Friday, December 19, 2008

Revised: Deer Hunt With Rick

This is the deer that son-in-law Rick Durham killed today at about 2:00pm, EST on land leased from Bowaters in Rhea County, just North by Northwest out of Dayton, Tennessee. Rick and I left home at 5:30am, and drove to the hunting sight by daylight. In fact, it was still dark enough that it was difficult to orient oneself with the surroundings without the aid of my trusty compass. You can see the compass I used today, pinned to the hat I'm wearing.[Photo]Rick's grandaughter (my great-grandaughter) Hailey Huff wanted to see the deer but was afraid of it at the same time.[Photo] This is Rick Durham, Big Game Hunter! This is an Eight Point, healthy, hefty buck. We were hunting an area where the timber cutters had "clear-cut" and my thoughts actually were something like - "Aww...we'll never see anything here because we are too exposed. Any deer (if there are any) will see us long before we see them because there is not enough "cover". ("Cover" means trees, brush, bushes to hide behind) Boy! Was I wrong!?! We had not walked 75 yards from the truck until we spotted four deer moving out of a valley - headed towards a hill with a clump of trees. Rick suggested that I sit close to the edge of the hill so that I could see the valley and the other side of the hill. He would go back toward the truck and walk down the road toward the area the deer had disappeared into. This seemed the right thing to me, for the chances were the deer would hear and see him and turn back the way they had come from, thus bringing them back into my gun sights. But alas -- the deer chose to continue their direction -- and this buck walked out into the road right in front of Rick. When I heard him shoot, I heard and saw the deer run back towards me. At first I thought maybe he had missed the deer and now was going to be my chance. However, the deer was favoring his left front leg. Altho it seemed to have plenty of stamina, it ran down hill about 100 yards, turned to go back up the hill, and collapsed between two fallen trees. That was around two pm. We made it home at dusky dark (about 5:30p) and then took the deer to the CDE meat processors where a young man skinned the dear and prepared it for cutting, giving the skin and the head to Rick to have mounted. We should have deer meat in about one week.It was a GREAT day of hunting for me. This morning I was totally new to the area so moved into the woods just about 200 yards away from the road. I saw a massive rub on a tree in the middle of the trail, so decided to sit down and listen. I heard crows, pileated woodpeckers, english sparrows, and what I believed to be turkeys. Then I heard what sounded like cows bawling in the field blending in with the tromping of animal feet. I eased up from my seat and walked another 50 yards closer to the noise I was hearing when I caught a fleeting glimpse of a doe. I quickly and as quietly as possible sat down again, eyes straining, ears alert. After about 30 minutes the doe came closer to me to examine my presence. When she was about 30 steps from me she finally decided she did not like what she saw and bolted off in the direction from which she had come. I sat another 30 to 45 minutes until something caught my attention out of my left eye, just 90 degrees to my left. Upon looking I saw one of the largest buck deer I've ever seen in the woods. When I finally got him into focus on my scope (which took only fleeting seconds) the buck lifted that magnificent head (I believe he was an 11-pointer) before with one lightning quick bound he was behind the thick pine trees beside the trail. I waited, and waited, but never saw nor heard this deer again. Whew! My heart was pounding for several minutes after seeing that buck. My conclusion is that I'm not a killer. I'm just a hunter who enjoys the hunt. Now don't mis-understand......if I had the opportunity - - - - -

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Deer Hunt - November 22, 2008

Fred's bruise over the left eye!

Fred and Chub O'dell with freshly pulled turnips

Ed Williams, William Wright, Chub O'dell

Two of O'dell's grandsons examine the lake.

