Southern Man

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Long-time readers (all three of you) may recall that Southern Man has ten acres of land out north of the Big City. He's got a barn / workshop out there (but no electricity, yet) and still plans to build a home there, some day. It's a quiet, peaceful place and Southern Man doesn't get out there nearly often enough.

Well, he was out there a few weeks ago to look at the sad state of the barn roof (needs a new one) and it occurred to him that he may have left his big extension ladder leaning against the side of the barn rather than back inside where it belonged. Once remembered, this is just the sort of thing that keeps Southern Man up nights, so after his evening class he headed out north to check on the state of things out at The Land.

Southern Man's senior moments occur more and more frequently, but he managed to escape one a few weeks ago. Verifying this was not particularly easy - no electricity means no lights and by then it was pitch black inside - but Southern Man has a spotlight in the truck and managed to get enough light into the barn to confirm that the ladder was right where it belonged. With mission accomplished, Southern Man just sat outside and relaxed and thought about things and looked at the stars for a while, then hopped back into the truck to head home. Alas, while rounding the barn he was paying too much attention to the radio and not enough to his driving and got just a little to close to his junkpile - and clipped a bundle of old rusty barbed wire.

Well, Southern Man got the truck stopped and crawled underneath with the spotlight - still in jacket and tie, mind you - to find that the barbed wire was everywhere. And he does mean everywhere. Especially wrapped all around the driveshaft. That truck wasn't going anywhere for a while.

Southern Man took note that the neighbors were home, but had no intention of going for help right then. Fortunately, that barn was full of tools. Oops - did Southern Man mention the lack of electricity and lights? I believe that he did. However, Southern Man keeps a few old oil lamps around, so after several moments of fumbling around in the dark he managed to locate both a lamp and a lighter, and there was light. A sputtery oil lamp light, in a barn packed full of cardboard boxes full of books and papers, but light nonetheless. So Southern Man stumbled around a bit, fully aware that if he tripped in all the clutter and dropped that lamp he would lose the entire barn, and finally found a pair of pliers and then a big 'ole pair of bolt cutters. With tools in hand, Southern Man headed out to lock the barn and untangle his truck.

Then he couldn't find his barn keys.

After a good twenty minutes with that sputtery oil lamp looking for them, he finally found them right where he had put them. Senior moment, anyone? At home, Southern Man is actully pretty careful to put things in the same place every evening or he does end up spending inordinate amounts of time looking for them 'next morning.

With keys found and the barn secured, the next hour or so was spent under the truck with the spotlight and the tools, nibbling away at all that twisted up rusty barbed wire. Especially where it was all wound up in the gap where the driveshaft meets the differential. Let's just say that Southern Man took a number of breaks to lie on his back and look at the stars for a bit before diving back into that particular problem. But finally the task was done. The back of Southern Man's truck may be full of six-inch lengths of barbed wire, but none remained underneath. With tools stowed away, it was time to head home but first Southern Man decided to see if he'd had any calls.

And couldn't find his cell phone.

He'd had it earlier and after searching the truck cabin from stem to stern about a dozen times he knew that it had to be somewhere in the dark, grassy fields or in that dark, cluttered barn...but where? Did it fall out of his pocket while he was under the truck? Or near the barn? Or anywhere in between?

After a fruitless half-hour driving slowly around with that corded spotlight, the idea of seeking help from the neighbors was looking better and better so Southern Man headed that way. Sure enough, she was perfectly happy to loan him a cell phone and a nice bright lantern. While everyone knows that the best way to find a lost cell phone is to call it from another cell phone, Southern Man didn't have much hope; his usually doesn't get much of a signal way out there in the boonies and most of the time he has to go upstairs to make a call. However, he slowly walked around with the lantern and called his number a few times - and the third call was the charm. The phone that was lost was found again, literally right under his feet, and nowhere near where he thought he'd lost it.

And the best part was that while on the way home Southern Man's gf called to say "Hey, meet us at Mazzios" so he got to eat pizza and tell this story to her and friends.

Southern Man has said this before (particularly in this old post) but when he has bad luck it tends to be "good" bad luck as opposed to "bad" bad luck. Sure, it was a mess tonight but everything ended well; the truck is fine and the lost keys and lost phone were found, and he ended up with an entertaining story to tell friends and something to blog about - having not burned his barn down or even suffered so much as a flat tire. God certainly does watch after Southern Man, in ways both small and large. Lord, I thank you for Your watchful presence over me. You know when even a single sparrow falls, so how You must watch over me in matters both great and small. I pray that you would continue to guide my steps and shine a light before me, that I might follow the new path that You have set for me. Amen.


At Tuesday, February 27, 2007, Blogger neighborsgrrl said...

I think I got lost while reading your blog...heh..heh...

Completely appropo of nothing...JJ Abrams has finally signed on to helm the next movie for Star Trek. Please don't suck! Your deep thoughts, Southern Man?


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