

Here is a picture of an old fashioned Altar Call during
Revival at the Tellico Plains Church

Pastor Fritts rests on the stage after much praying

This is one of the youth choirs of the Tellico Plains Church
and the Future Of The Church of God
I pastored this church from March 1, 1961-February 1966 when my wife and two babies headed off to the missions field in Georgetown, Guyana, South America.  I was there when the current sanctuary was built and dedicated in November 1965.