Tag Archives: rural

Sparkle

 

I don’t mind the cold. Even without sunshine the ranch sparkles!

 

“God’s breath sends the ice, freezing wide expanses of water. He loads the clouds with moisture, and they flash with his lightning. The clouds churn about at his direction. They do whatever he commands throughout the earth.”
Job 37:10-13 (NLT)

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One Week – Walk #21

Among Southeastern Washington State’s many attributes I adore its variety.  We have variety in variety. Routine quickly becomes tedium in my apartment, so this climate suits me.

The photos from the same week suggest spring, summer, fall and winter – and it’s barely mid fall.

7 days into my fall garden box:

Sweet Alyssum popping up between the fallen leaves:

Ducks ducking out on the Columbia River:

The Blue Bridge over the Columbia River from Columbia Park Trail ( Columbia River images (c) courtesy Julie Wetherby used by permission):

Yep. Snow.

Late morning sunlight glaring from the frozen tarps on the wood bins …

…before the rain returned…

Rain don’t bother Chex – photo taken from indoors ;>

Happy Walking, Bloggers!

“As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.” Genesis 8:22 (NLT)

 

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Safe at Home

As the Astros and the Yankees duke it out for the championship, the term Safe at Home takes on a whole new meaning for me. (The Cubs will come back again next year.)

Here at the ranch this past week Cole and I unloaded and stacked about three cords of the wood we cut and hauled last weekend.

What impresses me most is how people turn out and team up to help one another. Cole and I alone would have needed another whole day to saw and load – at the very least. On top of that, both of us would have hurt all week. But Cole’s dad, a cousin’s able bodies and some very cool tools did much more work in far better time. What’s more, Cole’s mom had hot, delicious, mostly home grown meals awaiting us after a luxurious, spa-like shower.

During my first year the ranch went through many changes. Sure, last year I said that it’s good to be home right away. But seriously, the first ten months actually were hard. I was so road weary from the three previous years I barely noticed exactly how tough it was until fall started to appear this year and the pace began to slow a bit.

Through it all, God led me, soothed me, counseled me and sent help when I couldn’t manage alone anymore.

I’m a little sad that Cole sold the Gray Mare. Still, she’ll winter in a warm barn now. Cole also sold the cows and the three-year-old calf. New Roommate now tends the pastures and the chickens so I only fill in when both she and Cole are away. With the chicken house almost completely refurbished, requiring half the time to care for the flock, I’m now free to focus upon my work.

Today more than ever before it’s good to be home.

“For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.” Psalm 33:4 (NIV)

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Sprouting – Walk #9

“The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come, and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.” Song of Songs 2: 12 (NLT)

 

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In The Moment

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I have always taken planning and preparing for whatever could happen to a whole other level of crazy making. For the past few years I’ve methodically, painstakingly pursued the practice of simply being. Try as I do, that being a work in progress is seriously understating it.

“But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” *

But then I noticed something: While doing chores out in the ice and snow, I must forget my writing, the laundry, what might be on the stove and everything else. I must consider every move – or swing, lest I hurt myself (again) – or I could generate more work for someone else. For those happy minutes life here forces all my attention to exactly what I’m doing and nothing else.

Dude, living in the moment is amazing.

During this first season home, I better appreciate the intricacies of this lifestyle. My priorities shifted remarkably to gathering wood, helping to care for the animals and myself daily.

I like a sparkly-clean home. But I loathe breaking stuff and the down-time and extra expenses after I hurt myself. Water spots on the dishes, soot or dust dropped way down my priority list; alone in my cottage only my fingers disturb the fine, light covering. And I’m far more flexible with my time and more relaxed. This has all been a learning experience I won’t soon forget.

“We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.” Practicing the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence

Mostly I appreciate my bright, new direction in over-thinking just about everything. I enjoy simple things more than ever before. Sure, I’d like more income, and my name on some real estate – or a motor vehicle title. But my story is far from over.

I also noticed the good stories keep till I get to them.

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God. Controls. Everything.

“For the life of every living thing is in His hand, and the breath of every human being.” Job 12:10 (NLT)

*Luke 10:41, 42 (NLT)

Images courtesy Pixabay

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Relax

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“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.”*

Okay, so our neighborhood isn’t exactly in the woods, but it’s rural enough for me with everything we need within walking distance. I came here to connect with my life, the life I seemed to have lost making a living.

We now know where everything I can think of is located on the property (having given up on all the stuff I either lost, left behind or passed on to the kids). Erin and I are pleased with our progress:

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The flower bed is set and doing well,
the garden is ready for plants (since it’s too late to start from seeds), and
we have a good, solid grasp of our budget.

“…I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life…”*

Now, all eyes on our target, residual income, we begin phase two of our reorganization project; juggling the stuff in the rooms around.

Rather than plunge head-on into the heavy lifting (literally), we took the weekend off to learn what the countryside has to teach.

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Most notably we learned today is one of several free fishing weekends in Colorado; no license or tags required. So after Sunday dinner at Keira’s we’ll be dropping lines in the Lake – definitely in the woods. Sure, we could go home a little early and get a head start on the week. But free fishing during perfect weather only happens a few times a year.

Watching our bobbers on the water, I’ll thank God for my life. I’ll breathe, and work hard to think about nothing else.

“On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work.” Genesis 2:2 (NLT)

 *Walden: Or, Life in the Woods, Chapter 2 by  Henry David Thoreau
Images by E.V.A. Lambert
Closing image courtesy ABSFreepic.com

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