Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial weekend trip

With great intentions we loaded up the lawn tractor, several weed eaters, chainsaw and other various hand tools. Today was supposed to be a day of trail clearing.

After the 90 minute drive, we discovered that the neighbor had gone away for the weekend, or so it seemed.

The gate that he'd previously said was going to be okay to use in order to access our property was shut tight. A nice chain and padlock would prevent us from driving in.

I spend about 20 minutes with one of the weed eaters and cleared away some weeds next to the NW corner of his property, right by the county road.

I left a note in his mailbox and told him that we'd come down to do a days work but were unable to do so. I also mention the area that I'd trimmed and said that I would like to talk to him about making that the permanent easement entrance to our property. I left my phone number and asked him to call.

We left the fully loaded truck on the roadside and walked back to the property. I showed the family the trail which I had already began. I guess they weren't as excited about it as I had been.

We spent another 15 minutes back at the truck checking for and removing ticks. We found another 9 of them after we got back home.

Happy Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Great Disconnect

[I liked this so much that I copied it from here]

As a thoroughly modern people, we have become disconnected. Oh, we are connected to many things - cell phones, ipads, computers, ipods, xbox, television, any number of electronic devises - but we are disconnected from real life.

Life has always been full of hardship and joy, mourning and exaltation. Living life required you to get your hands dirty. When babies were born, the reality was that it was messy, bloody, painful and potential deadly. Everyone who lived, had to deal with it. There were no hospitals or doctors (or if there were, they were very limited) and most people greeted a birth as yet another part of life - with either a good outcome or bad. People raised their own children - they were connected. They didn't have the option of hiring a nanny or sending their children to daycare. They dealt with the day to day drudgery and blessings of caring for their offspring. Men worked to care for and provide for their families. Women lived lives of service to their husbands and children. Parents cared for their children. Children grew up and cared for their parents. When life came to an end it was handled skillfully and lovingly by the same people that the deceased had walked with in life - their family. The family was very connected, from birth, through every season of life and into the grave. What a simple, perfect, beautiful way to live life. Connected from the cradle to the grave through grief and glory, good times and bad.

And now, we are connected to our games. Or our computers, or our phones. We have exchanged the real world for the fantasy world. We no longer get up close and personal with the realities of life. We hire someone to help deliver our babies, on our schedule, and devoid of pain if at all possible. We hire other people to raise our children. We pay someone else to cook for our husbands and clean our homes. We hire someone else to grow our food, butcher our meat and milk our cows. Someone else provides our water and produces our electricity. Someone else teaches our children. We send our parents to nursing homes and expect someone else to care for them. When someone we loves die, someone else washes them, dresses them and prepares them for the grave. Someone else digs the hole and fills it in. We are absent from life. We are no longer engaged in actively living. And we are missing out.

When we were connected to our family, we were connected to our neighbors and we were connected to our communities. If someone was in need, we, as a family member, neighbor or community saw to that need. There was resolution and accountability. Taking care of each other was a matter of life and death. It was not a perfect system. People fell through the cracks. Families were not perfect. But it was personal. It was connected. It was real.

If the balloon goes up, economic disaster strikes or an EMP hits, our lives will get very real, very fast. Once again, we will have to be an active participant in birth, in raising and teaching our children, in ministering to our husbands, in caring for our parents and in preparing and burying our loved ones. We will have to get our hands dirty with growing our own food, butchering our own meat and milking our own cows. We will have to provide our own water, clean our own houses and provide our own power (whatever that may be). Are you ready?

It is time for us to reconnect with the real world. We need to reap the blessings of knowing, loving and serving our families. We need to take care of our children. Love our husbands. Care for our parents. We need to take care of one another. We need to relearn how to use our hands and our brains. We need to reconnect with everything that truly matters.