Is That a Naked Man at My Door?

Life in the country is quiet and nothing ever happens… right?

Ha ha.

Over the years some pretty interesting things have happened out in our neck of the woods. We have had ostriches running amok and naked people posing in front of open windows, in the midst of all the cattle tending and rooster crowing.

Naked people?

Several years ago, talk started buzzing about a mysterious naked man in the community. He wasn’t out roaming around the farmland or trying to get into other people’s houses or anything like that. “Then what?” You might ask.  He was quite content to stay at his own abode and flash his wares (I’m not talking about Tupperware here) at anybody who drove by after dark.

Reportedly, he didn’t mind greeting the school buses driving by early of the morning with loads of kiddies going to school either. It seems he wasn’t particular about who he flashed.

The doublewide husband decided  late one day that he had to see what (if anything) was really going on so he decided to do a little drive by. (He worked for the local sheriff’s department at the time and people kept calling him about the goings on)

I was up for an adventure and didn’t realize the magnitude of what I was getting into, so I decided to go along.

We hopped in the car and away we went. The roads around here are a little curvy in places and “Big Tex’s” house sat just as you come out of a curve going one way and just before the curve going the other way. The house was fairly close by, so it didn’t take long to get there.

Just as we approached the house in question, the doublewide husband  spotted him. “There he is!” It was dark outside, except for this bright glow coming from the wide open window of the house. At first I was like, “Where, I don’t see anything.” (I think I had my glasses on that night and I don’t see as well with them as I do my contacts) As I peered at the house thinking I was missing the action, my question quickly turned to  “Ohhhhh…. oh my goodness…look away, look away, look away Dixieland!”  Well, if we didn’t believe before that, we certainly did then.

Needless to say, that was one country drive I didn’t soon forget.

That’s also not the end of the story. At the time my little 90-year-old neighbor, Kate, lived just out the street. She lived by herself and made some of the best pies (not related to the story, but I just wanted to add it). She had heard all of us talking about the naked man and the commotion he was causing.  Her daughter, Wanda, and I would go for evening walks as often as we could and went out to Kate’s once in awhile.

One evening it started to get dark before we made it out the street. Wanda had already warned me that Kate probably wouldn’t open her door since we didn’t call and give her advance notice that we were going to stop by.

We went up to the back door and knocked. Nothing.  I remember seeing the curtain by a window move a little. Sure enough, she wouldn’t come to the door.

We walked back out the road and called to let Kate know that was us knocking at her back door. She admitted that she had been afraid to open the door. ” I thought it was that naked man.”

The naked man certainly had us in an uproar for awhile that year. Still think life in the country is dull?



Diner Delights

Every Thursday we make our way to the Telford Diner in the “downtown” section of our country community.

The parking lot is usually full, tables loaded, and steak and gravy is not the only thing on the menu. There’s always plenty of conversation to go with the soup beans and cornbread. And it’s usually pretty interesting…

We end up on a different topic every week. This past Thursday’s offering was all about how we do and do not want to be buried.

Most wanted the customary arrangements, while some said they’d be fine with the plain and simple. “Just put me in a pine box,” the doublewide husband commented in the mix of the conversation. (I think that’s actually the name of a country song)

One thing the cremation crowd agreed on: do not sprinkle them at sea because they’re afraid of water and can’t swim.

Tall tale telling is as plentiful as the condiments.  It’s pretty fitting for this spot located just outside the Storytelling Capitol. Give me a hamburger steak with a side of funny stories any day. I love it.

Something else that makes the Diner quaint is the decor and the festive plastic tablecloths that always sport the proper print for whatever time of year it is. Fall floral is the current theme with Thanksgiving and Christmas soon to follow. Red, white and blue cloths are displayed with pride during the summer months. The only kneeling done here is in thanks for the many blessings.

We celebrated the doublewide husband’s birthday at the Diner a few months ago. What better place to have a party and share your birthday cake?! Everybody in the place joined in the festivities, sang Happy Birthday and overdosed on vanilla lard icing that night.

This Tennessee back road bistro is small town America at it’s best.

If you’re ever in the area and need a good meal served with a smile and some of the best sweet tea there is, just follow 34 as it winds out of Jonesborough to the west. Warren, Vickie, Crystal and the rest of us will be waiting for you.





