Feb 232023

Yesterday was beautiful, with a high of 83 degrees, which tied the record for this date here in the Tuscaloosa area, and a stiff breeze for most of the day. Terry and I started the day sitting on our front porch, enjoying the peacefulness. It makes my heart smile to see how happy and contented she is here. Terry told me this is the kind of home she had always dreamed of, some acreage out in the country surrounded by nature’s beauty. Nature may be beautiful, but nothing compares to her beauty.

The previous day when Bobby and his crew from BP Roofing & Construction were finishing up our roof, I asked him if he could recommend anyone to install new gutters. He told me S&S Seamless Gutters in nearby Northport was reliable and did a good job, so I called them and talked to Tim, the owner. I asked if he could stop by sometime and give us an estimate, and he suggested yesterday around noon. Then, a little after 9 a.m. yesterday he called and asked if he could come by around 9:30 instead. He arrived right on time, checked the job out and gave us a price, and said they could do the work in the next week or two, as soon as they wrapped up a couple of other jobs. Tim said gutters will not solve our standing water problem but will at least direct some of the rainfall away from the house and into designated drains.

I asked him about the water problems, and he said Austin at ProScape was the man to talk to about that. Then he called Austin himself and left a message for him to contact me. Within an hour he did, and a short time later Austin arrived and spent quite a bit of time with us, walking around the front and back yards and discussing French drains, some grading work to help the water flow away, and gave us some options to consider. He said he would contact me with a formal proposal and pricing by Monday.

Terry and I are both amazed that people here actually show up when they say they will. In the six years we lived in Florida, I can’t tell you the number of tradesmen, handymen, and service companies who never showed up for appointments and never called to cancel or reschedule. Or whose estimates we accepted and then who never came to actually do the work. Here, not one company has not done exactly what they said they would do, always on time or earlier than expected. It’s an entirely different work ethic.

Later in the afternoon our son Travis and his wife Geli came by to visit, and of course I had to take him for a ride in the new Kawasaki Mule. I had taken Terry for a ride around our property line earlier in the day and we were both impressed with how nice it rides and how, even in two-wheel drive, muddy ruts and water filled dips in the trails don’t slow it down a bit. I could tell Travis was itching to take the wheel, so I let him have at it and he loved it.

Travis, Geli, and I were out by the barn poking around, and she went into the old hay shed and let out a squeal. Being a country girl, not much startles Geli, but the dead coyote in there did. If you will remember, in a blog last week titled A Surprise Encounter, I wrote about walking up on a sick or injured coyote. It looked to be in a lot of distress, but by the time I went back to the house to get a gun to put it down and returned, it was gone. I bothered me that it was out there somewhere suffering, but at least now we know it’s not suffering anymore. The kids dug a deep hole and we buried it.

It’s been a while since I have satisfied my craving for Chinese food, so the four of us went to Mr. Chen’s, our go-to Chinese restaurant in Tuscaloosa, for an early dinner. Their shrimp fried rice is delicious, and the portions are just right. I’m good for another week or two.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us.

Thought For The Day – The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  3 Responses to “They Actually Show Up!”

  1. I know Terry has been through a lot, but the picture of her is great! She is still a beautiful lady!

  2. Hey Nick, its so good to see you and Terry are happy in your new home. I know a little about french drains, having put in a couple after Ian. I’m slowing down a bit as I’m a little over 3 weeks since open heart surgery for 5 bypasses. Surprisingly, no pain. Not much stamina either. Getting older just sucks.

  3. Nina and I had to stop RVing just before age 74 when various maladies entered our lives. Now, only a month from 80, I always let young (and even not-so-young) attractive ladies hold my arm to cross a street. I also let them help me find things in a grocery store, open doors for me, pick up things I accidentally drop, and follow me to my car to help load my purchases, and return that electric cart. It takes but little effort and the rewards are sometimes new friendships and often wonderful conversation! During one extended recovery, I even followed in your footsteps, Nick. I had my first short story published in a magazine, and wrote a memoir about growing up in a small rural town with only 600 people in the 1940s, ’50s, and early ’60s. I was one of the “War Babies in a Small Town,” squeezed between the Greatest Generation and the Boomers. You would laugh at the antics our imaginations created!

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