Hanging by a Thread
I didn’t really want to do it, but I was backed into a corner.
A few summers ago, Tim was injured and the doctor didn’t want him to do any strenuous activities for a couple of weeks. That included mowing the yard. I think that bothered him more than anything else because he is very particular about the yard.
Of course the grass grew during those two weeks and it drove Tim crazy. I suggested paying somebody to mow it. He suggested I mow around the house for now. He could get the back yard later. I wasn’t too keen on his idea.
You see, I hadn’t mowed since we moved a few years ago. And I hadn’t missed it at all. Our previous house sat next door to my mamaw and papaw’s house. Tim and I always mowed both yards, which were about two and a half hilly acres with some steep slopes. Hey, it’s East Tennessee.
The slope I dreaded mowing the most was next to my grandparent’s house because it was short and very steep. I couldn’t ride the mower up and down it because their house was too close to it in some places.
As I drove the lawn mower across it, I desperately clung onto the steering wheel. Why did I hang on for dear life? Because I had perspired so much that I kept sliding off the seat.
Even though we don’t have steeps slopes like that at our house now, I still wasn’t comfortable mowing. And I wasn’t used to Tim’s riding mower either he had at that time.
He told me I would be fine as long as I drove slowly. And he reassured me he would sit on the front porch until I finished. So I donned some old clothes, put my hair in a ponytail, hopped on the mower and took off.
The first couple of rounds around the house went fine. Every time I drove by in the front yard, Tim smiled and gave me a thumbs up from his comfortable chair on the porch. Then came my next lap.
As I neared a tree in the front yard, I realized a spider was dangling on its web from a low limb. A large long legged icky brown spider.
Oh the horror!
I quickly assessed my dire situation. If I veered to the left, I would have driven into the tree trunk. If I swerved to the right, I wouldn’t completely avoid the spider. Like I was going to chance having that eight legged thing get on me.
I did consider stopping, backing up, and just totally mowing around the dangling spider, but I couldn’t do that either. If I did, the strip of grass under it wouldn’t get mowed and that would bother Tim.
That left me with only option. Right before the lawnmower reached the spider, I jumped off of it. After it mowed under the spider, I jumped back on it and continued on my merry way.
Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
To be honest, I was rather proud of myself. I managed not only to avoid the dangling spider, but also to cut the grass underneath it.
That changed when I started my next lap around the front of the house. There stood Tim out in the yard with his arms extended and hands palm up in the air. He yelled at me to stop.
I did and as he stomped over to me, I innocently asked, “What?” What else could it beside my lawnmower dismount?
“You don’t jump off a lawn mower when it’s going!” He barked.
“There was spider dangling from the tree and I was not about to get it on me.” In my mind, nothing else needed to be said.
“I just swat them out of the way,” he argued. I couldn’t believe he said that, especially since he knew how I felt about spiders. In my story, “Spider in my Face,” Tim learned the hard way my fear of them while we were on a date many years ago.
Again he said, “You don’t jump off a lawn mower when it’s moving!”
“Not the way you mow,” I argued. “I was going three miles an hour. What was going to happen? You think the mower would get away from me, climb the embankment, crash through the privacy fence, plow through the yard next to us, and jump the curb? And it would do all this while going three miles an hour with me running behind it?”
Let’s just say, we agreed to disagree and I haven’t mowed since.
In all fairness, when I avoided that spider, I felt as if I had avoided evil.
“Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.” Proverbs 4: 14-15 (KJV)
There is always a way to avoid temptations and other bad things. It may not be conventional and/or convenient, but you can do it. Let me tell you, bad things can be like my dangling spider. Once it is on you, it’s not that easy to get off and it will probably bite you at least once.
A few years ago, we bought a zero turn mower. I like to call it Tim’s zero turn yacht. It’s his happy place. And no, I have never mowed with it and I probably won’t since it doesn’t appear to be as easy to jump off of as the riding mower.
The City of Plainview hosted a ribbon cutting to mark the Grand Opening of the Dollar General Store at 1900 Tazewell Pike. Mayor Gary Chandler welcomed the crowd and thanked all who made this day possible. Mayor Chandler stated that Plainview is a growing community of caring individuals and that the city will continue to strive to “meet the needs of our citizens”.
Summer is in full swing at the Union County Farmers Market. The market is located in Wilson Park and open on Saturdays from 10am – 1pm. Our new Saturday hours allow our farmers to harvest early on Saturday morning bringing you the freshest possible produce. We hope the later hours will also encourage you to take advantage of the food trucks that are joining us! Enjoy a snack, breakfast or lunch.
A few days ago I had just risen from my chair to go to the great room for a cup of coffee. I really stood up and took notice, stopping dead in my tracks. There came a sudden crack of lightning with a deafening roar of thunder. All at the same time. That was not only close, it had to be right on top of us. My immediate worry was if there was any damage.
Being old has its disadvantages, but something I’m glad it allowed me to witness (at age 15) was the first moon landing and walk that occurred 50 years ago this month. It was one of those moments you remember exactly. In my case it was at my boyhood home in Middlesboro, Kentucky at 10:30 on a Sunday night. Me and my dad (mom was out of town) sat there watching a small black and white television totally mesmerized as these two guys walking around on another world. I remember lots of goosebumps and feeling so happy (I was a bona fide science geek by then).
I have always liked red table grapes, but have previously looked in vain for a way to cook them. A few years ago our church group took a trip up to Cumberland Falls in Kentucky. While there, we had lunch at their tearoom. Grape Salad was on the menu. It was delicious and new to all of us. We asked for the recipe. The one they gave us didn't turn out at all like the tasty salad we had there. Don't you hate that? When someone gives you a recipe and its not quite like their dish.
