Years ago we didn’t have residential trash pickup, a garbage disposal, or public sewer. So we had a burn barrel for what we could destroy with fire, our wet garbage was put in a garbage bucket and dumped on a hill away from the house, and sewage which overflowed from an underground drainage field had to sometimes be scooped from an outside grease trap and dumped in another part of the property.
I have long been intrigued by those who live off the land ("off the grid" as it's now called) - pioneers who for the most part were self-reliant.
I think it was the words of Henry David Thoreau which first set in my mind the challenge of such a life:
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
And then there was that day I went to see the movie "My Side of the Mountain" based on the book by Jean Craighead George.
There was something that appealed to me about living alone. There is a sense of life being lived differently, with greater awareness.
Some of that awareness seems to be echoed in the Northmen's Code of Ethics. Lots to ponder here...
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/henrydavid107665.html
I remember the first time I held her. So tiny and so wonderful. My sister's first child. My niece.
I remember the night she watched her first Disney animated movie - "The Little Mermaid".
I remember her driving around in a little motorized car my Dad gave to her one Christmas. I remember their smiles - big, broad, and so full of joy.
I remember her first day at pre-kindergarten and the days afterward when she would ride along with me to school. Me a teacher, she sucking a binky and singing along to the Bible tune tape she loved to listen to.
I remember holding her in my lap - and wishing she would never grow up. How desperately we wish that time would stand still.
I remember the time I made her cry because of something I said. One of the saddest days of my life. It still brings a lump to my throat when I realize how deeply she feels things.
I remember her struggles in school and college - and how wonderfully she overcame them through hard work and incredible creativity.
I remember her greatest victories and her private little bumps in the road.
Yes - it's Friday, and this weekend we remember our fallen men and women who died defending our country. Here is an emotional clip from one of Ronald Reagan's speeches reminding us that our brave soldiers gave up two lives - "...the one they were living, and the one they would have lived."
Sometimes object lessons appear before us when we least expect them.
My dad’s old Amish shed sat unopened for many years. During that time, ivy grew up its northern wall and around the ground outside of it. Several holes appeared in its roof allowing rain to invade and rot the interior of the building. A rose planted in one of its raised beds began to resemble the demonic thorn bush Maleficent magically grew to prohibit Prince Philip from reaching the sleeping beauty, Aurora. A flowering shrub was planted to balance the rosebush on the front of the building and grew into a small tree. Groundhogs and rabbits and snakes and spiders and ants took up residence within its walls and beneath its plywood floor. A volunteer tree grew beside the building's south side in seeming sympathy – to keep it company and to shade it from the afternoon sun.
I have long loved to watch anything that Dame Judi Dench has performed. It seems she can do it all. Drama, comedy, music, science fiction, mystery, etc.
She is one of two stars of the British series, "As Time Goes By" - about two young lovers who allow the serendipitous misposting of a love letter from Korea to keep them from following their hearts - and many years later find themselves once again courting love the second time around.
I was coming home from plant shopping with my sister on Mother’s Day when I noticed people walking into my property as I was driving toward the house. I was about a half mile away from the property, so I couldn’t see who it was. Initial thoughts were that I had caught someone trying to hop the fence into the backyard.
When I pulled up to my property and tried to see who was invading my space, I had to laugh. It was my neighbor’s daughter Brooke, her husband Kyle, and their son Ryder. I rolled down the window and said hello.
“We were just looking into your back yard. A wild turkey just flew into it,” Brooke said. We started laughing and joking about the whole thing. I pulled around the house into the driveway and decided to begin the search for the turkey.
It was one of the last things my dad did – or was able to do – before cancer weakened him and then took his life.
The saga of the garden shed is a story in itself. First there was a metal shed with sliding doors that dad and my granddad assembled – only they didn’t quiet follow instructions and it was about a foot shorter in width than it should have been. Dad never said much about it after it was built; the “short shed” was always a reminder to “read the instructions” from that point on.
It got old, and rusty, and dad had to tear it down in order to make way for the two-car garage he was having built. So after the garage was built, he had one of those Amish outbuildings brought onto the property to hold garden tools and other stuff. It had two windows, hunter green shutters, and two front doors closed at the center and trimmed in the same hunter green.
At the end of a full week, it was fun to sit back in my chair at my desk and be whisked off to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World and watch the premiere of Disney's new fireworks show. This show replaces Wishes, which will always be my favorite nighttime fireworks display.
“Critics who treat ‘adult’ as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”
Apologies for irregular postings during the past few weeks. It's that time of year when yard work and home clean up dogs at me - and although spring is a pretty time of year, it is for me one of the most tiresome times.
At the same time, with Easter I struggle with thoughts about church and my relationship to it and to my Lord. I stumbled onto an author this past week when I found myself wondering "Is Jesus Enough?". As I read his materials, I found myself thinking over the years since I accepted Jesus as my Savior (1970), to the years when I slowly exited the church (finding that much of the time I spent in church I felt I was disconnected), to now when I find I am becoming more and more content to consider my relationship with Jesus more of a solo pilgrimage.
I confess that many times along the narrow path I have detoured from the way that leads to life. Such is the nature of a solo pilgrimage. But I am finding my way back and determining that walking with Jesus is enough.