Uncle Dave’s

I crossed into North Carolina from Virginia on Friday the 7th. I arrived at Uncle Dave’s around 3:00. He has one of the narrowest driveway entrances I’ve ever attempted. I only had to remove the Colts flag from one the entrance posts, and I squeezed by with about an inch to spare-but I didn’t hit it! Then I removed my car from the back, and drove into a little grove of trees. I overlook a wooded lot where his two Percheron’s (Briggs and Stratton) like to eat acorns, then they saunter around to the front meadow, where Dave treats them to watermelon.

The first item on the agenda was trying to figure out why my hot water heater wasn’t working when I turned it on Friday night. I tossed and turned quite a lot that night, wondering what I was going to do about it as it wouldn’t fire up, even though I’d taken a shower on Wednesday. Dave suggested we go down to his friend Wayne’s place and ask him if he could take a look at it. Such a nice man, he said sure, I’ll come right down. He took apart the tube where the gas comes into the burner, blew it out with a compressor, took a look inside and found a spider web – plain as day. We used a gun cleaning square to push through the tube, he put it back together and it works just fine! Thanks Wayne!

Shirley and I had a nice conversation while Dave was at the church readying the place for homecoming on Sunday.

I toured the little log cabin Dave built by hand from poplar trees that his horses were girdling. He thought it was a shame to waste the lumber that the horses were turning into firewood. It took him two years to build, mainly on weekends, as he was also a full-time farrier at the time. Shirley decorated the cabin, such a nice cozy retreat.

I found out why people decorate their houses with horseshoes today. Dave pulled his portable forge and anvil out of the back of his truck to demonstrate how he makes steel crosses that he gives out as gifts. We were discussing the technique and I commented how hot those pieces of steel must be and that led to this story:

At one time, Satan was half man-half horse (a centaur). He came upon a man shoeing horses and asked the farrier if he could put shoes on his hooves. The farrier said that yes he could do that, but instead of cooling off the shoes like he always did before nailing them to the hoof, he put them on Satan while they were red hot from the forge. Of course they hurt like hell and the centaur ran away as fast as he could. And to this day, that’s why people put horseshoes on their homes – to keep the devil away.

I left Dave’s on Monday the 10th mid afternoon. I won’t do that again because I got really tired before I got to where I was headed and ended up sleeping in the middle of three rows of trucks. Rockabye baby to the tune of diesel melodies.

I’m having trouble getting my photos from camera to my iPad. I guess I need one of those EyeFi cards after all Wayne! When I get to a good signal for my hotspot, I’ll post more pictures.

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