The Cumberland Plateau

Julie, our anxious cat ‘George,’ and I have arrived at our new home on ‘The Cumberland Plateau’ in Tennessee…have a taste: Image 

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Thomas Wolfe wrote many years ago a novel, “You Can’t Go Home Again.” So long ago my birth, my childhood, and my teen years opened the biography book of my living. Guess I needed to test Wolfe’s thesis — with all those young years that basically built me, gave me emotional pain, gave me joy, could some pieces have been left behind to help me discover more of the person I became, the person who loved, who despaired, who meant to have been so much more for the world?

Two days here a few lines have come to me (fitting, perhaps, for a song) – you miss my tender tenor voice and the melody but here are a few words: “Saw mills and railroad tracks fill my memory / Creosote smells and Mama’s home cooking / Part of my Tennessee // Cows grazing in the meadow / Papa plowing up the ground / Mama in the kitchen churning her butter…” (well, you get the idea!) These first two days back give me a sense of well being, a sense that maybe the move was the right choice, a sense that maybe that part of my destiny was already written.

Julie and I sat on the deck with cocktails last night, looked across the canyon to another ridge of green trees, sipped and savored some good moments. ‘George,’ too, had a rough trip and is still in a moping mood, carefully, slowly checking things out — he’s just glad to be out of the car (and gets nervous when he sees Julie pulling clothes from the suitcases)… He’s usually a consistent meow-yapper but he hasn’t muttered much these past two days.

Well, the bottom line is that we safely drove some 2,000 miles in 3 and 1/2 days, arrived at our new home, all furnished and ready for use. That’s the way we buy houses. At this point we feel good about the move. We love the house. We love the views. AND, we know the first storm has not visited us yet!

Those pieces I mentioned earlier? The song is a start, but I’m not fooling myself! What I am is what I get! We will stay put for awhile, maybe a long while, until that wanderlust itch hits again.

It goes without saying that you can follow me on twitter (@brchitwood) 

You can visit my main website/blog: http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com

You can preview all my books at the Independent Authors Network (IAN) site: http://goo.gl/fuxUA

You can get a short bio sketch of me at: http://www.about.me/brchitwood

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‘Waiting’ By The Seashore

If one must wait for an event to happen, what better place than a blue sun-filled sky and the beautiful Sea of Cortez?

My wife and I are moving to Tennessee and should have left already. A last minute glitch at the Tennessee end has caused a delay, meaning, of course, that disgusting Murphy fellow is still around. We believe, hope, that the delay will only be a few days…he says with eyes looking up to the ceiling while his head nods! 🙂

The ‘waiting’ got me to thinking about, well, ‘waiting.’ Some ‘waiting’ is almost delectable in the anticipation it brings…like the arrival of kids, grandchildren, friends, or the big check in the mail and the pizza just ordered for delivery.

Some ‘waiting’ has fearful overtones, like… a car accident? a flight overdue? has a mistake been made? The nerves are edgy.

We ‘waited’ for the Zimmerman verdict. It was likely filled with anticipation, one way of the other. A young teenager, Trayvon Martin, had been killed in a housing project by this fellow, George Zimmerman, a hired neighborhood guard who presumably thought the teenager had no good intent in the gated community. After all, the teenager had on a hood and looked suspicious.

Words were exchanged. An altercation erupted into a killing, Zimmerman claimed he feared for his life and shot the kid. The details came out in a jury trial.

The jury heard the prosecution. The jury heard the defense. The jury heard about the entire episode, with witnesses for the prosecution and witnesses for the defense. The jury was made up of six people whom we must assume were good and honest folks. They listened to both sides of the case and returned a verdict of ‘not guilty’ by reason of self-defense. Justice was rendered. End of case.

Well, not quite the end of the case! There were demonstrations by angry people who thought justice was not dispensed properly, those who thought the black teenager was murdered, not killed in self-defense. The ugly word, racism, was used by some, whites being favored over the blacks…reaching back through the pages of our history to display something that seems at times so easy to use for the purpose of a few. ‘Waiting’ for a verdict brought us a reminder of a past that should be no more. Should we not have by now thrown away the race cards, gotten away from the skin color thing? After all, we have a black president, elected by the American people. 

Those who don’t know about the Zimmerman case, those who might want to know more, can do their research. They can decide within their own hearts and minds how they feel about the ‘not guilty’ verdict in this case.