Enthusiasts from around the world traveled to spectate the picturesque landscapes of unique blooms at the Twentieth Annual Oakes Daylily Bloom Festival on Friday and Saturday June 28 and 29. The weather was usual for East Tennessee’s late June days, very hot and muggy, but the temperatures did not slow down the masses of guests attending.
On June 29, Main Street exploded with color. Union County Platinum Athletics hosted a Paint Party to youths and families of the community. The children, as well as the children at heart, excessively enjoyed a paint slip-n-slide, shaving cream twister, canvas painting with squirt bottles, water balloon fight, and an over the top paint war. The paint war is exactly that, a war, everyone throws powder paint at everyone who came for a fun mess of a time, creating a beautiful, colorful rainbow mess.
At the Union County Historical Society Meeting on Sunday, July 21, at 2:30 at the UC Museum, Bill Landry of Heartland Series fame will share stories from his new book, WHEN the WEST was TENNESSEE. Lisa Oakley will relate information on the East Tennessee History Center's new exhibit, “Mountain Dew”.
A class for Tennessee's divorcing parents. Held in Union County on the last Monday each month. Preregistration required at 865-992-8038 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Moore about the program at https://extension.tennessee.edu/Union/Pages/FCS-Co-Parenting.aspx
Enjoy a day of family-friendly fun! Children can compete in fun contests like "corniest joke," "fastest corn eater," and "fastest corn shucking." There will be door prizes and live music. Local vendors may sell corn products at no cost to them. In addition to corn-related shopping, local produce and craft vendors will be at the farmers market. There will be games, history exhibits, and fun demonstrations for everyone. We'll see you there!
This will be a simple self serve buffet. It will include Buttered Grits (cheese optional), Fresh- Baked Banana Muffins, Toast with homemade Strawberry and Fig Preserves, Fresh Fruit Salad, and Quiche Florentine. We will serve Orange Juice, Milk, Tea, and Coffee to drink.
Jerry Lynn Hubbs, Jr.-age 46 of Knoxville passed away Thursday, July 11, 2019 at his home following a brief battle with cancer. He was a member of Fairview Baptist Church, Luttrell. Preceded in death by father, Jerry Lynn Hubbs, Sr.; mother, Joyce Bailey Cline; grandparents, Frank and Mary Bailey; granddaughter, Riley Hubbs.
Reverend Luther Vineyard Cox – age 93 of Maynardville, went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 peacefully at home with his family by his side. He was a lifelong member and former pastor of Cedar Grove Missionary Baptist Church. Luther was retired from Dempster Brothers and was a United States Army Veteran serving in World II.
Lowell Edward George, Sr., age 81 of Knoxville went home to be with the Lord on Friday, July 5, 2019 at 11:05 am with his family surrounding him. He was a longtime member of Central Baptist Church, Fountain City and lifelong resident of Knoxville. He was greatly loved by his family and all who knew him and was a father figure to many. Lowell is preceded in death by mother and father Eva and Tom Newberry.
Samuel “Sam” E. Hampton, age 70, formerly of Beckley, WV, passed away peacefully at home in Knoxville, TN on Thursday, July 4, 2019. He loved football and was an avid fan of the Cleveland Browns. He was also a lover of animals.
Survived by his wife of 46 years, Sharron Hampton and daughter Jennifer and her husband John Morris.
A service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, July 7, 2019 at Mynatt Funeral Home Fountain City Chapel with Minister Brad Hood officiating.
Clarence Henegar, age 85, lifelong resident of Knoxville, went to be with the Lord on July 3, 2019. He was a member of Salem Baptist Church for 50 years, and served as a deacon for 40 years. He was a graduate of Central High School, and went on to graduate from Cooper Institute. He retired from the U.S. Postal Service after 32 years of service. In his younger years he enjoyed bowling, and was an avid golfer. He was very well known in the dancing community. As a young man he enjoyed square dancing, and in later years, ballroom and country dancing.
Donald L. Fowler, age 80, of Knoxville passed away Tuesday, July 2, 2019. He enjoyed spending time with his family and eating out. He is preceded in death by wife of 26 years Carol Fowler, parents; Hugh & Hester Fowler, brothers; Albert, Billy, Glenn and James, and by dog Peanut. He is survived by son Keith Fowler, brother Wilbur Fowler of Springfield, Tennessee and many nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends from 2:00pm-4:00pm on Saturday, July 6, 2019 at Grove Heights Baptist Church (818 Frank Street Knoxville, TN). A service will follow at 4:00pm with Rev.
Lois Ann Lee – age 67 of Maynardville, went to be with the Lord on July 2, 2019.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Wayne Lee; parents, Clarence and Dorothy Effler; sister, Linda Sexton; brothers, Bobby and Charlie Effler. Lois is survived by her daughter, Sheila (Kenneth) Lawler; son, Bobby (Tammy) Tharp; several grandchildren and great grandchildren; sisters, Emma (Bill) Collins, Karen (Randy) Chamberlain and Gerri (Mark) Ford; brother, Sandy (Peggy) Effler; and a host of loving nieces and nephews and other family members.
Mickie D. Faulkner-age 43 of Corryton passed away Tuesday morning, July 2, 2019 at her home with her family by her side. She was a member of True Life Ministries Church. She was a loving and selfless person who loved to make others smile and be happy. She was preceded in death by father, George Lee Poindexter; mother, Anna B. Collins; sister, Lisa Poindexter.
Gene Autrey Ford – age 75 of Luttrell, passed away Thursday, June 27, 2019. He was a member of Piney Grove Baptist Church, Karns. Gene was a military veteran and a retired electrician, IBEW Local 760.