Monday, July 31, 2006 

Congrats Fuzzy Britches

I know you all will be glad to hear that Fuzzy Britches the blind hen has now laid her first egg.

Friday, July 28, 2006 

Uncle J.R.

This one is true with no embellishments

Another of my uncles died recently. He was 90 something and it was his time.
He grew up poor as dirt, maybe poorer than dirt. He somehow made it through the depression with parents who had nothing and were out of work. He made it through high school and went to work at one of the local steel plants. He made enough money to become a player back in the late 1930s. He was known as a character, prone to taking a drink of moonshine or whatever he could get back then. He also was known for being a snappy dresser and having one of the most complicated hairstyles of the day.
He started dating my aunt. My dad says that it was not a fun time in the Snagley household when they were dating. My grandfather could not stand the site of him and would go to the back yard and chop wood whenever he would come over.

Then came WWII. My Aunt and Uncle married and he was shipped hither and yon. My dad was already in the war for 2 years when my Uncle was drafted. Uncle J.R. as he was called spent many months training and was then shipped directly to the front lines in preparation for the battle of the bulge. He was green as grass as were many of the front line troops at the bulge. He was in the thickest fighting without proper winter gear for weeks. He was involved in hand-to-hand and bayonet fighting and served his country with distinction. His scars were not the visible kind, as he told me. It takes something from a man to kill another with a knife or a bayonet. In his first engagement he was the only man from his outfit that survived. He said the Germans did not know that he was the only one left as he kept firing and moving as best he could from mud hole to mud hole. He went on to serve in some of the fiercest fighting door-to-door and village-to-village for the remainder of the war. Somehow he managed to not get killed, and no one knows how.

When he came home, he could not sleep in a bed he slept on the floor by his bed with a blanket. He had slept in a tent for the past 3 years. He started a metal fabrication business after working in a metal shop for a while. He built it into the industry standard for all bidding in the southeast and beyond.

Somewhere along the way he tamed his wild ways and became a pillar of the community. He never had any children.

My cousin is a professional musician, he plays the trumpet. Uncle J.R. always asked him to play for him and only ever asked for Taps to be played.
He played taps at his funeral. I cried and I am not ashamed of it.

He loved his country and was proud of his service and sacrifice for his country. And he did sacrifice 4 years of his life and whatever innocence he had left during WWII.

Goodbye Uncle J.R.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 

A scar story

Have you ever made the mistake of asking someone “hey how did you get that scar”. If they are like the people I find myself surrounded by, you just set yourself up for an afternoon of conversation, one-sided at that.
I was at the local feed and grain store near my home and was speaking to the old guy that I used to work with. His name is Slim. He lives in the feed store now in the back, he is in his 90s if you believe him. He has a nasty scar on his face, it stretches from the corner of his right eye to his lower lip, it has been their as long as I have known him, I had never asked him how he got it until Saturday.

He stays in the feed store that his grandson owns in a rocking chair. I went over to him and he gave me his usual greeting, he spit tobacco juice on my boot.
After the usual salutations I sat down with him and for some reason said, “Slim, how did you get that scar on your face”. When I said it his grandson moaned loudly and left the building. I swear Slim took a deep breath and told a wild story.

It seems that his first wife (he has had 6) did not tolerate and alcohol. Slim could tolerate a great deal of alcohol. I have seen him carry around a large bottle of Jim Bean whisky and drink it strait from the bottle during our lunch break when I was a kid. (He has since given it up alcohol of any form.) After work one day he came home drunk off his gourd. He snuck in the house and passed out in his easy chair.

He began to snore. He could make the ceiling fan move snoring. His wife heard the ruckus of him coming in and snoring and though she was being robbed. Slim usually did not come home drunk he just did not come home; he would sleep it off under the feed store.
She got scared and called her brother in law. She slipped out the window and Slims brother showed up and turned his pit bull loose in the house. The dog hated most people, but it loved Slim. The dog growled low then realized that it was Slim and jumped in his lap and licked him on the face with a huge wet slurpy lick.
Slim said he did not know what had him and in his alcohol induced stupor shouted “not again Helen I am drunk off my ass”.
His first wife’s name was Gertrude.
That is how he got the scar Gertrude beat the doodley poo out of him with the dogs chain.

Anyone got a good scar story.
Snagley out.

Monday, July 24, 2006 

Mid life crisis is a bust

Update on the mid life crisis

The corvette test-drive went well until they started asking how I planned on paying for this 53,000 automobile.