In the end, only George Zimmerman knows with specificity what really happened on that ill-fated day. I’m sure he will think about it throughout his life. It does not much matter what I think. A young life was lost. That I know. A jury of George Zimmerman’s peers voted unanimously for the ‘not guilty’ verdict. While we should certainly grieve the loss of a seventeen year old, feel great empathy and sympathy for his family and friends, we should also accept the fact that justice was fairly administered.

‘Waiting’ for a free and clear title to a property is not in the same realm as ‘waiting’ for a jury’s verdict on the death of a teenager…but it was there in my heart and mind…

Follow me on twitter.com (@brchitwood)

Main website: http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com

Short Bio sketch: http://www.about.me/brchitwood

My books: http://goo.gl/fuxUA (IAN)

http://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

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Award Time

One has to take time to acknowledge an award nomination. So, I am.

I’m in the midst of a move to Tennessee from the beautiful Sea of Cortez, but I did want to take the time to acknowledge a nomination I received recently. The image for this award should be displayed on my blog site: Image

My sincere thanks to Kalyen Dunleavy for nominating me for the ‘WordPress Family Award.’ I am indeed honored and my very best wishes go out to you. Please forgive the haste with which this post is delivered. I shall try to make up for it at a later date — after my move. Thank you for your understanding. 

http://blueribbonfair.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/so-happy-the-wordpress-family-award/ 

My nominees are:

Thanks to my blog followers for reading my posts. The posts will continue within a week or so, after my move. The archives have perhaps a post you haven’t read. Hope you can read them all.

Follow me at twitter.com – @brchitwood

http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com

http://www.about.me/brchitwood 

http://goo.gl/fuxUA (my books at IAN1) 

 

A Wanderlust Brief!

A Wanderlust Brief!
I’m off again! Leaving the Sea of Cortez for the hills of Tennessee — it’s a rather common anomaly, this wanderlust thing that courses through the veins along with the blood. My wife, sweet Julie Anne, would still be content in that first house of many we’ve had, but she is such a patient and understanding person — either that or she is a loon to put up with me and my nomadic impulses.
Thomas Wolfe wrote a novel, “You Can’t Go Home Again,” and I’m testing his long ago thesis. I was born in East Tennessee near the Kentucky border, back when the times were emotionally charged and the economy was a highfalutin word at which most of us good hill folks just squinted our eyes and kept on plowing the fields and digging up the taters and turnips.
Dianne Gray wrote a book of short stories (“Manslaughter And Other Tears” – they’re on amazon now and the Kindle book is FREE. as I write this), one of which really caught my attention… The story is titled, “Corrugated Dreaming” and it’s filled with some unbelievably good writing, great analogies, and some kind of human conditions with which I can identify. The Lady Gray is just too good and original, and, if you haven’t read her many books, hop to it. Dianne is most certainly one of the best writers of our time.
But I digress!
It’s true, all that emotional soup I ate during those Appalachian days must have made for poor digestion all these years — the family disconnect, the mobility, the tears and the stains. With the books I’ve written, I suspect I’ve been trying to find those pieces of me I never could find back in those days. They’re there in my books, in the simple characters and plots I build, on and between the lines. I’m quite sure most authors/writers do the same thing. Some are just too darned good, too original, and should be topping everyone’s reading charts. Now, that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop writing my books my way — there are a few in my reading audience and it’s growing.
Well, here’s the thing, why the move back to Tennessee where some old memories just might cause some soul demolition?
The short answer I’ve given — that wanderlust thing!
The longer answer is a bit more complicated, all mixed up in the genes and memories, some gray areas of regret and remorse, some faint idea that maybe I can reconcile some of my life back there where it all started.
It’s likely a ‘fool’s journey’ but my commitment is made. Onward to Tennessee! Julie won’t be surprised if I’m ready to move again in a couple of years – if that long!
If anyone is reading this and gives a ‘hoot and holler,’ my e-mail, my blogs, and all my social networking sites will be the same.
One last thing, if anybody can recommend a pill for getting rid of wanderlust. please let me know. I’m really getting too old for these moves. 🙂
Please follow me on twitter.com (@brchitwood)
 
My main website/blog is: http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com
 
Short bio sketch on: http://www.about.me/brchitwood
 
My nine books (soon to be ten) are at: http://goo.gl/fuxUA 
 
My books are also on amazon.com: http://goo.gl/vYTfR
 
My books are also on amazon.co.uk: http://goo.gl/ScJ1q

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