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March 21, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

100 things. Not done

100 kittens riding robo-vacs in a parade?  Media BINGO!

100 marbles bouncing through a mall? Viral video.

100 wine bottles outside Miley’s hotel room? Paparazzi gold.

100 appearances by the Ban the B group? Yawn. 80’s news. Done. B-grade PR stunt nets zero.

DCreative flower faced crowd (1876.Count Franz Pocci." Viola Tricolor in Picture and Rhyme."( life+/

Done in fun! (1876.Count Franz Pocci.”Viola Tricolor in Picture and Rhyme.”

100 year old tree still standing? People not quite so blasé.

Heavily branched and deep-rooted.

People drape protectively around it as needed. Rallies and meetings.

100 year old building? A little more shaky.

Some worry about loose bricks – but as long as the foundation is good.

Repurpose it. A new beginning.

(Robinson Bank Building/Renelibrary/

Once Robinson Bank. Cashing in now with tourists as a tea shop and bakery.(Renelibrary/

Then there’s people past 100 years old. 

Weathered and folded. Like wizards. Well, sometimes, trolls.

Some happily reliving younger years and can’t be bothered by annoying little gnat-like voices bugging them to return to present? ( like it’s better)

Some quite chipper perched among those who listen. Mind clear on any topic.

Most really wary of rugs.

Not yet done.

Some of the glory remains in the old railroad town. the church behind is quite old and has been restored. (G.E.Dilley building./

Elegant remains of the old railroad town. The church behind is quite old and has been restored. (G.E.Dilley building/Renelibrary/

Old people have a lot in common with ancient trees and vintage buildings.

Seen the world go by. Felt the winds of change. Provided for others.

Held joy.

Passerbys often don’t miss them until they are gone.

They know that somehow – and hold on – a bit longer.

Just in case someone younger has a moment of clarity. A moment to spare.

“They are coming. Really. Any minute. I’ll sit on the porch a spell. A little longer…”

Much to think. Much to see. Much to share.

In the shade by the stream, Gatewood-Shelton cotton Gin. Horses were tied near here on Saturday trips to town as late as the 60's.Now a shop/restaurant (Tony Greene/Nat.Register of Historic Places/

In the shade by the stream and near the feed store, Gatewood-Shelton cotton Gin. Horses and wagons were tied near here on Saturday trips to town even in the early 60’s. You could always find someone selling cedar fence posts from their truck here.(Tony Greene/Nat.Register of Historic Places/

That’s what we celebrate on Saturday: an Uncle’s 102 birthday.

He’s a middle kid of a farm family.

Ran through the dog trot house to the one room heated by a wood stove.

Ate real food. Organic. No pesticides. Homegrown. (So ahead of the times)

Picked cotton.

Plowed behind mules (Never work a horse. Mules have enough sense to know to stop before they get hurt. Horses were for the buggy for church or the wagon for town)

Walked barefoot to the one room school. Putting shoes on at the door.

All the children graduated from college – with master degrees. He and another with PhD.

None above washing dishes, throwing papers, hunting pelt to sell – whatever it took. The oldest, once out, sent money to help the one next in line through school…and all the way down the line. Then they all helped the parents.

Lived through epidemics, foolishness, depression, and war.

farm boy.(1820. "Gammer Gurton's Garland of Nursery Songs and Toby Tickles collection of riddles"/

Of all the children, he was the one who was ready to leave the farm and never come back. But he did. Longhorn cows and tomatoes as a hobby – only a hobby. And indoor plumbing. (1820 “Gammer Gurton’s Garland of Nursery Songs and Toby Tickles Collection of Riddles”/

He hasn’t yet passed our oldest living relative record. Hoping to beat that.

People are flying in from all coasts, vineyards, movie production sets, galleries, research and medical centers. From cities, farms, mountains, wetlands, and plains. A spring migration.

Because that smile and wit still have so much to offer.

His time well spent.

Still things to be done.

(But his daughters did manage to sell the car couple of years ago. It was time.

Mind may be sharp, but reactions do slow.)

