Monday, December 10, 2007

The Race Is On!

Well, I finally got all the pieces together to build my very own Whizbang Garden Cart! Whether my son (who will be turning 12 tomorrow) and I will be able to get it all together in time to enter it in the 2007 Whizbang Garden Cart Contest is questionable. But we'll give it our best shot!

I cut the plywood tonight on my brother's Delta contractors table saw. I would have had pictures of the process, but my partner was upstairs decorating his birthday cake. Seems he wanted a drawing of an A-10 Warthog on it, so it was up to him to draw it.

Hopefully, in the less than 2 weeks I have left before we go west for Christmas, we'll make additional progress. We shall see!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Honoring One's Parents

Three days ago, we were faced with the reality that my mother will not be able to return to the retirement home where she has spent the last ten years of her life. Three months earlier, Mom had fallen and broken her arm in two places. Her rehabilitation has been painfully slow as her 87 years is taking its toll. My siblings and I have visited, cajoled, and bribed her best we could, but we finally had to face the reality of the situation - Mom would never be going back.

So this weekend, my wife and I will be making an unexpected trip to Mom's retirement home six hours North of us in Cooperstown, NY, to clean out her room. She will be staying where she is for now, in a rehabilitation facility about 40 minutes from Cooperstown, transferring to the nursing home section. We are not going to try and make any decisions until after New Years.

Meanwhile we seek the Lord's guidance as to how do we honor her. Do we leave her in the place where she has become settled? Do we try and move her down to a facility near us so we would be able to visit regularly and monitor her care adequately? Do we have her come live with us on a trial basis to see if we are physically able to care for her needs? We look to the Lord for wisdom and grace, unsure as to what effect this may have on our search for land.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Review: Inherit the Land

Several weeks ago, I received a preview copy of Inherit the Land, one of the newest videos from the studios from Franklin Springs. I had hoped to preview it with some friends of ours and then share our responses, but we’ve had to reschedule our preview twice so far, so I figured I better just go ahead and share from my perspective.

Inherit the Land: Adventures on the Agrarian Journey, introduces us to seven families who share the blessings they have found in a lifestyle “on the land.”

Our first family is the Wilson family living on 16 acres in eastern Virginia. Scott wanted to start a family business where every family member could have meaningful responsibilities; where they could all be working together. He found that farming was just what he was looking for - where even a three year old can be involved as the family egg-gatherer, and his more shy children can learn self confidence as they learn to excel in areas of the farm that are all theirs. Scott especially enjoys the way farming lends itself to developing mentoring relationships with his children. They see the Lord’s blessing as they are working together, laughing together, developing family unity and working together toward a common goal.

The next family lives on a fruit and grape farm near the Pacific Ocean. The Gerhadt’s father and father-in-law had both grown up on farms, and as the Gerhardts now raise their sons, they found themselves wanting to reconnect to farm life and the feeling of family gatherings they both remembered with their grandparents. They love to see their boys learning to take dominion and learning useful life skills that will remain with them throughout their years – ones they will be able to pass on to their sons. They declare that raising sons on a farm is a great thing!

We are then taken to Illinois where we meet three generations of farmers. The Houks farm over 3,000 acres -mainly corn. Although their farm is quite the contrast to what often comes to mind when one thinks of the agrarian movement, they share the same love for the land, seeing God’s goodness and bounty in bringing in the harvest, learning to trust in the Lord to grow that crop, and the joy of working and being involved with one's family.

Next time I will share with the other three families we meet and then conclude with our thoughts after watching Inherit the Land.