Sponge Rollers, Vap-O-Rub and Revivals

I think I’ll call my memoir: Sponge rollers, Vap-O-Rub and Revivals: A Girl Grows Up in the South. It’s catchy and so true.

My parents were convinced that “Vicks” Vap-O-Rub cured everything from colds to bad perms. Sponge rollers were a staple in our house and revivals, well, that speaks for itself.

The South I grew up in was made up of holiday sleepovers with my cousins, church gatherings, perms, Smoky Mountain vacations, bicycle riding till dark, running around barefoot all summer, eating sour grass and fresh green beans from the garden. Everybody was welcome at our revivals and at the Sunday dinner table.

Everybody pitched in to help family and our neighbors (who were like family) when needed. You could always find a group of guys standing around somebody’s car that needed “fixin”.

Seems like my mother always had something in the oven or on the stove. We never went hungry, that’s for sure. Vacations were no exception — we packed up the food and took it with us. Restaurants weren’t as plentiful in the 60’s and 70’s and my mom wasn’t too much on eating anywhere she deemed questionable. She compared them all to her own kitchen. If they had let her inspect the restaurants, I’m sure we would have eaten out more often.

On the way home from one vacation trip I got a little carsick sitting in the backseat between my cousins. Not to worry! My dad stopped beside the road, mom and my aunt whipped out the leftovers and made me a green bean sandwich. Apparently it did the trick — that and letting me ride up front with my dad and my uncle. Fresh air and that light bread concoction had me feeling better fast.

That is my Appalachian South. We all got along for the most part and any disagreements were usually settled quickly —  then we put it aside and went on. That was before social media (thank goodness I got to experience life without it!). I’m all about sharing stories and photos, and social media helps me keep up with family that I don’t get to see in person very often. But dang– it makes it impossible to get away from all the drama going on in the rest of the world! (sorry for using such strong cowboy language)

So that’s my view from my Southern window. Stay tuned for my autobiography (one day in the not too distant future). It might just be something  worth reading.






I’ll Take Boots for $500, Alex

I need a “Boot-of -the-Month” club. You know, one that operates kind of  like health insurance — everybody pays in so much – except you get a new pair of boots every month instead of a trip to the doctor.

I love boots — all kinds of boots — tall and short boots, cowboy boots, work boots, shoe boots. Lovely leather boots. ❤

I think I’m addicted. No – I know I’m addicted. I can’t get enough.

I’m all jelly legs upon walking into a boot store. I won’t say that I need an intervention. I don’t want an intervention. If I’m wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

How can loving boots even be wrong?

I enter contests on Facebook all the time – “like, share and stand on your head while eating a banana, and you’re in to win!” Yeah, well I’m still waiting. That’s why I need a Boot-of-the-Month club.

If I ever decided to go bad and turn to a life of crime, my specialty would probably be holding up boot stores. There I would be, armed with a potato masher and a pop gun demanding the loot – give me all your Fryes and Old Gringos and nobody gets hurt.

I don’t know how or even when my boot obsession started. Maybe it was the influence of old cowboy shows like Gunsmoke and Bonanza. I never wanted to be the girl in the saloon waiting for her hero to ride into town – I wanted to ride the open range with Little Joe and Hoss, tending to the cattle, eating beans off a tin plate, singing by the campfire and wearing cowboy boots. Ahhh, that would be the life.

Now I’ve got to figure out a way to pay for my obsession, since there are no boot insurance plans.  I need to start a boot fund.

If anybody feels inclined to donate, I’ll be glad to provide you with the name and address of my favorite boot outlet. I’ll just have them set up a running tab in my name.

Brother can you spare a boot?



Doublewide Goes to the Dentist

I finally had to go to the dentist for a problem tooth. I didn’t want to go … but I like to eat (Cynthia Lovely – see, you were right).

Turns out I had a chipped crown that required numbing and the whole nine yards. I don’t like needles – not even a little bit. I shouldn’t have read Cynthia’s blog post about needles the same day I went to the dentist…

Yep, it wasn’t long before he walked in with the big six-foot-long needle for my one little tooth. It ended up numbing half my face. I seriously think that’s included in the oath dentists recite when they graduate from dental school – “… and I will make sure I numb everybody who comes into my office. I will numb half their face, no matter what.”

Then comes the part where you wait for the numbing juice to work its way through. Everybody leaves you to go tend to other patients while you percolate. You’re left to your own thoughts as the numbing stuff creeps through your lips and gums. Is it really necessary to numb my lips too? (Then they want to talk to you after everything goes numb — like you can actually carry on a conversation in that shape.

