Clark Hollow Ramblings: A new year dawns 

Here we are in a new year and I trust you have arrived safely in 2015. I am having trouble getting used to it. For some reason, 2015 sounds like George Orwell’s “1984” did when we were in the 1960s, or 2001 when we were in the ’70s and ’80s. Hopefully, it will move along like the rest of them have and we’ll get used to it.

Here’s hoping your holidays were everything you wanted them to be. We had a wonderful Christmas. We have now been blessed with four grandchildren, and it is hard to wipe the smile off our faces. We saw lots of friends and family and had some really good food. A few of us from church went Christmas caroling, and I enjoyed that. 

Every year about Thanksgiving, I make my mother’s dark fruit cake, and Linda makes her coconut cake. I had the last little piece of fruit cake last night with my coffee. The coconut cake has been gone for some time. I’m sorry we didn’t save you any. Maybe next time. And for the new year, we had a big pot of black-eyed peas, and it is amazing how something so simple can be so good. 

I have been having my annual struggles with the wood stove. Some kind of nasty bug got into my woodpile. It got under the bark and ate the first couple of layers of sap wood and left sawdust, or something like it. I was left with a huge pile of rotten bark, but have been able to grind it up, and hope to use it as mulch on my garden. As they say, when life gives you lemons, make some lemonade. 

For firewood, I am down to burning high heaven and cut paper, at least that’s what my dad used to call it. I think the proper name is paper mulberry. There is a lot of it out at the old house, and I have been taking them out one at the time. It burns a little better than poplar, but not much. Dad would have said, “It’ll make ashes, son. Cut it.” And so I did. 

To bring you up to date on my diminishing ability to fix things that break around the homestead, I am happy to report that I used my good common sense and let Clyde Pullen put the dishwasher in at my daughter’s house. Clyde and Tiger came to the rescue, and all is well. We are fortunate to have such good craftsmen available to us here in Rappahannock. 

The flu bug and viruses have been all around this year. We have had a bout or two with the grubbies, but nothing major. Wash your hands a lot. You can go visit them, but don’t be hugging on sick people. Eat well and get enough rest and stay hydrated. That’s the best advice I have, except just stay warm and keep your head down. In another six weeks it will be the first of March, and things will start looking up again. 

Richard Brady
About Richard Brady 141 Articles
Richard Brady was born and raised within sight of Rappahannock Peak, as was his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather, etc. He graduated from George Mason University and was employed for 35 years with various agencies of the federal government. He retired in 2001, and he and his wife, Linda, live in Flint Hill, Va.