Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Some bits and pieces

Recently, the fellow that grows sweet corn for us had some major health issues and has been unable to take care of his place, farm, garden, etc. Last weekend I took part in a church sponsored work day at his place. About 20 people were there doing all kinds of jobs that he has gotten behind on.

The church that put this on really did it up right. They had a portable toilet and a out-door wash station brought in for the crew. There was a table set up with food, coffee and other beverages. Potato harvesting was going on in the garden, an upstairs remodeling project was getting worked on with fresh stain being applied to new wood paneling. Ladies were cleaning house and a semi-truck load of logs was being cut up for fire wood and hauled to the basement.

From my dealings of buying corn with this man I feel that we've grown to be good friends. He's a committed Christian and we always have lots to talk about when ever we have dealings. His name is Paul. We're pretty close to the same age. He has developed quite a fondness for my Dad. He always enjoys visiting with my dad. The feeling is mutual I'm sure.

Anyway, most of the morning I was in the basement with Paul picking up fire wood and stacking it as a crew of workers pitched the wood in through the window. We all whiled away the morning joking and conversing the whole time. Tons of fun.

More than once I heard people say that all these people working together reminded them of how the Amish get together for barn raising's and the like. It did feel like that and was quite refreshing to participate in something like this that was so steeped in brotherly love. One time in the past I helped build a barn with a bunch of people but this was especially nice with everyone being of the same faith.

This is just one more thing that I like about living in the country. Oh, I suppose Christian people get together and help folks in the city too, but in this situation there was plenty of country type activities to help out with. Digging potatoes and chopping fire wood isn't the norm in the city that's for sure. At least it wasn't in my experience.

Speaking of fire wood, I've been meaning of telling about an encounter I had a couple months back with a man that visited the farm stand. Now this guy could talk. I remember him well from last year. He's in the heating business and vacations in these parts frequently. Nice enough fellow, with the gift of gab. Has a real appreciation for naturally grown food and I picked up on the fact that he was a bit of an environmentalist. I have a healthy dose of respect for the environment myself but, I'm not anywhere near a radical about it that's for sure. Anyway, with his most recent visit here we were talking and he told me how he's gotten into solar heating and he even got himself a pretty sizable grant from the government to boot. I'm always interested in alternative ways of doing things, especially if it brings a person an element of independence.

Well, I could tell the conversation was running it's course and the fellow started inching his way back towards his truck. It was then that he spotted our large stack of fire wood. He asked me what that was. Wanted to know if we sell fire wood. I pointed to the outdoor wood fired boiler and right off the guy says, "You're killing your kids with that thing!" I raised my eyebrows and let out an uncomfortable chuckle. "Your killing the next generation!!! I'm serious!", he exclaimed. He then went into a 10 minute diatribe into why it was bad to burn wood and why everyone should go solar. He kept making references to his sizable grant and how great our new president is. I had an idea that he leaned towards the radical side but, had no idea just how far he leaned. I was proud of myself for keeping my composure the whole time since I'm not used to people being that incensed about something I was involved with. I wasn't quite sure how to respond. I just kept nodding and shrugging and saying, "oh yeah?" "really?" "OK" "hmm".

As he headed for his big ole pick up truck I thanked him for stopping and told him to drop by again. The whole thing was kind of surreal. Kind of a head trip. I've heard plenty about people with those kinds of extreme views but, never been that up close and personal with it. After he left I began to process his whole line of reasoning.

He said I was killing my kids and the next generation for using an out door wood burning boiler. It's actually my dads but that is besides the point. The man assumed it was mine. And it might as well be because I'm all for it 100%.

He had gotten in his truck and roared off. It was a pretty good sized truck too. Might have been a 1 ton? I think it was a dually as well. I don't pay that much attention to those kinds of things but, it wasn't a small truck by any means. What a trip! The guy was absolutely vehement about burning wood yet drives a big truck to go on vacation. Oh yeah, he does do jobs in these parts when he's here so I guess he can justify the truck. But it just seemed a wee bit hypocritical to me.

For the record I don't not believe for a second that burning wood is bad for the environment. Or that it is harming my kids or the next generation. How in the world has humanity survived to this day, what with all the forest fires and wood fired heating down through the millennium past? And what about volcano's. Those things put off mega amounts of smoke. At that rate we should all be dead. Not to mention the all smoke stacks the world over chugging out all those toxic fumes. I just don't buy into all that. I think the earth is perfectly able to filter out all that smoke.

But, to be fair I realize that out-door wood burners put off lots of smoke and alot could be done to make them more efficient. I wouldn't dream of running one in the city. There are times when they put off way to much smoke to be acceptable in a residential setting, no doubt about it. But, given enough space I see nothing wrong with them. I look at burn barrels the same way. It kind of freaks me out that people can have such extreme view points and will swallow everything they hear hook line and sinker.

Well, the snow I told about in the last post vanished by the next day. The majority of it anyway. There was a little white stuff still left in the shaded area's. But a couple days after that there wasn't even a trace of that left. They were calling for a bunch of snow this Friday actually. Up to six inches. But, they have changed that all ready and it looks like it's going to be just rain.

Our neighbor across the highway has been helping me with the garbage route for the past month and a half. His name is Mike. Known of him for nearly 20 years but, have only gotten to really know him these past 7 weeks. Kind of hard to believe. Before now I only talked to Mike 3 or 4 times since 1990 when we first got this place. We all just live our lives and seldom deviate from our normal routines. Goes both ways I reckon.

