A New Year

Good morning. I’ve missed writing to you over the last couple of weeks. Did you miss me? No one checked up on me. No texts. No concerned phone calls. I mean, I coulda been laying in the kitchen floor for two weeks, dehydrated and unable to get up.

I realize for that to happen my wife would have to be pretty cold hearted. Stepping over and around me to make supper and wash dishes. And she’s not that way at all. She gently points out to me, “You’re in my way.” And I move all on my own.

Well, I haven’t been passed out. I’ve just taken a brief hiatus from writing. This blogging stuff is taxing on an old guy who’s back is in chronic knots and whose feet feel like they’ve been beat with a ballpeen hammer and lit on fire every night. Besides the physical ailments that are distracting, there’s the mental acuity required for writing which seems to have left me completely at times.

Just yesterday morning I drove down to Columbus. I had hardware errands to run that couldn’t be done at the Pine Mountain Builders Supply. I’m driving along like I always do when all of a sudden, I become conscious of my surroundings and I’m not sure where I’m at. Mind you I’m driving 60 mph. An old gray-haired guy barreling down the road in a 10,000 lb. weapon completely and utterly mentally checked out. Did I miss my turn? Is this Lower Blue Springs Road? Doesn’t look right to me.

Then I passed a place and recognized where I was at. I had missed my turn 5 miles back and kept going straight. I got that chilled feeling like when you walk into a room and can’t remember why you’re there. Five miles of who knows what had come and gone. I couldn’t even remember what I had been thinking about so hard that I forgot to pay attention to what was going on outside the windshield.

I started asking myself several questions. What’s your name? Do you know what year it is? Do you know where you’re at? I got two out of three right. A fella suffering from this kind of cranial pressure needs a mental break every now and then, don’t you think?

So, my writing has taken some time off. I’m not sure what I’ll do with Georgia Bred this year. It’s a New Year, right? My sister has suggested that I look at putting together an E-Book. A collection of Georgia Bred stories. I’ve thought about venturing out into my own fictional version of a Lake Wobegon. A made-up small town with a Barber and a Doctor and a hardware store. Aunts and Uncles and cousins and bullies and girls with pig tails. A town with baseball and a drug store with a soda fountain. A place where kids say ‘yes m’am’ and ‘no sir’ and do their homework most of the time. A place where Mr. Horace gives every kid who walks into his store a piece of peppermint candy.

Places like that don’t exist much anymore, I guess. They should. Maybe I’ll dream one up. Problem is that I’d have to figure out where to put it and what to call it so as to make sure I don’t offend a real place on the Georgia map. We’ll see.

So, I feel like I should catch you up since I’ve been gone. This is kinda like standing up in front of the class and telling everyone “What I did on Summer Vacation”.

Dahlonega – Beth and I took a little side trip right after Christmas. We were going to be up at our daughter and s-n-law’s house on the Sunday after Christmas anyway. They live up north of Atlanta, which would put us more than halfway to somewhere in the N. GA mountains if we wanted to get away for a night. So, we made a reservation at the Smith House and drove up to Dahlonega.

Dahlonega is an old gold mining town. The Smith House has a mine shaft in the basement, which is closed on Monday’s as well as the restaurant. Our little trip wasn’t the best thought out plan. If you’re ever there, you want to eat at the Smith House.

We are up early in search of a place to eat something. There is a little coffee shop on the square that opens at 7:30. We don’t have to wait too long. Our room is close enough to walk.

The last time we were in Dahlonega, was about 21 years ago. We can place it in time because we bought the fireplace screen for our house here not long after we moved in. It was a good find, and we’re hoping for some new discovery in the shops around town. Nothing opens until 10.

Well House – The one thing on my mind the entire time we were gone was the well house back home. I discovered on the day after Christmas that I had a pretty bad leak at the valve out front of the pressure tank. I took a shower Sunday morning. Beth was in the shower when the water went completely off. Then back on. Then off again. When we left for the day, knowing we would be headed up to Dahlonega overnight, I shut the breaker off to the well.

It’s kind of a sick feeling knowing that your water is off and it’s a holiday week and you’re outta town when you should be home doing something about it all. Could be part of the reason we were back home on Monday by 4:00. I called Dixie Well Boring to see if I could get the parts lined up. No answer. I called 14 times. Same results. No one paying attention to the guy with a well out of commission.

It took me several hours and what felt like a hundred miles on Tuesday to round up the parts I needed. I have learned that just because a store has the word “Plumbing” in the sign out front, it’s no guarantee that they actually carry any parts for wells, which is where all the rural residential plumbing begins. I also learned that Wynn at BW Capps is a nice guy and is willing to let me lay out fittings and couplers and pressure switches and threaded pipe nipples on the floor like a jig saw puzzle until I can figure out that I’ve got all I need.

At 9:45 that evening, I flipped the breaker back on. The familiar hum made me smile. I turned both the water heaters back on and waited about an hour. At 11:00 I took a hot shower and went to bed a happy man.

It’s a New Year. A time to believe in hope. A time to try new things. Time to write more stories and get back in the groove of Georgia Bred. Thanks for understanding my little vacation off.

And thank God I can take showers again.

6 thoughts on “A New Year

  1. Glad you’re back. I miss my turns all the time. When I do I just think I’ve gone the extra mile that day. If you still can fix a well pump, you’re doing just fine. I also think a book of your stories would be great. I’d buy a few to give out to my neighbors from the north who want to know more about the south other than Rick Bragg. He’s good too but he’s from Alabama. Stay safe, happy new year and keep writing.

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  2. Of course we missed you, I just didn’t realize it until you were back! It’s nice to see there are others who miss their turns. I know I do it often. Not necessarily on the road, although that has happened, too. So, whether you’re writing every day or just once in a while it’s nice to open my emails and see a new Georgia Bred. Keep on keeping on, Paul.

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  3. Glad you can take a shower!! The mind lapses are a little concerning. But, I have some like that occasionally Also. I guess we are getting up in our years my friend! Keep up the writing…but maybe only one a week. It might be a little easier. Just a thought!! I know how hard it is to write some times!! Happy New Year Paul!!

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