I tried to tell them for a welthly industrialist this was not a problem, to think upon it no longer.

For some reason they did not fully understand that they were helping me ward off a full-blown mid life crisis. It was dark blue with two twin racing stripes beginning on the front bumper and terminating on the rear bumper. Sweet ride.

On the way home in my 2000 ford ranger, with the right hand rear view mirror removed by a tree limb, rolled over to 100,000 miles.

I stopped and bought a funky gold medallion and unbuttoned my shirt down to my navel.

This look was complemented by my 2000 ford ranger, with the right hand rear view mirror removed, and made me look quite virile. I had many women staring at me; I assume they were checking me out. I started telling them “stay back I am married” as I would pass them on the isle at the dollar store.

I got home and modeled this ensemble for my wife. She tried to contain her obvious arousal by laughing hysterically, pounding her thighs with her fists and telling me hold for a picture. My guess is that she will add this picture to her locket for a quick warming on cold days.

Latter that day I found my old pair of Miami Vice sunglasses and put them on. It did not help my mid life crisis to see my kids laugh until they were unable to speak or walk.

The kids then all found similar clothes in their closets and started modeling them and laughing saying "look i am crazy Daddy".

I then removed all of my more youthful clothes and put on my overalls and went out and fed the chickens.

The mid life crisis is a bust. Maybe I will try again next year.

Snagley out.

Thursday, July 20, 2006 

mid life crisis

Chickens love their new annex to the coop. The rooster is terribly upset that he cannot get into the same pen as fuzzy britches.
The pregnancy is going well.

I had a birthday on the 9th and again did not receive a card. Even from my Mom and Dad, a new low.

I am 39 now and have decided to go ahead and have my midlife crisis, and get it out of the way.
Honestly I am starting to wonder where the first half of my life has gone. I have these longevity genes going for me but a friend of mine had a heart attack and died at 37. 37 is dang young these days.
I am taking stock of my life and what I am going to consider success.

If my kids are happy and loved
If my wife is happy and loved
Well that is about it.

Money is fleeting and possessions can and do all burn up.
Lotus Elise sports cars are bad to burn up engines.
We really have so little control over anything in life. Who we love, or don’t love, and how we do it, is really about all we can control if you think about it.

Oh and I am not talking about that warm rosy glow you get when you kiss for the first time.
I am talking about the holding their hair when they puke love, then cleaning up the barf off the wall after working 16 hours swinging a damn pick. The cleaning up poop love, the burying their dead dog love, and the holding them when they find out their grandmother dies love.

Hell, anyone can love their wife and kids when they are behaving and clean and neat with the air-conditioning running.

I am not saying I don’t screw it up and that I am capable of loving like that all the time.
But that is success, to me anyway, to love wel.

Now since I am having my mid life crisis this week, I am off to take test-drive a 2006 corvette. For the test drive, my name will be J.R Pennypacker wealthy industrialist, just in from an extended pearl diving trip in the orient.
Snagley out.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 

the beach in review

The beach was good.
I got Strep throat while I was there went to the doctor and got a shot in the butt and was well in 24 hours.
My kids loved the beach. They reveled in it. It was truly a glorious thing to witness.
They would have played in it daylight to dark every day.
We found starfish and more shells than I can count.
We bought my middle son a shell identification book and he started quite a collection.
We left Saturday morning at 4:00 am and arrived at 2:30 pm.
I did a little fishing but I missed the offshore fishing trip we planned because of the strep throat.
We ate lots of seafood and had a lot of laughs.
When we got home the garden was full to overflowing. We froze 10 gallons of tomatoes and 8 quarts of green beans, and we really have not touched the surface yet.
I am behind at work and will have to make this one short.

Snagley out.

Thursday, July 06, 2006 

Olaf's Swimming Hole

(this is my last post for a while, I am going on vacation to Pawleys Island and will be back on the 17th, I am going to try a audio post while i am there if i can figure out how to make it work. Have fun)

My great grandfather (Olaf Snagley) was a farmer in Cedar Town Georgia.
He owned a big farm about 1200 acres. Part of it was a wood lot with a picturesque creek that meandered picturesquely through the countryside. It was dammed up each summer by the local kids who swam in the creek to cool off in the spring fed waters of Snagley’s Creek. The water was about 63 degrees year round so it was an awesome place to cool off. My Great grandmother died at an early age and left Olaf to raise 4 kids. He saw each one through college and on to the good life. Olaf remained on the farm.