Anyway, it's been nice to have the help. I did the route by myself all summer. Didn't feel we could afford hiring someone with all the extra landfill expenses this year. I'm not sure how long we'll keep him on. We may get in a pinch once the seasonal people are all gone I don't know. But, the Lord has been providing. Mike needs a job and it is nice to have the help, so until I get a clear indication as far as our finances go I reckon we'll keep him on. He drove truck for alot of years so it is nice to have someone helping who has driving experience. He's been around the block a time or two, ya know?

Gardening is pretty much wrapped up for the season. But, we still have potatoes and carrots in the ground. Need to get those dug up soon. The farm stand is closed. Sales pretty much died off after Labor Day.

Kelli and I did a big project yesterday that's been way over due. We use a green house as a chicken coop and the plastic gave way a couple winters back. Yesterday we got the old stuff removed and brand spanking new plastic put on. The stuff we had on it before was at least 5 years old when we got it. We used it continuously for 11 years. That's at least 16 years. I think it is actually older than that. I'll bet it is closer to 20 years old. The manufacturers say it's good for only 5. But, I always push stuff to it's absolute limit.

I do the same thing with clothes, shoes and even cars. We have three vehicles with over 200,000 miles on them. Two of those three are work trucks for the business. Our newest vehicle, a 97 Jeep Grand Cherokee, has 176,000. One of those with over 200,000 is a 1994 Jeep Sport that we bought new in 94. It has been one good machine for us. The most serious work I've ever had done to it was to replace a pilot bearing in the clutch. Put a new clutch in then too just because it was all apart, but it didn't really need it. Had to replace some broken leaf springs too, but that is it for the big stuff. The 97 Grand Cherokee on the other hand isn't near the machine that the 94 is. Too many gizmo's to go wrong on it. I always wanted a Grand Cherokee but, I'm disappointed with this one.

I really don't blog that much anymore. With all the sobering news out there it's been harder and harder to cough up a decent post. I don't know why I let it effect me but, it does. Things in the world seem down right bleak sometimes actually. It breaks my heart to see this country going down the tubes like it is. I know that God is in complete control and that nothing happens without His consent but, it is still hard to see nonetheless.

I think one of the things that get to me the most are the fact that we are in not one but, two useless no win wars where it seems the powers that be are just playing games with millions of people lives. These never ending wars are getting down right ridiculous, don't you think? It has gotten way past due for them to either really put the whoop on and win or just get out. But, the sad reality is it looks like Vietnam all over again and someone in high places just don't want us to win. There must be some ulterior motives that the masses are not privy to. What else could it be?

Well before I let this spiral down into a post about doom and gloom I'd better cut it off here. God is still in control! But, I believe He is trying to get everyones attention.

Until Next Time


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post, especially that bit about the church work crew. Gene Logsdon has some interesting Amish anecdotes too. (He watched an Amish crew spend a week rebuilding three barns and everyone donating new animals to fill the barns...'Kinda makes you wish for more tornadoes...')

That fellow with the wood issues leaves me chuckling. There's nothing in firewood that in prior seasons wasn't already in the air or in the ground. Either I release all that pent-up solar energy within my living space or I let some fungi do it as the tree rots in the forest. Who benefits from that?

11:58 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

Wow, what an awesome church family! I wish I could find one like that. This summer my husband was in two accidents, the first hurting his back leaving him unable to do any work on the farm and the second tearing the ligaments in his leg that also rendered him unable to do any work on the farm. The church knew about both of these injuries. They also know that I suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Needless to say, no one offered to help with anything. Someone called once to see how he was doing and why we hadn't been to church. I couldn't go to church when I was the only one trying to take care of the farm and the house. I was simply exhausted, worn out, and on the verge of tears many times this summer. I told them that and still no offer of help, just no more phone calls. Now, with all the fall fund raising that our church does, the phone is ringing off the hook with the church wanting me to bake, volunteer, donate, etc. I feel like telling them to go fly a kite, but I won't and so I have 6 dozen desserts to bake for November 15th and a bazaar to volunteer for on the 17th. I need to learn to say no! Anyway you are very blessed in your church family. I wish I could say the same.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your post, it's nice to hear someone doing something nice for another and I also enjoy your common sense opinions.

Just to let you know, I heard a tree decomposing in the forest gives off almost or the same amount of carbon dioxide as burning it. Can't remember the source and the exact phrase but it was from a reputable source.
God Bless.

9:06 AM  
Blogger RL said...


I’ve never read Gene Logsdon, though I have heard of him. I should get some of his books. From what I’ve heard of him, I’m sure I’d greatly enjoy it.

Great point about the fire wood. I wish I was quick witted enough to have offered up that kind of information to that fellow.

When the Church functions with Christ like love as God intended it is truly a beautiful thing. Sadly there are too many churches that focus in more on “programs” and the like than on people who are hurting or those who are in need. It reminds me of the passage about the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25, verses 31-46.

It seems like a worldliness has infected churches of every denomination in these times. Not only are people enslaved to the rat race during the week but, there is a church rat race as well. Families are pulled in every direction. The men over here doing one thing, the women are over there and still the kids off doing something else. And all the programs it seems are often just to help out with someone’s pet project.

Saying no to most of it is probably a very wise thing to do. My family and I have talked many times in great length about these kinds of things and we all conclude that we don’t like it. A hurry-scurry Christianity just seems wrong to us. Then there isn’t any time for the things that really matter, like sitting with a sick neighbor or helping stack fire wood. There just isn’t enough time to do all of the things demanded upon us in modern society. Worldly ways have infiltrated the churches.

Our sympathies and prayers go out to you and your husband.


Thanks for the comment! You and heyercapital are on the same wave length. Very good points! Thanks!

11:42 AM  
Blogger Rdking said...

This was a awesome story, we also have a small cabin on our own property in a patch of woods that I built a couple of years ago. Someday I can only wish that we have something like you.

2:45 PM  

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