In a state of euphoria I heard the alarm sound at the un-godly hour of 4:00am. I quickly shut it off and sprung from the bed into my insulated clothes and quietly but hurriedly heated the home-made chicken soup Frances had prepared for me the night before and packed it in a thermos, together with apples, bananas, licorice and cookies and into the cooler. Finally I grabbed coat, gun, international orange hat and vest and placed them in the truck. Ed Williams was ready and waiting when I arrived at his house at 5:00am. We chatted about everything and nothing as we drove through the dark roads to Chub O'dell's farm about four miles out of Tellico Plains.
Chub and his wife Christine were both in the kitchen cooking a mountain man's breakfast of eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, with home-made preserves for the 16 hunters who were hunting today. Chub and his family (children, grandchildren, nephews, cousins) were all very polite and cordial with each other and with their elders and made Ed and me feel right at home. There was lots of laughter and expressions of gratitude from all the diners.
After all had been fed the 16 hunters all loaded up in separate vehicles and drove to a part of the farm I had not been to before. Half of us were posted on "stands" while the other half were taken to the top of the ridge where they began their slow walk down to where we all were posted. This was to take advantage of the deer who would see and hear the hunters walking down the mountain, become nervous, move ahead cautiously through the woods and, hopefully, walk into range of one of the hunters at the bottom of the mountain on "stands". Actually these were not stands in the common understanding of the term. It was just a tree or a log or a place where the hunter chose to stand waiting on the deer. Hey - it worked! Three deer walked right into range of my gun about 30 minutes before the walkers came down the mountain. Trouble was the three were does. It is illegal to kill does at this time. Still - it was exciting for me to see them. One was so close I was tempted to shake hands with it!!!
I must tell you about the turnips. As Chub and I were reminiscing about times when I was his pastor back in the '60's, I was reminded of the time we had walked so far and were so thirsty and hungry. We came up to one of his Aunt's homes and she had about 25 or 30 turnips laying on the back porch. She offerred one to us to eat. I had never eaten a raw turnip before that I knew about - but that day I peeled and ate a big one. I discovered I LOVE turnips. Wow. What a sweet tasting vegetable. As I was telling that story to Ed and others, we were passing Chub's turnip patch so he jumped into the patch and pulled up one and threw to me to eat! YES! It was good - but somehow not as good as that one was about 40 years ago.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Thoughts On "The Shack"

After reading "The Shack", a book recommended by one of my very good Friends who teaches Theology, I must make the following observations:

1. The shack is opposed to guns! Not only am I NOT opposed to guns, I am a member of the NRA and a strong believer in man's right to self protection. For me, one of man's responsibilities which I believe is taught in the Holy Bible is the duty a man has to "provide for those of his own household." Failure to provide the basic necessities of life (food, shelter, clothing) is condemned in Scripture in the strongest terms. I believe that the protection of his family is one of the things God has charged mankind with.

2. The shack is of feminist views, portraying God as a big, fat, happy, black woman. I have nothing but the fondest feelings for the character traits ascribed by the author of "The Shack" to the person of God. I have nothing against women who are qualified being in positions of leadership. I see women Judges in the Old Testament and women pastors and evangelists in the New Testament. I see nothing wrong with the idea that God may be of a different ethne than most of us have always thought. However, gender is something else again. The God in my Bible is definitely not a female.

3. The shack presents views opposed to authority. For example on pages 123 and 124 it states, “We’ve been seduced into this pre-occupation with authority” and again, “…There would be no need for hierarchy!” I will not quote all the scripture references that may be pertinent but suffice it to say that the Bible teaches us to be subject to authorities, to kings, to religious leaders and to one another. To advocate that we do not need heirarchical systems would be like advocating that we build an automobile with a most powerful engine, powerglide clutch, well greased ball-bearings and strong axles with the capability of driving at high rates of speed - but including no steering mechanism. I submit that the heirarchy is the steering mechanism in any system, without which we are destined to a cataclysmic pile-up!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

More Progress

Things are beginning to take shape on the room addition here. It is now "slow work" and since we have reached jobs such as electrical wiring and plumbing it is difficult to tell when progress is made. Son-in-law Rick was up and glued the cold water lines together on Friday. I've tried to run wiring so we will have a light switch in the bathroom and over the shower. In addition I need to put a light in the bedroom where there were no 110volt outlets. Maybe you're wondering about electrical wiring - since you know that we are 3 miles from the nearest utility pole. I'll run these lights with the solar powered battery operated 110v inverter. These things work wonderful as long as your batteries stay charged. When the sun does not shine a full day's worth of sun (like now) we have to use the gas-operated generator more often. As long as the generator is running we have lights and also have a battery charger boosting the batteries.

Also bought a 6x9 flooring remnant for the bathroom floor. We put it down on the living room floor so it can get soft and pliable before we put it in place. Do you believe it has a mind of it's own and "walks" all over the place? :D! I know it sounds strange but it does move whenever we turn on the pump or the generator or if we walk on it -- it scoots on the living room rug.

