A New Coat of Paint


I’m supposed to write this to let you know that the surroundings have changed around here.  I am following the advice from the virtual experts of this virtual writer’s world.  As if you couldn’t see that for yourself the next time I wrote something new.

I haven’t changed the appearance of this site in a while.  A friend recently changed his.  When I complimented his “new look,” he said, “You might want to change your site, too.”

That’s a nice way of saying “You look okay, but that coat went out of style twenty years ago.”

I’m not much for change.  Ask my daughter-in-law, who suggested that I get rid of two-thirds of the clothes in my closet (which I did).  I’m not one who easily gives up a garment because it has a little age on it, or a website either.

Change can be good, however, even if it is subtle.  This new site is still pretty “clean.”  I don’t like a lot of bells and whistles.  If the writing doesn’t suit you, I doubt you will come back because of a really cool gizmo in the upper left corner of the page.

There are a few things that I’d like to call to attention.  To the right of the post, you may choose to “follow this blog by email” by entering your address.  That would be really nice.

At the bottom of the post, you can hit one of the social media bottoms to share this piece with all your virtual friends.  That would be really, really good.

You could also “leave a reply” about the piece at the bottom of the page.  Comments are really, really, really nice.

And finally, if you have a blog yourself, you might click the “like” button at the very bottom.  Who knows, I might “like” you back.  Wouldn’t that be cool?  We haven’t done that since we passed a note to the girl on the front row in sixth grade (“Do you like me?  Circle ‘yes’ or ‘no’).”

Thanks for tolerating this virtual nonsense.  Since you have been kind enough to stay with me this far, let me give you a little story that was posted here a long time ago.  I recently checked, and the money is still there.

How to Get Rich in One Hour

Here’s what you do:

Take county road 4 about three miles until you see the old logging road just past the bridge over Caney Creek.  Leave your car parked at the entrance, because it has been at least 30 years since this road has been driven. There is a path of sorts on the right side. Deer, like cows and people, are creatures of habit — they take the path of least resistance, so the trail is worn smooth. You will have to contend with blackberry and green-briar, so bring a walking stick if you have one.  Watch your feet. It’s warm and they’re crawling.  Full of venom, too, after a winter of being holed-up.

The trail follows the ridge about a half mile.  When you get to a big white oak (you’ll know, because it’s the only really big tree on the trail) look for a rusted-out 55 gallon drum just to the left of the tree.  About 20 yards south of the drum you will see an old piece of pink flagging tape on a sweetgum tree.  Walk due south from there, downhill until you hear the creek.

Just before you get to the creek, about thirty yards back before the switch-cane starts to get thick, is where you’ll find the rock I left for you.  Big as a basketball, that rock.  You can’t miss it.  I hauled it down there from the old chimney on the next ridge.

The money’s buried under the rock in one of those blue plastic bins like they sell at Walmart — the kind that women put winter clothes in before they put them in the attic.

You owe me one.  Now get moving.

18 thoughts on “A New Coat of Paint

  1. Oh No! I liked it all the way it was before. Too much change in my life for the past few years so I bulk at the littlest of things these days. But I’ll adjust…just keep writing so I can learn my way around here.
    I had a good laugh with the treasure hunt because I’d never be able to decipher your tree types! I’d for sure be lost in no time. I saw a rattlesnake just last week while in Arizona. Darn near stepped on him, it was warm in the desert and yes, they were crawling. Nope, nada, noway. Can’t do crawly things on trails. So sadly it won’t be I who gets rich in one hour. I’ll be waiting to see to wins this prize though!

  2. Well, dang! Here I am away from home with only a little cell phone which hardly shows your new website duds. Have to wait two days more before voting yea or nay, but I imagine I’ll vote yea because I do like change.

    I look forward to the new look. Appearances matter.

    Saludos again from the chaotic streets of Mexico City.

    1. Not much of a change really. You were right about finding a template and arranging things. I waded through them for several hours before I finally gave up.

      The Redhead picked this one, along with laying out the menus and manipulating the widgets. She is far more “artsy” than I.

  3. Leisa, those two trees I mentioned are easy to identify. You could learn to recognize them in ten minutes. Think of the money…

    As for crawly things, I have seen my share over the years as a forester. Not as many as you might think, because I always wore snake boots and never looked for them. I put my boot down next to rattlesnakes several times, but they are really quite docile if you don’t step on them. I’ve never been struck as far as I know, but many times the underbrush was so think I wouldn’t have known if I had been.

    Get a good walking stick if you don’t already use one on your trail jaunts.

    As for the change on the site, it’s not much of a difference. I doubt most people would have even noticed it if I hadn’t mentioned it.

  4. This reminds me of Shawshank Redemption, when Morgan Freeman finds the money that Tim Robbins hid for him after he escaped from prison. Then Morgan met up with Tim in Zihuatenejo. I loved that movie!

    Another good one Ray.

    1. Well I hadn’t thought of that, but I guess it is like that scene.

      Except I’d probably keep the money.

      Thanks for stopping by. You are one of the really, really, really nice people.

  5. post note to your reply Ray: Just finished reading your Delta article. I was very much surprised at the sharp comments returned to you from those who seemed more passionate about the town of Delta. I reread your story twice and looked the town up on the map. I found nothing negative in your story line, just simple observations from a outsider. Yet despite stirring up a hornets nest unintentionally, it was kind of sweet to read the replies of those coming to the defense of their small burg of a town. I bet you didn’t know you had closet followers prior to that story!

    1. Ah “Delta.” A hornet’s nest indeed. The largest number of readers I’ve ever had on any single post. Over 1700 in one day. It went viral on Facebook, and I believe that it made one-half of an entire Alabama county angry.

      At first I was bewildered.

      What had I written that upset so many people? It was never intended to be any sort of criticism. It was kind of a lament that small-town Alabama is withering away. And it was a metaphor for some loneliness I was feeling that day.

      All those negatives reactions caught me off-guard, even though some of my “regulars” did step-up in my defense.

      Then I got mad.

      My response was “An Offensive Tale.” It made me feel better, but I doubt any of those angry people ever read it.

  6. I’d be careful…be very very careful the next time you pass through Delta…just kidding. I’ll read “Tale” later in the day. This is getting very juicy…

  7. Ray: I found your “An Offensive Tale”. What a great comeback, a little shock blogger and I loved the long list of those who SHOULD be offended. I was surprised there were no further complaints/comments/threats or attempted cyber stalking from the Delta Gang. A huge ruckus and then all went calm. I’ve always thought that sensationalism by one can easily start a riot amongst many. The finishing response from A M Garner was spot on. After toiling about searching for The Tale I realized I’ve got all these essays to catch up on. All the way down to 2010. One a day will go perfect with my morning coffee.

    1. You know, it’s funny. Even if I don’t write anything for a while, that “Delta” piece gets a read fairly regularly (according to the analytics). I guess they come ’round every now and then to get their anger back up.

      As far as looking back, you better hurry. I think the past is about to disappear…

  8. Looking good with the new image, Ray. You’ve taken minimalism to stellar heights. I find that superior to going the other way, which most folks cannot resist doing.

    Saludos from my Mexican mountaintop. Again. Whew!

    1. I added you at the very top of my website’s Blog Roll. However, since the list is not on my main page, I doubt many readers will ever see it. But my heart was in the right place.

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