Some remain forever young.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

And there's our summer fun: Rolling metal wagon hoops. Not easy in deep sand. Hit your ankle with one of those things and you'll know it. (1820. Gammer Gurton./ Puzzlecap, Bewick/

And there’s our summer fun: rolling metal wagon hoops. Not easy in deep sand. Hit your ankle with one of those things and you’ll know it. (1820 Gammer Gurton/Puzzlecap, Bewick/


  1. Fearless Leader / Mar 21 2014 1:29 pm

    Great stuff, Phil!

    I love the photos!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 21 2014 1:35 pm

      Small towns have such a wealth of architecture and period design. The trick is saving them. Thanks for riding along


  2. Ally Bean / Mar 21 2014 2:34 pm

    He sounds like a treasure. Enjoy your party… and him. Such memories.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 21 2014 2:58 pm

      Invasion of small town…they just thought we’d leave once grown. Fingers crossed for nice weather – dogwoods out here and wild flowers starting up. Thanks for wandering along. HAve a great weekend


  3. PiedType / Mar 21 2014 3:06 pm

    Happy Birthday to Uncle!


  4. gingerfightback / Mar 21 2014 7:50 pm

    Fair play to your Uncle!


  5. Sun / Mar 22 2014 4:46 am

    uh, okay…Uncle is 102 and has not surpassed oldest living record yet. hmm, so what is the record if i may ask???? 😛 happy birthday, Uncle!!!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 23 2014 10:59 pm

      Needs to add 4+ more years…very likely from what I’ve seen. Thanks for partying along


  6. shoreacres / Mar 22 2014 7:40 pm

    I remember his hundredth birthday — I’m just sure I do! I hope he gets lots of great presents, hugs, cake and ice cream. All the good stuff. It reminds me of another party that was quite the occasion — remember Leon Hale’s? Oh, what a wonderful world we live in.

    I still remember the day I was expressing my concerns to Mom’s doc about her inordinate fondness for cheese, ice cream, and so on. His take? As I recall, it was pretty close to, “For Lord sakes, woman. Your mother is 85. Let her eat whatever she wants!” She only made it to 93, but she was a whole lot happier once I became more sensible.


  7. jannatwrites / Mar 24 2014 4:35 am

    Wow, 102 is impressive! I hope the birthday celebration was a fabulous one 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 24 2014 1:20 pm

      Great fun had by all. Uncle 100 says the new 70’s. He may be right. (pix in today’s post) Thanks for coming to the party


  8. jmmcdowell / Mar 24 2014 10:54 pm

    Wow, what an amazing event to celebrate. And extra special to have family and friends to share in the happiness. Here’s hoping he’ll smash that family record!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 24 2014 11:45 pm

      It was a pretty amazing time. He really looks good. Maybe getting rid of house and stuff and having people cook, clean, and manage the bills freed him up from worries – only fun now. The best part his mind is completely clear and he’s very engaged in the world. A record to shoot for. Thanks for partying along


  9. The Hook / Mar 25 2014 12:16 am

    This is a wonderful tribute to the human condition.
    Well done – again,
    (By the way, my life is as hectic as ever, but you’re long past due for the 5×5 treatment, old friend. if you have an e-mail address you don’t mind sharing we can begin.)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 25 2014 1:06 pm

      As you can imagine there was point in wailing about how hard life was when we were growing up. If my uncle’s eyes were movie projectors, can you imagine what a show we could see over those years. Thanks for adding to the comment table


  10. LifeOfBun / Mar 27 2014 12:07 am

    As long as the foundation is good.. yes exactly, well put. That’s an amazing age.. I can’t even imagine how different he must see the world. Taking a step back and seeing it all happen with wisdom instead of being in the middle of it, head down, like a busy chicken. My great grandma got close to 100 on at least one jar of coffee a day. I like to think that and her spirit made the difference and raise a cup to her every once in a while.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 27 2014 10:12 pm

      Sometimes wish those eyes could play back all they have seen. He has such a sense of humor about it all. One of my great aunts who lived to 103 always had a glass of elderberry wine before bed. My dad used to buy it for her when she was really old even though everyone told him not to. I was told not to tell my mother when he bought it. She was a liberated woman who worked to support her kids after her husband dies – long before the Woman’s lib movement (she laughed about those groups)
      Thanks for aging a comment to perfection


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