I don't think I've reported here that I was trying to straighten a corner of the "fireplace" and pulled it off the wall. Thank God the gas heater was not burning. I broke one of the kerosene lanterns in the fray and spilled kerosene on the floor. I had left it off the wall until this past Tuesday night. I was thankful to have a propane bottle with some gas left in it after our summer cook-outs, for I was able to attach a propane heater to the bottle to keep warm - that is until Monday night/Wednesday morning about 2:00a when the little tank ran out of fuel. That morning, my neighbor came by to say hello so I took advantage of his expertise and we put the heater back on the wall and it's operating again.

There's more to say - but it's boring. Maybe later.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

This is Fall

Today, while taking a break outside by the camp-fire ... I heard the sound of the wind in the tops of the trees and noticed that it began to rain leaves! The places I had raked up and cleared completely were soon covered again. I laughed to myself while ruminating and pondered that maybe the leaves falling at this time of the year is why the old timers called this fall. :) Leaves fall. Limbs fall. Man climbs ladder to rake leaves off the roof. Man falls. So this is fall. Oh well. Truly - this is a most spectacular time of the year if one loves the outdoors. It was just right this morning for a camp-fire. Trouble was I wanted to stay close to the fire but cannot get any work done that way. Then around noon it had warmed up to about 68 degrees which was so cozy that I stopped putting up paneling, picked up the guitar and grabbed a root-beer to drink while sitting in the sun and playing a little. What a wonderful day!!! These pictures were made today.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Refrigerator

Great News! Now that winter's almost here, I have bought a new propane operated refrigerator. It must be doing a great job. The whole cabin is cooler. (I'm laughing out loud) OK - here's a picture.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

What's Going On At The Cabin #2

Colby and Chelsea (two of Ruthie's grandchildren - my great-grands) spent a good amount of time placing these stones carefully in the creek to form a beautiful waterfall. I was so pleased that the wanted me to "come and see" what they had done.
Our three year old Chloe pushing two year old Colin on his "4x4"
Frances with the cake spatula - or is that a knife?

The children loved playing in the creek! This is my grandson, Terry Crockett, with my great grandson, Colin Crockett who was celebrating his second (?) birthday.
What Retired People Do?

This was a wonderful Cake which Frances and my children had made with a map of Africa on top showing an African carrying a cross on the Continent.
My first cousin, Terry Junius Jones, born just three months after me. It was great having he and his wife with us for three days!
My sparkling little sister, Donice Brown just before departure. Isn't that a great smile?
Jonathan Brannen, my Brother Lowell's son.
Me in my first pair of "Over-Hauls" together with my great grandson Julian Cartwright and Julian's parents, Lydia and David. Lydia is Ruthie's first-born.

What's Going On At The Cabin

I'm having difficulty getting the pictures to cooperate with me tonight, but this is of Ed Williams and me as we had raised one of the walls.
From another angle, you can see the tub/shower combination just fits inside the five foot room.
This is the lavatory and sink before removing it from the trailer.
The commode, and lavatory were purchased used for only $75 - bought through the Tennessee Trader. The people were re-modeling their home and wanted to change the colors from gold to white.
This shows the roof on. Yes, it's sheet metal, and yes, it's sharp on the ends as my hands can testify. Also here you can see the door I've hung which will access this room from outside plus the two foot by two foot window on the end of the room.

The pictures tell the I am adding a five foot by twelve foot room which will eventually contain a shower, commode, and lavatory. I ache in every joint and have pains in muscles I did not remember I had. Yes, the pains are real, and so is the dream of having some (emphasize 'some') city conveniences here in this remote area of the "hunting woods" surrounded by the Cherokee National Forest!

Other: We had a great Labor Day with our children, grand-children, and great-grand-children together with the brothers and sisters who live in Tennessee. Thirty two of us altogether - according to Frances. What a time we had!

The children surprised me with a retirement cake and gifts. We also celebrated my first cousin, Terry Jones' 70th Birthday with a cake for him and gifts. He was as surprised as I was at all this attention. Too, we celebrated birthday #2 for Colin Crockett. It was a day full of creating memories for the children that I hope they long remember.

