Friday, January 13, 2006

City Lights

I don't often talk of the city,
But a trip to Chicago left me breathless.
I should say the moment of leaving
Took my breath away.

As the plane rose
Grumbling at gravity in the dark night
The lights of Chicago appeared
Like Christmas lights to a child they drew me.

Standing in rows
Like a bright connect the dot game
Ordered rows and blocks of light
Reminding all that someone was home.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Winter in Beloved - Bud Clavins passes

The winter has been mild in my hometown of Beloved, Kentucky.  The snow held off except for one big snowfall in early December.  Over a foot of snow fell and unusually cold weather kept it on the ground for weeks.  That was a historic week in the journals of Beloved as that snowfall saw the death of Homer "Bud" Clavens from up on Brushy Butt Creek.

Seems like Bud Clavens noticed his outhouse was pretty near full an' in need of the hole bein' filled an' a new hole dug.  Those among us who have not had the pleasure of digging a hole for an outhouse would not know that digging through a foot of snow and six or seven feet of frozen dirt is a difficult task.  It was also a task Bud did not relish.

Bud got the idea early in the Winter of puttin' sled runners on the outhouse an' waitin till it snowed real deep.  He then planned on moving the outhouse to a new location and hang the backside over a steep ravine.  He figured he would just push it to the edge, secure it an' never have to dig an outhouse hole again.  Pretty good idea, as far as it went.

When it started snowin', Bud hiked the outhouse up a bit so the sled runners would be on top of the snow.  Him an' his wife, Etta figured they would use other accommodations for a few days, haul the outhouse to the edge of that ravine an' be livin' in high cotton from then on.

There were several light snows but none big enouugh to move the outhouse.  He decided to sit tight.

Then the big snow came and Bud knew it was time to make the move.  He would do his usual chores and then drag the outhouse down the hill to the ravine.

Problem was, Bud was out feedin' his hogs early in the morning an' nature called.  He couldn't make it back to the house, so he figured "one for the road" an' carefully stepped up and in the hiked up outhouse.

His weight in the outhouse made the dang thing break off the jacks an' land on the sled runners.  Bud had just settled down and started reading when he felt the jolt.  As he stood up to see what in the heck was goin' on, the whole kit an' kaboodle took off on them sled runners, headed downhill to the ravine.

Bud saw where the thing was goin' an sat down, dropped the a Sears an Roebuck catalog that he was readin' an' grabbed hold of the sides to keep from fallin' through the hole as he bounced over the river an' through the woods!!!

Bud looked around the generous sized outhouse (it was a two seater after all) for something to help him in his unusual situation.  Above him in the rafters he spied an old Model A Ford tire rim and had a McGyver moment.  Taking off his scarf, he tied it to the tire rim and held on to the side of the outhouse.

He planned to drop the old Model A Ford tire rim through the hole and use it as sort of an anchor to grab a-hold of a root or some other obstruction.  The speed of the outhouse on the hard crusty snow should have been a pretty clear sign that any obstruction was totally covered.

Well, when he hit the edge of the ravine, the outhouse was movin' so fast he whizzed right past the edge (pardon the pun) in that two seater outhouse an' fell to his death over 100 feet to the bottom of the ravine.

The fall jammed the outhouse so deep into the ravine that his wife an' youngins decided it were a waste to undig ol' Homer "Budd" Clavins when he was near buried already.  They threw a few buckets of dirt over the top of the outhouse an' left Bud to his eternal rest.

A lovely memorial service was held at the top of the ravine an' a mess of flowers was thrown over the side to rest on the mound of dirt below.

Homer "Budd" Clavins was 102 years old an' is survived by 17 children, 85 grandchildren an a mess of cousins, brothers an' his Mama, Eunice Poovey Clavins.