From the EastWing, Counting Blessings, Without Electricity, Email & Carbide Lights, A Family Reunion & Drawing For The Prize, Snotty Noses Kleenex & COPD, The Little School House Up There On The Hill

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

We’ve all heard the old saying “Count your blessings”. Have ya ever counted yours? Too few have counted. Most have never even given it a thought. They’re a lot, you know, all your blessings, the ones you’ve received from God.

Now I don’t want any of my EastWing friends who say they don’t believe in God to get crazy on me here. ‘Cause even if you don’t believe in God, God will never give up on you. I truly believe that even after you’ve spent your whole life in denial of God, in the last smallest, smallest fraction of your life here on earth, you will still have an opportunity to meet God. As your life clock runs out of time, in that smallest fraction of that final second of your time here on Earth, and you  think “Uh Oh” and it means “forgive me father for I have sinned”. Then God will say “Welcome Home my child.”  Like I said, God doesn’t give up on you, even when you don’t believe in God.

With that being said, now don’t give me any carp here about you not receiving any of God’s blessings in your life. You may not be aware of it yet, but you will, someday soon Lord, someday soon. If you’re reading this, that’s one of ‘em.

Such thoughts about God’s blessings came to mind as the result of an email received a short while back from a part of the world that had gotten both electricity and internet service within the same year. Think about what I’ve said here, electricity and internet service, both becoming available into your life in the same year. Now are  you counting your blessings yet? If not, maybe it’s time to get started here. I’ll wait for ya right here.

Many people today  can’t comprehend life without the internet, much less electricity. The only place I ever knew in my life where electricity did not exist was at South Fork. All the time I spent at South Fork, electricity was not a part of life up there on South Fork, just outside Jackson KY high up there in the mountains. Looking back on such times, it didn’t seem to make much difference. Everything that needed to be done, was done. The day’s work always ended at dusk.   After the day was done at South Fork, it was family time for the evening. I loved the evenings at South Fork. We talked. We laughed. We told stories. We enjoyed the company of each other, we were family.

The South Fork Dining Room  was lit with two oil lamps on the table along with the carbide lights on the walls. For those who may not know about carbide lights. They’re gas lights. Much the same way today’s homes have hot and cold water plumbed into the walls, gas pipes were plumbed into the walls of South Fork.  Wall fixtures in each room could be lit to produce a rather bright light. Brighter than oil lamps, but not as bright as the 100 watt bulbs, the carbide lights lit up the night of South Fork. It was the light by which we told the stories of South Fork. It was by those lights that memories were made. South Fork memories, it was such a time.

It was a humbling experience to read an email from someone who’s encountered both electricity and the internet in the same year. We find ourselves so deep into technology that we never stop and count the blessings. In some respects, it came too fast, that technology. Never allowing us to adjust. Before we could adjust to the new, it became the old, and something new came along, then we went slip sliding away. Yet life went on, and we either kept up, or were passed by. Either way, we seldom ever stopped to count the blessings. Almost as if we didn’t have time to catch up or count the blessings. In reality, we had ample time to do  all three. Catch up, count the blessings, and oh yeah, smell the roses.

Do you ever go to family reunions? We do, every year. The King Family Reunion on the second Sunday of July at the community building in Star City IN. My mother’s maiden name was King. Yes, Mama was one of the Kings from Magoffin County Kentucky.   And so, to this day, we attend the annual King Family Reunion, come the second Sunday of the seventh month of every year.

Of all the original Kings who started this reunion, here in Indiana, only my Aunt Gladys is the sole survivor. Due to health and age, Aunt Gladys does not  attend the King Family Reunion. My Mama was the last surviving member of the original Kings to attend the reunion.  It sure feels different going to the King Family Reunion without my Mama. It just does. Precious memories, how they linger.

And so the second Sunday of July, 2013 found me and the She and all our babies in Star City IN along with nephew Kevin Trusty and his family as well as RJ’s friend Heather. We were a family of Howards at a reunion of Kings. We were glad we were there. We were in the midst of family. On that day, we all stood as Kings.

One of the ways the King Family Reunion supports itself is to have a raffle for several different prizes. Nice prizes, not just junk things that can be bought anywhere for $2.00, but nice prizes indeed. One could get  into the raffle  at $1.00  per ticket or 6 for $5.00.  Me and my boys, we bought in heavy.

We bought in heavy for two reason. One, being to assure the king Family Reunion had sufficient funds to continue to be the King Family Reunion and two, in remembrance of Mama, who always felt,  should her babies not win at least one major prize, then the drawing must be fixed. And so it was this 2013 reunion, we bought in heavy.

There were eight prizes for the drawings at the 2013 King Family Reunion.  Good stuff all. After the smoke of the drawings had cleared away, we took four of the eight. Mama would have been proud. The drawing were not fixed as Mama suspected every year whenever her babies didn’t win enough to suit her. I  sure missed Mama at the King Family Reunion that second Sunday in July, down there in Star City IN. Yet life goes on, and so does the King Family Reunion.

Have you had the snottiest nose in your life this year? I too fall into that same category. Don’t know why, just do.  Seems that me and the She have a contest to see who can blow their nose the most and use the most Kleenex . Most of the time it’s a tie. Must be something in the air. I’m so tired of buying Kleenex by the box, think I’ll go to Sam’s Club and see if they have ‘em by the case.

One of the realities of life in the EastWing is coping with part of my ongoing medical conditions called COPD, Congestive Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Without going into technical talk, I’ll just say “it’s a pain the  butt” I say that ‘cause breathing is so important in the everyday things ya do. COPD tends to obstruct that process. DUH!, hence the name. One of the down sides of certain parts of my education is knowing the detail workings of stuff like COPD. One of the up sides of certain parts of my education is knowing the detail workings of stuff like COPD.

Could that be where the saying  “ignorance is bliss” comes from? Oh well, given the two, I’d choose the education. Way too much time and money invested not to. Plus WOW! All the things I’ve learned about along the way. It’s been such a trip, and continues to be so to this very day. Just to think, it all started in a little Mountain School House in southeastern Kentucky  and ended up at the Ohio State University. Sweet!

Stay Safe in Afghanistan.

From the EastWing, Counting Blessings, Without Electricity, Email & Carbide Lights, A Family Reunion & Drawing For The Prize, Snotty Noses Kleenex & COPD, The Little School House Up There On The Hill

I Wish You Well,