A Tale of Two Halves

Furniture – 1st half

This really was a continuing theme of our time at Rey’s place.
First up was a bookcase. Rey had completed the lion’s share of this construction.
However, the quality of the raw materials had resulted in one failure and more frustration. Some glue and clamps solved the immediate problem, and we completed the construction. Yesterday’s events included loading what could be the most important type of furniture for Rey.

The happy bookcase

For those that don’t know, Rey has lived a spartan life style, with little in the way of furniture to weigh him down. But there are times when a little comfort would be nice. This year we finally managed to get him a couch. Yesterday involved construction of said couch.

The happy builder

It has been so long since he had a couch, he is not sure which side to be on.



It generally went well, and we were able to utilize the finished product at the end of the day.

Helping the mattress to lay flat

Ready for action

(I don’t believe anyone has tested it yet for sleeping, but both Rey and I made brief attempts at being the first.)

Off the beaten path – 2nd half

We had a few destinations in mind when we left Rey’s domicile.

The first was Cherokee Lake. This is a lake formed by a dam (not a damned lake) on the Holston River. It is quite large, but does not have the rounder shape of a natural lake. We would encounter its shores several times as we drove through the area.

Cherokee Lake – one small arm

Next on the list was the Ebbing and Flowing Spring.

The Ebbing and Flowing Spring
An old inlet works piece is visible

We found this little gem in a book that Pooh and Mark got for Rey a year or so ago.
It was really off regular path. The description of the location provided in the book was not 100% accurate. However, the folks with the broken down truck in the middle of the ford, that was full of the flow from the spring, were very helpful in pointing out the spring’s location.

Ebbing and Flowing Spring flows crossing the road

The spring is one of only two known in the world to regularly ebb and flow. This is caused by the hydraulics associated with a chamber just before the spring’s point of exit.  Wikipedia’s description of the Ebbing and Flowing Spring calls it “tidal”. This link has a better physical description of the likely siphon involved, and this one has a few more historical facts of interest.

Cabin next to the Ebbing and Flowing Spring (not feeding the creek in front however).

We even got to see a snapping turtle, pointed out by a young girl at least loosely associated with the truck. And it is her naming of the species – we are not turtle experts.

Snapping Turtle

The efforts to this point had made the boy hungry, so we set off in search of some non-chain restaurant along the road. We were rewarded with El Portrillo, a mexican restaurant in Church Hill. [I am not sure why this place got to claim the name of Church Hill. It seems almost every burg could claim the same.] There was a wide variety of dishes to choose from, and the  food was good. One of the waiter’s put on a show of carrying 6 plates on one arm as he arrived at a table. He even had oven “mitts” extending up the full length of his arm. Rey picked a good one. [This was after our first stop, which was closed because the proprietors were on vacation for a week.]

Eastern Tennessee – Hills and Ridges

Our final destination for the evening was Hunter-Wright Stadium in Kingsport, Tennessee. Home to the Kingsport Mets, a rookie league team. The Mets were playing the Braves, the Greeneville Braves that is. We had box seats with a good view of the field. The game got underway with temperatures at a reasonable level, finally. The first time since we arrived that I have been really comfortable without the benefit of air-conditioning.

Kingsport’s Hunter-Wright Stadium

The game was eventful. Hits, runs, steals. Some flashes of real speed. It will be interesting to see if any of these players make the climb to the majors over the next few years. And Carl’s scorecard raffle number was called. He’s a winner!

The prize was a business card sized coupon for a free hamburger at Hardees. Of course the Hardees on the list were not close to Rey’s place, and a closer examination of the card revealed an expiration date of July 6, 2011. Carl took it back to try to exchange for a t-shirt. He came away with a set of last year’s Appalachian League prospect baseball cards. For those that know Carl, this was much better than the hamburger, or the round of golf he was also offered. 

The game tied 5-5 in the top of the 6th inning when nature intervened. It had been thundering with lightning in the background for the past few innings. The umpire (Dale Ford – not called back to the major leagues after a failed 1999 strike attempt) wasted no time in clearing the field when the lightning strike was visible beyond the centerfield fence.

Dale Ford – former MLB umpire, calling balls and strikes, and eventually – the game.

We hung around under cover with several other fans. The rain seemed to diminish at first, but then regained strength and came down hard. Since they had only tarped the mound and home plate, Rey thought the infield would not be playable. We decided to make a run for our spot in the parking lot, and home.

This decision was helped by our desire to see the 2nd half of the Euro-Cup game between Germany & Greece. We had watched the first half before we left, and knew the end score (Germany 4 – Greece 2). But there were 5 goals we had not witnessed, and the game had been entertaining. Germany was by far the better team and controlling the game, but Greece had a counter-attack that threatened to score on several occasions.

Rey did a masterful job of getting us home. We had rain, hard rain and harder rain, and hail.

One more day and it will be on to Colorado.
I had thought that Colorado would be our escape from the southern heat.
However, I happened to see a Facebook post from a Coloradoan. It included a picture of their smart phone with the current temperature of 100 degrees, and predicted temperatures in the 90s for the rest of the week!

Don’t worry, it’s a dry heat.

One Response to “A Tale of Two Halves”

  1. Ashlan Says:

    So happy Rey finally has furniture!!!!

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