Tag Archives: Jenny the Jeep

Coronavirus quarantine? No such drama

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With some merely state-wise but not U.S. Constitution-wise civil disobedience proceeding in our little parish, what with the full Mass and Adoration and Confession schedules, everything was then cancelled on the schedule, but not because of any law enforcement intervention, not because of any cases of Coronavirus of anyone in the parish. In fact, my own Covid-19 test result (negative) was just reported to me minutes ago by the head doctor of the Cherokee County Health Department.

A very kind parishioner in the backsides of the beyonds in far western Graham county offered not only to fix up Jenny the Jeep as a “woods-truck” (what with her burnt out electrical system and smashed up steering gear box, etc) …

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… but he’s also kindly offered to supply the rectory with a wood-stove.

Meanwhile, another kind parishioner was taking down some trees next to the church and offered me a cherry and a hickory for the would-be wood-stove to come. I asked whether the ivy covering the hickory was poison, and he said that he thought it was kudzu, but not anything poisonous as far as he knew.

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It turned out that 99.9% was English Ivy, you know, the innocuous kind that covers old ivy league institutions like Cambridge and Harvard and Yale. But 0.01% was poison oak. It was hiding. The tree guys dropped off the logs at the rectory and spent days cutting up the logs to stove-length while removing the ivy, putting the ivy in piles, and burning the ivy, all the while oblivious to the poison oak. Here’s the difference with the two, the poison oak having wilted immediately, while the English Ivy is staying quite fresh:

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The bare forearms were scrapping against the rough bark of the logs, and that’s what I thought the rash was on Thursday and Friday and Saturday, but then by Saturday it was all too much. By that time the arms were leaking and I had to admit something was amiss. I got some advice and bought some things at the pharmacy, including a bag of Epsom salts and some Calamine lotion. But the eye’s also went crazy:

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The leaking on the arms was so exaggerated that it washed the Epsom Salts right off. We didn’t have poison oak up in Minnesota when I was a kid, and the poison ivy is only really in bush form where I was from. My situational awareness for the unexpected is obviously suffering a bit. It must be all the double negatives so common here…

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My primary care doctor is unavailable until mid-June, so I made an appointment with the Cherokee County Health Department. “The worse case I have ever seen,” said the nice doctor. I was given an 80 mg shot of Methylprednisolone and given the simultaneous usual six day tapering off course of tablets also of Methylprednisolone. I asked about a prescription cream for the itching, but considering the oozing and how deeply rooted it was, she said that creams would do “nothing.” So, I got a prescription for Hydroxyzine tablets. It’s all working pretty well. It’s still a bit like a hair shirt…

Meanwhile, a very kind neighbor who is not susceptible to poison anything offered to remove the ivy for me. How good is that?! Great!

Meanwhile, because of all the steroids, I was told to self-quarantine, not because of any Coronavirus, but because I now have entirely zero immune system. To have even a temporary immunodeficiency during this time of Coronavirus is not good.

QUESTION FOR ANY READERS WHO ARE IN THE KNOW MEDICALLY:

I’ve not been able to find anything on the half-life of the steroids, that is, when it seriously starts to weaken. So I looked up the calendar effectiveness of Methylprednisolone. By some accounts it looks to be five days for poison ivy. For other conditions it’s two weeks, or for some things three weeks. I want to get out out of my self-quarantine ASAP. But when will that be safe for me? I also don’t want to be in an exaggeratedly vulnerable position, get Coronavirus but with no symptoms, and then spread it about to my vulnerable parishioners. So, does anyone have a good estimate of the timings for my re-entry into societal contact?

Meanwhile, the nice doctor at the Health Clinic said that we will be getting serology testing in another week or two and I can come down for that test. Not that it necessarily means anything – as there are so very many variables – but at least it is something even if only an occasion for overconfidence.

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National Anthem more than words. Regrets that Jenny the Jeep is for sale.

Thanks, Jeep, for that. Awesome National Anthem video. So, I’m even more sorry to say my Jeep Wangler Sport is for sale. The replacement title should be here from Raleigh any day. A tough call, that. Lots of memories. She’s a 1987 classic! 4.2 liter straight six Wrangler Sport which always strikes me as being twice the size of more recent Sports:

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She’s in pretty rough shape. To be sold “AS IS.” You’ll have to make her a Trailer Queen till you work on her if you’re brave enough and good enough to get her back into action. You can leave offers in the comments (which comments won’t make it though moderation). Be sure to provide valid contact info. We’ll see what we can do. The tires themselves are worth something, right?

