We Live in Weird Times

Ralph Stanley is endorsing Obama.

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In Which I Single-Handedly Save Robertson County

I spend a lot of time in Robertson County and I think we can all agree that it has some issues.  Like many other rural counties, there’s a massive job and brain drain and so it’s made up mostly of kids and old people.

But it has a historic industry that could be revived, one that served it well in troubled times before.

If the people of Robertson County want to save Robertson County, they need to start distilling whiskey.

If Kentucky can have its Bourbon Trail, and more importantly, if Kentucky can support at least seven bourbon distilleries and reap the tourist benefits of them, why the heck is Tennessee limiting itself to the whiskeys of Jack Daniel’s and George Dickle?

The Pitt Distillery still has historic buildings you can go look at north of Springfield and you can still hop on Distillery Road just west of Greenbrier.  So, I say, let’s bring back Robertson County whiskey and put some jobs back into the economy up there.  There’s got to be some old moonshiners who could show folks how it’s done.

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Newscoma, you might float this in Hooterville, too.  Just think if you had a completely locally made whiskey, with everything from the water to the grain to the wood from the barrels to age it in coming from right there in the county.  Seems to me that could put some folks to work.

Back from the Dead

Both No Depression and Chris Clarke.

Also, I must make a confession, which I am reminded of in a round-about way from Clarke to Raven to Crow to Old Crow Medicine Show, Old Crow Medicine Show, when they suck, suck hard.

I am, however, excited to meet the crows in my new neighborhood.  I hear them in the evening and it makes me happy.

Still no great insight into how I’m going to “sit out” at the new place, but still excited that I will have my own ground upon which to sit.  I think my plan may be to ask Mack to mow one more time and then have him help me set up a little makeshift altar–just a few bricks and a board–in one of the clear spots in the back yard.  But I can’t quite figure out how to deliniate a circle that can stand for nine days without being too obtrusive during the day.

Also, here’s something I think about but can’t quite figure out–what is an appropriate sacrifice?  Last year, I had trail mix (which I love), and craisins (which I love), and Reese’s peanut butter cups (which I love) and I left them on my altar for the nine days and then at the end of it, I put them and all the ashes and other left over stuff in a Burger King bag and stopped at the foot of the hill on my way to visit Mack and tossed it all into the creek and turned my back on it and let it go its own way and I went mine.

And I do leave a glass of alcohol when we have it in the house on the window for the Old Man, when I think of it.

But my fortune this past year has been extraordinary–my biopsy went well, I’ve now got a diagnosis for my girly problems and a course of action to bring them under control and return my cooter to me happy and healthy, I bought a house, and my dad came through his bypass with flying colors, and I am, as always, sappily greatful for y’all, my dear, dear friends.

I don’t believe in sacrifice that is suffering.  Does that make sense?  I don’t believe it is healthy, for me, anyway, to view sacrifice as a way to hurt myself or make myself uncomfortable or to increase my suffering in order to… I don’t know… even the scales, so that the abundance I have been given falls into an equal sized hole of lack.

I want to acknowledge that abundance, though, and to make a real gesture of ritual sharing.

And that I’ve not yet figured out for myself–what is an appropriate gesture for me of ritual sharing with the Sacred?

Gardens

My boss has a garden full of large, large plants.  I have never had a garden full of large, large plants because, for starters, we never lived anywhere long enough to really get a flower garden going like some English cottage dream.  And I don’t think my parents would have liked that.  I think it would have felt messy to them.

But I’ve been thinking about here, with an acre and a girl who doesn’t like to weed and while there seems like there might be something cool on the surface about having, say, one thousand pansies, I’d really rather have plants that take up some room.  I’m trying to pay special attention to what parts of the yard get what kind of sunlight so that I can figure out where to plant herbs and such.

Of course, we should be unpacking, but we seem to be taking our own sweet time at that.  Maybe if we’re lucky, I’ll do some dishes tonight.