Let’s put our best foot forward in 2022

Published 9:14 am Wednesday, January 5, 2022

By Ricky Swindle

Muffler Shop Musings

Howdy, friends!

Did y’all ring in the New Year with all the bells and whistles?

As far as myself, I brought in the new year in my bed, under my covers and checking my eyelids for holes.

I’m not a big New Year’s Eve reveler. I’ve always referred to it as amateur night.

For years I played in bands, and we performed most every New Year’s Eve back in the day when there were actual venues to play at before the casinos killed all the small clubs.

You would see folks on New Year’s Eve in the taverns, bars and honkytonks out sipping and partying that you would never see all year long. That is why I called it amateur night, the most dangerous night of the year to be on the roads.

These days we usually will stay up and at least watch the New Yorkers drop the ball on Times Square on television, but not this year.

I’ve been there before, on Times Square, and I have seen that ball firsthand. It’s not nearly as big as the cameras make it out to be. Actually, its kind of disappointing to view.

A cab driver told us on our first day there that everyone who comes up from the South makes fun of their little ball.

I did partake of my peas, corn and cabbage though on New Year’s Day. I didn’t have any hog jowl or ham hocks with it because greasy meats tend to negatively affect my innards these days, so I ate them pork-less and they were still good.

I know it’s all superstition to eat certain foods on New Year’s Day, but I enjoy good homegrown vegetables any day I can have them. Plus, there’s no need taking unnecessary chances so just hush and eat your dang peas.

Most of us lost our power Sunday evening. I read on TVEPA’s facebook page that it was an actual TVA substation outage and the only thing our guys could do was sit and wait until TVA took care of things on their end. Eventually they did and all was restored after not too long of a wait.

A funny situation happened to me in the midst of that dilemma.

I have this great life-long friend who allows me to fish and deer hunt on his place. I don’t fire off too many shots at deer because over the years I have come to enjoy just being there in the serenity of nature and soaking up the scenes of different animals interacting, not knowing that I am there.

I take more pleasure ridding his nice place of varmints such as cottonmouths, coyotes and beaver and that makes me feel I am doing him a great service just for the opportunity to spend an afternoon there at his nature haven.

As the sun was setting Sunday evening, I walked to my snow-covered truck that I had cranked remotely with my clicker, anticipating the luxury of heated seats and a heated steering wheel with Fahrenheits rising from every direction inside the pick-up truck cab with every step toward it I made. I love that truck. It’s like riding in your living room.

Approaching the vehicle, I removed my big coat knowing full well its usefulness had served its purpose and would not be needed inside that Hemi Ram. My Benelli rifle and Leupold binoculars followed suit and too were stored inside that warm truck.

Making my way around the winding road, I came to the gate of this nature’s paradise, and I realized I had made a discovery that the TVA substation that was affecting our TVEPA service which was in turn effecting thousands of electricity customers was now affecting me personally because an electric gate needs TVA to fix its substation so I could be on my way. Trickle-down theory so to say.

Anyway, I sat for just a little while before the keeper upper of the gate arrived and released me to ease on down the road. I’m glad my friend has a gate and I’m also glad my friend has an efficient keeper upper gate man that knows how to free trapped deer hunter/nature watchers when the need arises.

Take care of yourself folks and as far as this new year goes, I’m going to stick with a saying my Daddy used often: “Come on boys, let’s put our best foot forward.”