He had the reputation for being quite the eccentric and a generally likeable guy if not a nut, but as I have explained before crazy people are by far the most interesting. But I digress. It was the summer of 1962 and it was hot, damn hot. Olaf went on about life all his kids were out of college and working. His crops were in the ground and he was waiting on rain. This left some time for him to practice his crazy. He got into his pickup and drove to town to harass the locals. He went by the feed store and drank their coffee and told the same old jokes and ate their peanuts. Then he got his weekly haircut and teased the shoeshine boy about shining his boots. Then gave the kid a quarter for his good nature. He went to the 5 and dime and flirted with the clerk for sport then hopped into his truck and headed home.

It so happened that a group of schoolteachers were taking part in a summer program of nature hikes as continued education as required by the school system at the time. They were all in their mid twenties, and were following the Picturesque creek that meandered picturesquely through the countryside of Snagley’s Creek. When they got to the swimming hole they dared each other and finally stripped down and skinny-dipped in the cold 63-degree water.

Olaf saw the teachers VW van as he rounded the bend back to the farm. He new the teachers well they often brought students to the farm for field trips. He figured he would make some coffee and wait for the ladies to come by the farmhouse and talk for a while. When he pulled up he could see the swimming hole and realized that they were swimming. He figured this was their plan all along and did not for a moment think that they would be skinny-dipping. So he started walking along the edge of the trees to the swimming hole. When he got within about 40 yards of the hold he saw their clothes on the branches of trees and then realized that they were naked in the swimming hole. He grinned, it was his evil grin.

The teachers were starting to shiver in the cold water. 63 degree water will sap the warmth out of your body at a rapid rate leaving your on the verge of hypothermia quickly. Especially when it is 102 degrees in the shade. They were ready to get out of the water and head back to town. But then they heard a voice.

Olaf was talking they recognized his voice. He said out loud. “Go ahead kids and go swimming, heck you don’t have to ask me”. “Just head down to the swimming hole, I believe that some of your teachers are down there now taking a dip”. The teachers froze momentarily then they started really moving. They all jumped out of the water and grabbed their clothes and started running through the woods naked, headed for their van.

Olaf heard the commotion saw the teachers running with their clothes in their hands, and saw a few behinds, blue from the cold water, and laughed himself silly. Then he looked up and oddly enough coming up the driveway was the preacher’s wife and four old ladies from the church with some cookies to try to lure Olaf back to church.

They said Olaf we just saw some women running down the road, must be one of those hippie cults, they were all wearing pale blue leotards and were running to beat the band they trailing what looked like flags or rags or something. When we drove by them they all jumped onto the ground face down in your cornfield in front of a van. We figure they were worshiping the van, crazy hippies. Olaf you really ought to out up some no trespassing signs. Olaf said if he did things would get too boring.

Monday, July 03, 2006 

what happened Saturday

Got up and had coffee.
I worked with my oldest boy on the chicken coop. He is a huge help to me. He just loves to work, this will probably change as he gets older but I am enjoying working with him now. He is still young enough to talk to me. I was humbled about what is going through his mind at 8 years old. I thought his deepest thought was armpit noises as he recently learned that from a friend of his. He is having some interesting thoughts.

His first question to me was about getting married. He wanted to know how I got married and how I found his mother. I told him the story, and told him about how much I loved his mother. He said he loves her too. We talked about how it did not matter what he did in his life, that his Daddy was going to love him. That if he hit me with a stick, I might be angry with him but I would still love him. He then hit me with a stick. I chased him down and dunked his head in a washtub I was using to check tractor tires for leaks. Then I told him I still love him. He got a good laugh out of that.

We had a good talk about God. We are a religious family, and he had some very well thought questions. I answered them and we then took a break and had lunch.

After lunch we decided to water the garden. It takes about an hour to water the blue berries then the Scuppernongs, Muscadines, grapes, fig trees, and then water garden row by row. I love to read physics, and astronomy textbooks, I am not that smart but I am impressed by people who are. We talk about space a lot. He asked me how gravity works. And how does the gravity of the moon affect the tides. He saw this on TV the other day. I explained Isaac Newton to him and his stuff. Then luckily I had read a book on the tides and moon phases so I could talk to him about that. One of these days he is going to hit me with a question I cannot answer.

We then fed the chickens and cleaned out their water jug. Gathered the eggs (we got 10). Then we had supper. We watched some TV and went to bed.
I pray with the kids every night and sing to them when they are in bed. They usually request something silly. Like Pudding Head Purvis, or Rock Climbing Rodo.
They went to sleep then I went to bed.

snagley out