“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Friday, May 9, 2014

Rain


It's cloudy here today, and there's an intermittent light rain.  It's warm and muggy so I'm running the air in the house and the apartment. I have dehumidifiers running in the shop and the enclosed part of the barn. Environmental control is essential here. Without, mildew and mold will destroy cloth, leather, paper, and a good many other things.

Paying the electric bill for the equipment is like paying the propane bill in winter. It's just something you have to do if you want to survive up here.

If we ever lose the grid, that humidity is going to be a huge drawback.  Something I didn't give much thought to when I moved here.  However hard you try to plan, and no matter how much research you do, you'll miss something.


I like these little paintings of fairies with ferrets.  Some lady paints them.  I have not been able to find her web page, but when I do I want to see how much she wants for an original painting. If it's beyond my means maybe she sells prints.   I'd like to have one to hang on the wall.  In our living room we have a print of one of Chagall's paintings. It's my wife's favorite.  I have three paintings hung over the fireplace, one of Robert E. Lee, one of Stonewall Jackson, and the famous "last meeting" of the two. Of course mine are all prints.  I think one of these little ferret paintings would add some color to what is otherwise a fairly somber display.



  My brother Terry and I went to Chancellorsville years ago. We saw the monument that marked where Jackson was inadvertently shot by his own men on a dark, stormy night while returning from a reconnaissance.  Back then, Generals actually did that kind of thing.

Then we went to the little farm house where his arm was amputated.

Finally, we went to the cemetery where he was buried. It was strange to stand by the grave, with a picture of the funeral in our hands. We could see right where everyone stood all those years ago.





We also went to Lee's tomb.  But it was a Sunday, the college was closed, and we could only look through the windows on the building face.  We had brought some flowers to leave, so we just had to leave them on the steps.




The prints I have were all given to me as gifts by coworkers over the years.  They are beautifully framed, and will go to my son when I have no further need of them.  There are some things I want to be sure the kids get and these prints are among them.

Another is my Marine Officer's sword.


I'm sure that's not something my son will get much use out of.  It's hanging over the mantlepiece right now.  In my time all Marine officers were required to have a sword, and to know the ceremonial drill involved in using them.  There were two choices, either a Spanish made or German made sword. I got a German sword. You had to pay for all your uniforms and ancillary equipment out of your own pocket, and the small allowance you got didn't begin to cover the expenses.  It took me quite awhile to pay for that sword. Perhaps today the young lieutenants don't have to buy them unless they are going to some ceremonial post like 8th and I.  That would make more sense, but strangely enough the sword was part of the mystique that bound you to the Marine Corps, so maybe they still constitute part of the initial uniform requirements.

My daughter will get her mother's things, like china, crystal and bronze tableware. I'm sure she'll also get the collection of jewelry I bought my wife from all over the world, which she never wore.  I knew she wouldn't, but I wanted her to have something nice from all the different places I went.



22 comments:

  1. Speaking of the grid going down, are you still able to use any of that old solar system for anything? I know you prefer your diesel generator for most of your stuff.

    The weather is building here and I just looked at the radar and I see the rain about to move in here in the valley. I just got the driveway resealed. Took him 2 days because it was so bad off. The first coat just got sucked up into the old asphalt, so it tool 2 coats. And if I'm still here in this place come this fall, I'll probably throw a 3rd coat just before it cools off. The fresh black coating really absorbs the ambient light and really speeds up the snow melting off.... less shoveling, not to mention repelling the water to keep it from freezing down in the cracks and busting the asphalt up.

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    1. No, the solar panels and inverter are just abandoned, like my old C band satellite dish. My place is like an old abandoned Mayan city in that respect. I hauled all the giant deep cycle batteries to the the recycling center.

      I have poured cement parking pads at the house. The tree roots have cracked them some over the years.

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  2. The humidity here is rough on things. Bread can mold so fast in the humid months!

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    1. Bitter cold in winter. Steaming hot and humid in summer. Never a dull moment.

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  3. You worry about the heat and humidity if the grid should go down in the summer, and I worry about freezing to death should we lose it in the winter! I guess we tend to make choices and then figure out how to live with them.

    I've pretty much already given the family related things to my kids and grandkids, as I have no extra storage space at all. Those things that have meaning to my brother and me now live with him, with a couple of small exceptions. And those I will send home with him the next time I see him. It is good to make sure that those items that hold our memories stay within the family.

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    1. Ironically my mom is now sending me many of our family treasures at exactly the same time I am doing the same thing with my own kids.

      After this past winter I have to worry about freezing to death too.

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  4. I have been to weddings where the grandfather of the newly weds was a marine. The sword was use to cut the cake.

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    1. I know people do that. I wouldn't have wanted sugary icing to get on my sword. It is really a thing of beauty, with fine engraving by German craftsmen. Really, I should have it buried in my hidden tomb with me so when the archeologists excavate my gravesite they will think I was a mighty warlord in ancient times. ;-)

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  5. Harry you need to learn about the wonderful "google image search". Here is the link her ferret pics on her website http://www.strangeling.com/product-category/fine-art-prints/animal-art-prints/ferret-art-prints/ . She's got some scary stuff!

