Saturday, March 23, 2019

It's been an interesting morning

Don't worry, I'll get back to our road trip.  Some things can't wait, so I'll tell you a story that seems sad, and yet...

First of all, I haven't been sleeping well at all lately... about four hours a night, the last four nights.  I go to bed at nine and go straight to sleep, but by one o'clock I'm wide awake.  I blame it partly on the full moon.  I lie in bed another hour trying not to toss and turn, and finally get up.  I don't make coffee yet, because I might feel like going back to bed soon (never happens).  So I've been sort of dragging around, half the time. 

I'm almost to the end of the Ricky Skaggs autobiography "The Kentucky Traveler" I've been reading.  It's taken so long because I get library books that I have to read within a certain time, so I save actual books I own to read when I'm between library books.  In telling his life story, Ricky talks a lot about his first real job as a musician, which was when he and Keith Whitley were teenagers and best friends. They went to work for the Stanley Brothers, bluegrass singers.  I've never gone out of my way to listen to bluegrass, but when Ricky would mention a song they did with the Stanley Brothers, I'd stop reading and tell Alexa to play the song.  I think this bluegrass thing might be growing on me. 

This morning I really wasn't in the mood to read, and told Alexa to shuffle the Stanley brothers.  I closed my eyes, and hoped sleep would find me.  One song came up that told a couple of favorite Bible stories I learned as a child, and I replayed a few times, thinking later I would write down the words and see if I could sing it.  I even shared the song on Facebook.  

First of all, here's the song:

Old Job, every rose in his garden had faded,
Every flower in his life had withered away.
Then he said, "I know my Redeemer liveth
And the roses for Job, they all bloomed again.

     The roses will bloom again, some morning,
     No matter how long the winter has been.
     When you see the rose of sharon in the beautiful garden,
     It's gonna come springtime again.

It was dark for Jacob when they brought him that coat,
And it seemed to him that Joseph was dead.
But things looked brighter when he saw the wagons coming
And the roses for Jacob had all bloomed again.

 When Cliff got up, I made his coffee and told him the dogs and I were going to go for a walk in the pasture.  I've learned if you feel sluggish, sometimes it helps to do something physical.  I put the camera in my pocket just in case I wanted to take pictures, and a handkerchief... because any time it's below 50, my nose runs.  The dogs had a great time.  At one point, they were both out of sight and didn't come when I called, so I got on the ground and started yelping like a hurt puppy.  That works every time, and they came bounding toward me.  I got up and we went on our way.  I noticed the river bottom covered completely by the flood and dug in every one of my six pockets (crazy coat), but my camera was gone.  My cell phone was there, so I did take the pictures.  I wasn't too worried about the camera because I was pretty sure where it was... somewhere around the spot where I sat down and yelped.  I knew I could just have Cliff take me back in the four-wheeler later before the rains start. Turns out I was right about where the camera was.

Cliff was waiting for a friend to call so he could go and borrow a trailer.  He got the call and went outside to leave, but came back in directly.  "I've got some devastating news," he said.  I paused, almost afraid to ask, but then said, "What is it?"

"The deep freeze in the garage has stopped working; the light's on, but all the meat is thawed."

"Is it still cold?  If it is, we can still re-freeze it."

Alas, juices were flowing out of packages; I held a package and sniffed:  it wasn't rotten, but it was beyond saving.  Both of us were speechless.  

"Well," I said, "if we can scoot the freezer over in front of the door, you could lift it up with the tractor and take it all down to the ditch."

"I'll call Arick (the grandson) to help," Cliff said.  I reminded him that the grandson was helping a friend move, so he isn't home.  "But I'll help," I told him.  "We were eating too much meat anyway."  (That's all I could think of to say.)

But as we were getting the job done, in my mind I heard my mother saying, as she did when things went wrong, "Well, it isn't a human life."

And then I thought about old Job and old Jacob, spoken of in the song, and I think I even smiled a little.  

We got that deep freeze loaded on the forks of the tractor easily, and Cliff drove it down in the pasture.  When he came back we didn't have much to say, but we hugged.

Cliff went on to pick up the trailer.  I thought of Job saying, "I know my Redeemer liveth", and remembered something else Job said later that wasn't in the song:  "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him." 

I don't say a lot of spiritual things, and I'm not a model Christian.  But I know that my Redeemer lives, and though He slay me, I will trust Him to the bitter end.  Just like a friend I met a few years, Christine.  She had terminal cancer, surgeries went wrong, she died a miserable death.  But to the bitter end, she begged everybody to "know Jesus".  Boy, I miss that lady.


Why me?  Well, why not me?  Bad things happen to us all.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

The first of two days in Memphis

First of all, I happened to notice that in the last entry I said we left home Monday.  We actually left Sunday morning.  Can you get jet lag from riding in a car?  Anyhow, I corrected that mistake.

I had some things I really wanted to see, things I hoped we'd both enjoy.  I wanted to do the Memphis City tour, the Mississippi River sightseeing cruise.  Both of these have guides telling you details about the area.  I didn't know whether we'd stay two days or three yet.  We only had the VRBO place for two days, but it isn't peak season yet.  I'm sure we could have gotten a motel room to stay a third night.

Everybody online told me to be sure to go to the Peabody Hotel and see the ducks either marching in (morning) or marching out (evening).  All sources said to be sure to get there by 10:15, or you wouldn't be able to see them over the crowd.  That's forty-five minutes of waiting in a swanky hotel.  Cliff thought this was the most ridiculous thing he ever heard, but as he said, "We did this trip for you, so OK."

Now, why I thought looking at five ducks being herded inside a hotel would be a big deal, I don't know.  There's nothing special about ducks.  I've raised a few of them.  But I let the hype get to me.  Yes, it's kinda neat, and you don't have to pay for the experience of watching them (you don't see many things that are free in Memphis).  But I had other things I'd rather have done with that time, like the Memphis City tour that started at 9:30.

We left our Memphis "home" around nine.  We found a parking garage.  We asked a man sweeping the sidewalk to point us toward the Peabody, and he actually led us to the nearest corner and pointed it out; directly after that, a homeless man with a blanket around him and some squashed-up cake and broken cookies in a plastic bag and asked if we would buy him a hamburger.  Cliff just handed him a five-dollar bill, and we went on to the hotel  And thus began the hour-and-a-half wait to see some stupid ducks walk down a red carpet to an indoor fountain (Cliff says "I told you so").  I will share the following video so all of you can see it.  The video is actually preferable to seeing it in person.  Click HERE.  

One item of interest on the mezzanine from which we watched the ducks was a piano like I've never seen, especially built for Francis Scott Key.

I couldn't take many pictures of the ducks because of all the lights.  That was also a problem when we were in the house at Graceland; I'm sure a knowledgeable photographer with a good camera could have managed just fine.  

As we walked toward the parking garage to our car, I took the next picture, taken right off Beale Street.

Then we drove to the National Civil Rights Museum.  We were hungry, so we went to the closest restaurant we saw after we parked on the street nearby.  I think it was Central Barbecue, but I looked that up and it sure had great reviews.  I wish I knew for sure, because I'd love to give them a review.  The food was nothing to brag about.  Cliff got Diet Coke, I got Sprite, but guess what?  Our drinks tasted like mold.  That made me wonder if they didn't clean their soda machine; I mentioned that to Cliff, and we both stopped drinking it.  We drank some water when we went to the car.  What kind of fool from the Kansas City area buys barbecue anywhere else?  We do, I guess.   

This is a good stopping place for today's entry, so come back tomorrow and I'll tell you a little about the Civil Rights Museum.