Category Archives: Life reflections

Timing is Everything – – –

Jack just gets over the line this time with the Wednesday blog post –

Wendy has always wanted a grandfather clock and we were gifted one by a local friend a few days ago. It now stands proudly in our library room.

But it got me thinking about time, both in general and in more specific ways.

I’ve always been interested in the way we experience time. When I was ten, then ten years was my whole life, but when I was twenty it was half my life. Now that I’m approaching eighty it’s an eighth of my life and the last ten years have gone in a blink.

All of this also brings to mind particular moments in time too – we have paintings and photos displayed around the house that are like time machines and instantly transport me back.

Up until recently our lives have been ordered by the days of the week but now, during lock-down I have real trouble deciding which day of the week it is. Mostly each day has the same shape to it and we go to some lengths to introduce some variety, but still – – –

We have a Zoom meeting every Sunday with friends here in the US and others in Scotland – here it’s at 9 am but in Scotland it’s 2 pm. Our good friend Liz Weir in Ireland hosts a massive on-line session every Saturday night with folk all over the world, but for many participants it isn’t Saturday night – for some not even Saturday at all!

Finally – we picked our first garden peas yesterday and I was instantly transformed to the ten year old walking home with my grandad from his allotment (victory garden) and eating peas from a freshly picked pod.

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Filed under between books, Big Stone Gap, crafting, folklore and ethnography, home improvements, humor, Life reflections, Uncategorized, Wendy Welch

Dear Deere – – –

Jack doesn’t quite make it on time with the Wednesday post – –

The story starts when I was asked/pressured by the Prinicipal of the college where I was working, to get an MBA. I had been teaching management courses for a while so hardly surprising. I enrolled for the part-time program at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh. One of the courses was Economics and our lecturer focused on two case studies each week that we were meant to research before the following week. His favorite ploy was to march back and forward at the start of the day (which ran from 8am to 6pm) talking about the previous week’s case studies, twirl on his heel and point at some hapless fool. I always hid behind a pillar!

Most of the thirty or so folk signed up simply wanted to pass the exam, but our professor had announced at the start that he wasn’t interested in that. He would introduce us to ‘interesting stuff’ instead! There weren’t enough pillars in the room either.

Of course numbers dwindled until on the final day there were only two of us present so nowhere to hide. The previous week’s case studies had been Hewlett-Packard and John Deere. I’d had a very challenging week at the college (Head of two departments simultaneously), so no opportunity to do any research. He turned and pointed at me, so I was under the spotlight all day with no escape.

Around the same time Wendy and I were planning to get married so I visited her folks in Tennessee. I told this story to her mom, who couldn’t understand a word I said – except for two – John Deere. She imagined I was a fan, so for a few years all my birthday, Christmas and anniversary presents were of a theme – the mug, bath mat, bedspread, cap, model – – –

We lived for five years in a very small village in East Fife and got friendly with a farming couple nearby. When we finally moved away we donated some furniture to them. Alan came down in his tractor and cattle trailer to collect them. It was his brand new massive John Deere!

So I got my picture taken sitting on his tractor, wearing the hat, holding the mug, with the bath mat on my knee and the model on the mud wing.

We made our annual visit to Tennessee and Wendy needed her Walmart ‘fix’ but when we were wandering around we found to our horror there was a whole isle devoted to John Deere stuff! So I showed the picture to Wendy’s Mom and re-told her the whole story now that we could meet midway linguistically- I’ve never gotten a John Deere present from her since.

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Filed under between books, home improvements, humor, Life reflections, Scotland, small town USA, Wendy Welch