    How did people live in GA before AC and dehumidifiers? We visited my grandparents in GA when I was about 12. We stepped off the plane, and it felt like I couldn't breath fresh air. It was the beginning of June, and they said it wasn't even bad yet! Yuck! That was the first time I ever saw a ferret. We went to a mall and there was a pet store in it with ferrets in the window. Ferrets aren't legal here. In fact we don't have pet stores in our malls, and our pet stores don't sell much for pets because of animal rights activists. It sure is different over their.

    Kimberly

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    1. There are some old cabins preserved here in the county that date back to the 1840's. No windows at all and cooking was done in the hearth even in summer. I honestly don't know how people survived and I sincerely hope circumstances never force me to find out for myself. There are lots of ferrets here. They were illegal here for many years because the chicken farm moguls feared some would escape captivity and form roving bands of barbaric ferrets pillaging and sacking the chicken farms. Eventually even the chicken companies figured out domestic ferrets can't survive in the wild so now the ferrets live here in harmony. If we could just figure out what to do about human illegals now....

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    2. I'll check out that URL. You have me wondering what else she paints besides ferrets!

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  6. Hmmm no offense but placing Gen. Lee and Jackson pictures next to cutesy ferret and fairy paintings seems somehow...well.... like Blasphemy or something :)

    Why that's like pairing Washington up with a hedgehog and Longstreet up with a unicorn. It just ain't right :)

    No one required us to have swords in the Army unless you were on a very special detail maybe. We had to buy all our dress uniforms though of course and everything after the first three sets of BDUs and first set of greens. I remember I had a two month stint after OBC before heading off to the next class of advanced camp at Ft. Sill and I got dumped into a special details roster and pulled honor guard/burial duty they issued me a sword and gave me about 15 minutes of instruction on what to do with each command. I ended up doing them twice int he two months.

    Some day I should tell you the story about the Cuban prisoner transfer duty I pulled taking some criminals from Florida to Fort Leavenworth as a stupid butter bar. It is a classic.

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    1. I agree with the hindu belief that if you lead a good life you come back as a higher form. General Lee was such a saintly man that I have no doubt he skipped right over several evolutions and came right back as a ferret.

      We did sword drill ad nauseam. I bet I could still do a retirement parade, arthritic wrist and all.

      We would have used a Corporal on a chaser detail like that. I often thought that the Army used junior officers for things NCO' s did in the Marines. Different philosophies I guess.

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    2. I think they used a tier system as the two details I went on were each for full birds while I remember my first step father's (ya I have two) funeral had an E7 in charge. My SF was a major when he retired so I am seeing a pattern here I think.

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    3. Oh and ya I imagine it comes from having literally thousands of butter bars waiting around in the que for advanced camp. I know it was common to send the enlisted guys home for a couple weeks or months when they finished basic and were waiting for a new AIT cycle to start but they routinely kept the lieutenants on post it seemed.

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    4. Funerals were a different thing than chaser details. I never had to do one so I don't know how they decided who got assigned to that in the Marines but I am glad I missed that particular show.

      We went to Officer Candidate School, then had a break. Then to The Basic School for six months, then to your occupational speciality school, then to the fleet.

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  7. Harry,


    (captaincrunch)


    If you want, put me down for one of them "Isapore rifles" in .308, but I prefer you stay alive for many years to come and I can pick up my own Isapore rifle.

    I think you sound a bit depressed....

    I personally think you have nothing to worry about and you kinda created your own little kingdom.

    Harry, The Ferret King, or King Harry of the Mountain.

    Harry maybe you can find a new hobby. Order a set of Bagpipes and learn how to play (that will scare off all the black bears in the state)
    You can be like that famous Scottish soldier with Bagpipes that stormed that beach during D-Day with his pipes rallying the troops that were pinned down by the Germans.

    Harry, you got lots to live for. You just gotta get out and get invoved in something.

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    1. I'm doing fine CC. I just like to have things organized in advance. Prior planning, you know.

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    2. Hey Harry,

      (captaincrunch)

      I got a laugh out of the "Roving bands of Barbaric Ferrets" pilfering chicken farms comment up above.....

      Harry, I gotta say those pics of Lee's tomb were cool. Did not know that stuff exist, oh 'The Horror, The Horror (line stolen from 'Heart of Darkness)
      What a travesty of political correctness. Old white guys responsible for all of America's problems (Sarcasm)

      (captaincrunch) says, Kiss My Ass, Get a Job, Get in line and Get a life. Money is colorblind, go make some.

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    3. However colorfully put, it seems a good philosophy for life.

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  8. I need to go check the radar for South Carolina, I hope my garden up there gets a good watering.
    WOW on that old funeral picture. and the fact you got to stand where those people were...makes me speechless...

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    1. It was a very strange experience. Visiting the little house where Jackson underwent amputation of his arm was odd, too. It was just a little white frame house in the middle of nowhere, nothing anywhere close in terms of other buildings or roads. It rained here all last night and much of today, I bet South Carolina got a good soaking.

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