Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Judy and I had a large day Tuesday, not that most days aren’t like that since retirement, but we were up and off to the dentist by 9:30.

We both had appointments; she had an assessment of her braces and found out that they had little effect on her “crooked” tooth, as she calls it, and mine was for a general cleaning. Turns out she will have her braces removed in a few days by another dentist. My little 62 year old teenager will be gone!

My teeth were super sensitive; from using “whitening” toothpaste the hygienists told me, and the buffing part almost killed me! I even said an expletive at one point and jerk away. She was a cute little thing, and I felt guilty, but I just couldn’t help it!

With our clean teeth, we headed for Chili’s! However, we did stop off at Wally World on the way to check on a Christmas present I wanted to get Lily.

Have you seen the commercial for the “Bounce Back Racer”? It’s so cute and I’m sure her daddy will enjoy it too!

I know, she’s a little girl, but a little girl needs rough and tough toys too! This is perfect for the house too. The soft tires just bounce of a wall, and it flips itself over, and heads in the other direction. I can’t wait to play with it myself!

At Chili’s, in Lenoir City, Tennessee, we decided to share the “Kicken’ Crisper Tacos” and “Classic Nachos”! However, while I was in the bathroom washing my hands, the waitress came and Judy mistakenly ordered the plain chicken tacos instead, which turned out fine, I just wanted the extra “kick”!

The food, with these 2-fers of Samuel Adams “Winter Lager”, was really good!

Judy began talking about the “Pepper Box” and whether or not the fall color would be pretty there. So, when we left we headed there.

The “Pepper Box” is a wonderful little “pocket wilderness” just a couple of miles out of Harriman. As teenagers, we used to run Riggs Chapel Road a lot, headin’ for “Clifty Creek!” Back in the woods, next to a 200 foot rock wall, we used to camp, drink some Miller High Life, Schlitz, and Country Club Malt Liquor, smoke some Winston, Pall Mall, and Kools, skinny dip, and do other crazy things teenagers are prone to do.

Water peppering down from the top layers of sandstone and splattering on the rocks below, would echo in the little canyon. It was this repetitive sound that caused someone, in years past, to call the area “The Pepper Box”!

Clifty Creek was nearly dry, with nothing actually flowing out toward the Emory River. Just little standing pools of water with a flotilla of red and yellow leaves hanging silently in stagnating water. However, there was enough color remaining to make the trip worthwhile.

The Pepper Box is “off limits” these days, privately owned, and some half-mile from the gate and signs warning people not to enter. I’d love to see it again, especially this time of year.

I couldn’t help but stand and think of the old days, trying to catch the dimming memory of laughter, unintelligible conversations, color, popping and snapping campfires, and often the crack of a .22! Maybe someday I can hear the “peppering” again!

I found this shot I made back in the early 80’s of Judy seated on a rock overlooking the ol’ swimming hole. The photo is a scan of an old 11X14 I made that is now very faded. I tried to bring back some of the beauty and depth of the fall colors, but it is not even close to the original. You can also see, if you blow the shot up, or go to my Flickr page, the old swing rope wrapped around the limb above Judy. How many times did I swing off that rock and cannonball Barry or Woody?

Back again at the “tree house”, Judy relaxed with her current book, and fought off sleep…for a little while and then succumbed. The sun’s warmth, the chirping birds, and barking squirrels are just too much sometimes and sleep sneaks upon you.

Me, well, I first checked my email, and found pictures from Corey of Lily dressed in her Halloween costume – Little Red Riding Hood! What a wonderful surprise! Judy and I are keeping her for a time Thursday, so maybe there will be some new photo ops for me too.

I find myself growing more and more anxious to see Lily’s new little sister. It wasn’t hard waiting on Lily, but now having her and enjoying and loving her so much, makes waiting on the new little precious gift much harder. However, she’ll be here soon enough and she has a wonderful family waiting to show her this crazy ol’ world.


*Goddess* said...

Is that all water next to you in the picture where you're standing on a rock? Or just some water? I couldn't tell if it was all covered by leaves or not.

Lily looks so sweet in her costume. The pic of her with the pumpkins is precious.

Mushy said...

Yes, there is "some" water to my left, under the leaf covering, but very little.

The patch of green in the background is the same patch in the first leaf photo.

Judy took the photo of me and I had just taken the first photo down stream.

Becky said...

I dressed as 'Lil Red as well, but Lily is much cuter :) those first two pictures almost looked like paintings at first, they would be so pretty on a wall.

Are we not supposed to use whitening toothpaste?

Sarge Charlie said...

I love your photos mushey, you know I never paid much attention to fall until I got older, maybe because we are in the autumn of our lives.

Ralph said...

The Pepper Box looks like it is an amazing place. Those tacos looked pretty darn good too.

Suldog said...

Ack! I think you know some of my problems concerning teeth. I know, very well, what it's like to spit out an expletive during a dental process. My sympathies.

Mushy said...

Glad everyone is enjoying my photos and family experiences. Thanks for dropping means a lot to me.

Sandi McBride said...

It's so nice to read about your wonderful family. That Lily is a doll!

~Fathairybastard~ said...

That's a wonderful post brutha. I love those old memories of yours. I miss them. Great shots and vittles too. Give Judy a squeeze for me.

pat houseworth said...

Great food usual making me hungry. And also as usual, the foilage photos are top notched.

Mushy said...

Thanks's an update:

I just got an email from Muse Watson giving me permission to "The Pepper Box" anytime I want. What a nice thing to do.

Thanks Muse

Muse Watson said...

You are welcome. When we put up the gate to the Pepper Box we never meant to keep hikers out, we had just taken tons of garbage out with the help of Harriman City for trucks and the TVA for a back hoe and were a little nervous about stopping the trucks hauling garbage in and trucks hauling rock out. Both are against the law and we will prosecute. But to those armed with cameras who are willing to walk out with their trash, we say welcome...and have a safe walk.

Mushy said...

Wonderful...for those that appreciate and love The Pepper Box, thanks so much! We didn't know the rules or that you were such a good man. We will take care of it!

Kevin said...

Those fall colors are fantastic. You live in a beautiful part of the world, Mushy.

David Sullivan said...

Great pics, fall is looking good down in beautiful Tennessee.

catscratch said...

You guys find the bestest places around here (places I've never even heard of sometimes)!!

I am hooked on my lil grandson. He's the apple of my eye. I can totally understand you all being anxious for the next bundle of joy!