Monday, July 7, 2008

July 4th, Number Two

July 4th, 2008

"Oh, say! Does that star-spangled banner yet wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?" I had bought two small flags and hung them out front on the sign-board at Pumzika Acres as preparation for the 4th of July celebration. We had a wonderful time with our kids and their kids and with Frnaces' brothers and sisters and theirs who could come. Thank God we live in a free country where we can celebrate. I know what it means to live in a place where freedoms are restricted. One of the things I missed while living in Kenya, one of Africa's free-est countries, was the feeling of total freedom to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it in the way I wanted to do it. Yes, there is a difference, even in the way the people talk - or should I say "Don't talk" about their country's leadership. When they do rise up and speak out against personal injustices they are often over-run immediately by the powers that be. If they criticize the president (yes, I've seen this even in Kenya) they sometimes wind up arrested and find themselves lost, literally lost, in the prison system. During our stay in Kenya we read in the Daily Nation of the arrest of a preacher who had spoken out on Sunday in his pulpit against some things that he saw wrong with his government, and especially in the president's office. He would remain in jail from days to weeks to months before finally the order would be given for him to be released. During our early time in Kenya (we arrived in 1989) the president would read an article in some magazine or newspaper and -- finding it not to his liking -- consequently would declare the magazine "seditious material" and have the editor arrested. Furthermore, anyone who had bought one of the magazines had better destroy it because if you were caught with a copy of that particular issue you would be subject to arrest. It was a requirement that all businesses had to have a picture of the president, Daniel Torotich Arap Moi, on display in their businesses. One paper reported of the arrest of a person who had a picture of the former president, Jomo Kenyatta, displayed more prominently than his picture of President Moi. Under such ruthless leadership the common people really suffer. Here in America the most common among us have the right to dissent. Freedom of speech. Freedom of the Press. Even the right to keep and bear arms is ours. Yes, we are attacked on every side by those who would like to do away with our freedoms - but I think it is important that we NOT forget the great freedoms we have. At one time while we were in Kenya our family group would have been meeting illegally because the law was issued that no more than twelve people were allowed to assemble in one place. We had twenty-eight people at the cabin Friday, therefore we would have been illegal. More treacherous sitll, because we had guns in our possession we would have been arrested. A person could be arrested for having even one bullet in his/her possession - even without a gun - so if you found a bullet you would not put it in your pocket or purse. Why are those governments so repressive? Because they are afraid. Fear hath torment.

Oh, How I do thank God for the "land of the free and the home of the brave!" Faith in God and faith in my country gives me confidence to move into the future without fear. Get a grip on your faith in God and you will not live in fear, even if you live in a repressive and restrictive country. Sin will torment you. Sin will cause you to live in fear. If you repent, that is, if you will be genuinely sorry for and will turn away from your sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, You will forgiven and can find the assurance of eternal life. Oh what freedom that is!!!

In the words of one of my favoriet songs, "I trust in God, wherever I may be! On mountain bleak, or on life's rolling sea. Let come what may, from day to day! My heavenly Father watches over me."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bridge Complete!

I arrived at the cabin yesterday to find gates which had barred the road removed. At the edge of the bridge is a sign showing a curved arrow. It is really the most awkwardly placed bridge I've ever seen over a creek, but this is what the "Federal People" (to use what the construction crew called them) insisted on. It seems it has something to do with the EPA. Here are a few pictures.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Progress On The Bridge

Yesterday Ed and I stopped in Benton at the IGA and bought chicken tenders from the meat section and four cans of IGA biscuits to take with us to the cabin. I fried two big skillets of chicken and baked the biscuits for the crew who are working on the bridge. It has been moved now and looks much stronger already. It is also much wider than the old bridge. Chub, the forman said, "Should be finished by next Wednesday, Lord willing."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Work In Progress!

Last time I was at the cabin the O'dell Construction Company were building the bridge. It was different than I had imagined it would be. I thought they would possibly build piers on both sides of the creek, then build the bridge in place. However, they put down three dump truck loads of gravel, then started bolting together pieces of curved heavy metal which appear to be 3 feet by six feet in length. I'm told that once this is complete they will take out the old bridge and then lift this one with heavy equipment and put it in place over the water. After that, they will fill in with dirt and rock, and finally pour concrete on both sides. I'll try to get more pictures and show you the progress as it goes along.