Whitesburg KY
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The assumptions people make




Here we go again, so hang on to your seat.

I have been doing a little brain exercise (thinking) just to make sure I still have all my faculties about me. Believe it or not, I still do a little thinking once in a while but not too often. Thinking requires a lot of concentration, and concentration requires quite a bit of energy, and expending energy is just too much like work. There I go with that dirty word again – work.

Anyway, I got to thinking about how much we take for granted as we wander through life’s maze of obstacles. For instance, when we see the light of another day, we assume we will be blessed to experience it again. When we see the shadows of darkness as the day ends, we assume we will get to see them again. If we see the flowers in the spring, we assume we will get to see them fade away. If we sit with our knees underneath some delicious vittles or just sit and enjoy a hot cuppa joe, we hardly ever give any thought that we may not get to do it again.

If we walk today, we assume we’ll get to walk tomorrow if it comes. If we see a majestic old tree stretching its branches up toward the clouds, we assume it will always be there, and along comes someone and cuts it down.

Where my siblings and I grew up, there was a giant cedar tree and a poplar tree under which we spent countless hours playing. Our stepmom could look from the kitchen doorway and see us, which she did many times during the course of a day. As long as she could see us, everything was OK but if we strayed where she couldn’t see us we got a whipping. It’s very hard for small children to stay in any one spot for hours on end without getting nose trouble and start exploring to see if they are missing anything.

Back then we could sit under that old cedar tree during a pretty good rain and not get drenched, it was so big. We assumed those two trees would always be there but they are both gone and have been for several years.

We may have friends we’ve known for years and suddenly they, too, are gone. We may have a neighbor who sits on the porch a lot and we wave at them for years when suddenly they are gone. But every time we pass their house, even though they are gone, we automatically look for them as if they will reappear.

I had some special friends while going to grade school. Over the years I lost contact with them and wondered what had become of them. We haul all our drinking water from Knott County and passed a small cemetery numerous times. I wondered if I would recognize any of the names on those stones and one day as I and two of my grandchildren were going to fetch water, we visited that little cemetery which was beside the road. In that little cemetery I found the graves of three of my old schoolmates and five of my older friends.

About 30 years ago, I visited a cemetery at Campton and found the graves of two older friends of my youth. Over the years I have visited many cemeteries just to see if I remembered any of those buried there. An old lady told me years ago that the best way to locate old cemeteries was to look for a point or ridge with cedar trees on it as many old timers would put a cedar tree or two as markers for a cemetery. I found this to be very true.

Time has taken its toll on this old man and I don’t figure it will be long before I, too, will be laid to rest in these old hills of home where my journey through life began. I wouldn’t dream of being buried anywhere else.


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