Jenny was my “woods truck.” I wasn’t too smart back in the day.

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My neighbor made me a rack for out front so that I wouldn’t kill myself. Very kind of him. I’ll throw in the front rack. The lower log alone, green Red Oak that had tumbled down, surely weighed some 700 lbs. What a fright!

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I needed that weight out front to get up the ridge without tumbling backwards! BTW, the right front tire isn’t flat, just down in the ditch a bit.

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UPDATE: In response to a question, Jenny would need a tow-bar that you can rent at U-Haul, or a tow-truck with a winch to haul her up.

Another question as to the shifting. She’s got five forward and a reverse. Clutch! There’s another shifter from 4 wheel at low range to four wheel at high range, then also a 2 wheel high range. And a button-plunger gadget to assist in getting it to catch the gears. Hey! It’s 1987. Here’s a picture of that:

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*BANG* (Ha!) Jenny the Jeep TOUGH

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Jenny’s back. She runs good. Can’t take her anywhere yet as the steering has to be fixed up a bit. But she’s good for down and dirty donkey jobs like pulling out concreted-in 4″ diameter metal poles the previous owner had put up for laundry and now redundant because of the metal fence over which things can be put.

There are those who thought Jenny wasn’t up to the task, but at the least bit of a gentle tug at one one-millionth of a mile an hour from her and… and… *BANG* – which is the sound made when metal is ripped apart from metal suddenly.

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I’m sure Jenny didn’t even realize she had gone to work yet and is wondering why we quit so early. Both poles broke cleanly about 4″ below ground level. I took a hammer and smoothed out any rough bits and knocked a bit of dirt down. Done. Thanks Jenny!

I’m sure she misses being a woods truck, um, woods jeep. I’ll have to see about a finding a small wood stove that would pass local stringent environmental laws and statutes.

“Can do!” attitude. Good to have. Not because we can do anything, but because all things are possible with God. Jesus makes the impossible easy. It’s the difference between our non-existent determination and His love dwelling within us.

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Spiritual analogy: Jenny is humiliated

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Way back in the day, when I was a seminarian, spiritual directors in their conferences would insist on the virtue of humility, citing the things the saints did to help along their humility. But, I don’t know, I think the spiritual directors got it all wrong, with the effect — I’m blaming them ever so humbly! — that we seminarians didn’t become very humble at all. Some of us just stayed as arrogant as anyone might be; some started exaggerating on the “I’m going to do something to humiliate myself” kick. But, of course, humility is simply about truth, accepting the truth of the situation we are in. Compare the following three statements by which the seminarians might be categorized:

  1. Look at me! Look at me! I’m doing something to humiliate myself! I’m soooo holy and I’m so self-fulfilled! [And this fellow then proceeds to act like a mentally handicapped person, thus demonstrating how terribly arrogant he really is.]
  2. Don’t be such an idiot. You’re going to get yourself thrown out of the seminary. [This is said while pushing the first fellow to the ground just when the bus comes for the university so that the other fellow will be late for class, an infraction to be noted by the formation directors. Bullies, mind you, are as arrogant as the falsely-humble.]
  3. In silence, a third fellow lifts up a prayer to the Lord Jesus: “Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner.” [And this fellow is happy to accept the truth of who he is before Jesus, rejoicing that Jesus is forgiving, good and kind, making us His friends in truth.]

Jenny the Jeep is showing her deficiencies to the whole world here. Previous owners thought they were electricians and mechanics. Not. The wires, which should be about none, are a rats nest of connected the wrong way and disconnected and shorting out wires. That’s not good for the junction box which only lasts about 30 minutes. One of the mechanics in town, a Jeep aficionado, is going to try to look at her next week. Jenny doesn’t care about the humiliation, showing what she needs to who can help her. That’s humility, which is modest yet eager to be helped, “doing” something that might make her look humble but not so as to draw attention to how good she is in her humility, but rather just to be helped by the one willing and able to provide that help.

I suppose I’ve been all three of the examples above at whatever time. But I have hope that Jesus will be happy for me to say: Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner.

P.S. Saint Philip Neri is most famous for “doing” stuff that would humiliate himself, but this was done as a clever ironic entrapment of those full of themselves, who were about to be taught a lesson fit to bring them to humility on their knees in the confessional as soon as they opened their arrogant mouths. Hey hey hey. The saints are also like that. Yikes!

Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner.

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