« Labor and Family | Main | My Lucky Star »

The anti-Dubai (or things I'm thankful for)

boys on wood2.jpg
Boys on wood pile - day after Thanksgiving

I unloaded two trailer loads of cut wood yesterday. In the morning, a huge flocks of geese passed right overhead. One flock was so large it looked like a small black cloud. I leaned back on the trailer to take in their flight. The multiple V-formations had a pattern inside it. Large goose, little goose, large goose, little goose. Parent/child/parent/child. At the end of the flock the very last goose had a section of his wing missing-- I could see the sunlight through where there should have been wing feathers. And yet- they stayed together- maybe a Grandparent pulling up the rear.

Last night the boys (all of 5-years-old) and I unloaded another load of wood while the sunset and the combines, unseen, rumbled to the north and west and all around. The stars came out ("star light star bright first star I see tonight...") and the moon had a large halo around it nearly touching our silos.

We're in the midst of clearing out our old grove (about 3 acres!) in anticipation of a major tree planting next spring. The bulldozer was in last week to pull up the stumps and our farmstead looks like a tornado passed through. What's exciting is that we're hopeful we have enough wood for the next 3 winters already cut. It's like money in the bank to see the stacked wood piles- strategically placed to cure or to burn.

Two years ago I was talking with my neighbor Brent wondering what we would do with all the standing dead wood on our farm. He said "get a Central Boiler" and we did. It's turned out to be a great move. Instead of letting the dead wood rot in place (emitting CO2) or burning it in a massive pile, we are metering it out to heat our house and water year around. We haven't purchased any propane since we installed the boiler two years ago.

It's the anti-Dubai.

Two years ago when I heard National Public Radio do an uncritical and fawning hour of "financial reporting" on Dubai I was sickened. Couldn't everyone see that this was the most unsustainable, ill-fated project of our times? I mean really- we need artificial luxury islands, indoors ski-slope in the desert, and unlimited high end shopping? All built and sustained on fossil fuel supplies and profits. And now bankrupt. Surprise.

Instead, I'm grateful for stacked wood, my family (mom helped out all Thanksgiving week and sister Kelley left her dairy farm in SE Minn to visit us), for a nice community and singing in the church choir, and the opportunity to be completely content. 'Tis a gift to be simple and, frankly, a lot safer.


TrackBack URL for this entry:


What I say probably has nothig to do with your latest entry ,but yet in a way it really does. You see today I said good by to a very dear friend, one who was a very young 104 years old! Some probably know of this gentle man, notice I didn't say gentlemen.A man who packed so many enjoyments into his life that this amount of time was needed to accomplish every thing.
You speak of the simple pleasures of life, Amen. None of us need much to really be happy. This Guy I talk about here enjoyed things such as Mandoline playing, Dancing, Mountain country & flat open cattle country, Lakes,Streams Hunting,Trapping, Snowshoeing, you name it, if it was nature he understood it. I owe a lot to this guy for what he taught me about life.
Your comparisons here are right on the money, keep up the good work. Evan


May we all be so well regarded at 104 as your friend Evan.

I was hoping you'd read this post and appreciate your comments Evan. Always.


why where you relocated

as usual, I always feel uplifted reading your posts.


by Wendell Berry
Though he was ill and in pain,
in disobedience to the instruction he
would have received if he had asked,
the old man got up from his bed,
dressed, and went to the barn.
The bare branches of winter had emerged
through the last leaf-colors of fall,
the loveliest of all, browns and yellows
delicate and nameless in the gray light
and the sifting rain. He put feed
in the troughs for eighteen ewe lambs,
sent the dog for them, and she
brought them. They came eager
to their feed, and he who felt
their hunger was by their feeding
eased. From no place in the time
of present places, within no boundary
nameable in human thought,
they had gathered once again,
the shepherd, his sheep, and his dog
with all the known and the unknown
round about to the heavens' limit.
Was this his stubbornness or bravado?
No. Only an ordinary act
of profoundest intimacy in a day
that might have been better. Still
the world persisted in its beauty,
he in his gratitude, and for this
he had most earnestly prayed.

You will manufacture something due to small as a box in order to different big tasks from woodworking course. This are going to be incredibly challenging for you personally to understand easy methods to cause those products without those benefit of your woodworking class.

That is a good use of the wood you have. I think woodworking has helped thousand of people save money in buying cheap rubbish products, and in building it themselves they have the added benefit of having it exactly to the size shape and forum that they want.


A very ecologically sound decision. We all need to do more things like this

I am really glad to hear that you are planning to plant 3 acres worth of new trees. This is great. I know that you will get a tremendous amount of joy watching the new trees grow and your kids will love it too. I know personally that it is a lot of work, but well worth it. Just wondering where you plan on getting your new trees. I have been getting mine from Musser Forests out of Pennsylvania. Just a helpful suggestion. Good luck with your project.

It is nice to see that there is still a few nice people out there willing to share nature's blessings. The use of wood in my family has been primary since we live a very simple life.. but I must say... very happy too! It is great that you are saving wood and not throwing it away like many. Many blessings to you and your family!

Post a comment