This is where my thoughts race and I, well … panic a little. What if it doesn’t stop at my mouth and my whole body goes numb. I don’t think it’s supposed to do that. What if I can’t  breathe? Will anyone hear me squeak out “help” sitting in here all by myself?

My face is tingling more. It’s happening. It’s bound to make its way to my legs before this is over.  How will I walk out to my car dragging my legs? The numbing stuff always renders my tongue useless, so why not the rest of me?!

I contemplate writing out my last will and testament.

Finally the doc and dental tech come back in. I’m saved. I open wide and they poke a big plastic slurpy tube into my mouth along with all four of their hands, a water pic and a reading light. I figured I could signal (or whack one of them in the head)  if I need to come up for air. At this point, the numbing part seems like a walk in the park.

Finally it’s all over and I get to leave. I gingerly get up and test my legs. All seems to be fine until I get to the check out desk and get the bill. I hand over my debit card and suddenly my knees really go weak. I gaze out the window wondering how I’m going to get to my car dragging my numb legs along.

(The moral to this story is … well, there is no moral. If you have to have a “take away”, here it is — get regular dental check ups and relax — it won’t hurt a bit.)



Do Bears Like Rollercoasters?

The billboard we saw today with a bear pictured bidding visitors to “come back” to Gatlinburg actually looked more like the bear wanted us to keep going  …. out of there.

It was their place first, you know.

I love shopping and eating as much as the next person, but how much can you really do in a day? (we take daycations instead of vacations) Do we need all those shopping malls and theme parks? Notice I didn’t say anything about the restaurants.

A day is plenty for me when it comes to sharing the air with hundreds of people coughing on, hacking on and and bumping into me in the roller coaster line. Side note: I really like the wild eagle ride at Dollywood that goes way up in the air and then drops you like a hot potato plunging toward the ground. It’s fun!

I know tourism is a good way for people to make a living, but it seems like that could be accomplished and leave the bears and all their friends happy too. Enough with all the concrete! Maybe I should organize a “no more concrete” protest. Knowing me, though, right in the middle of it I would need to get something to eat at a place with concrete parking lots and floors, and it would be a non-protest at that point.

Oh well, forget all the protesting.  I just want to see the parks stay pretty. You know — preserve the trees, rivers, streams and things like that. It’s good to get out where you can breathe and not have to stand in line to get a glimpse of nature at its finest. Now about the wild eagle roller coaster…  I wonder if the bears would like it.

Doublewide-style Health Tips

I’ve come up with a surefire way to lose weight and stay healthy! The idea struck while I was in the kitchen this morning eating a honey bun.

It all happened as I was feeding Mary Grace (my sweet Boxer). Dancing while eating will help you burn the calories as you eat.

I think my work is done here.

Hey, wait a minute — instead of giving all my secrets away for free, I could write a book and do a video. I’ll be rich (picture me leaning back in my easy chair, sunglasses on holding a cigar — make that a bubble gum cigar).

I’m practically a mogul.

I’m always celebrating food with a dance — it  can be an all out dancing spell or a little jig in my chair. I love food. You can probably tell how I work food into almost every post. Food is fun and I think it’s important to enjoy it every chance you get.

Holidays, birthdays, weddings and life in general are all marked with a meal. And it’s not always the healthy stuff. Although, at every covered dish festivity somebody always bring something with raw vegetables.. This is often put next to  the cheese casseroles for some reason — it’s really not fair to the vegetables.

So, back to my point. Dancing has been proven to be a wonderful aerobic exercise (I read it somewhere) and you have to eat to live – put the two together and, voila, you’ve got the perfect weight loss/get healthy plan. Oh yes, just look in the Bible — they danced a lot back in those times. If you’ll notice, it never says a one of them died from heart disease or being overweight. I think it might have had something to do with olive oil too.

Remember to look for my new program coming soon to a convenience store shelf near you. That’s the perfect place to sell it — strategically placed between the Little Debbie Cakes and the Pepsi cooler — just gas, eat, dance and go! You can fill up your car tank and your own tank and dance all the way back to your car. You won’t have to worry about the calories piling up as you travel.

It’s the perfect plan.

(Maybe I can partner with Dunkin and Krispy Kreme…)