...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 7:39 AM [+]
I suppose I spend enough time complaining about the weather in the winter, I ought to be fair and note that it has been (and remains) a wonderful summer. Quite dry which is always a nice change from the near constant drizzle of November through May. Sunny weather like we have been having just about makes up for all the mud and dampness we suffer to be the EVERgreen State.
The rain didn't always bother me as much as it does now, I think because we have so many responsibilities outside. There's no hunkering down in my suburban den when winter comes. I intend to lavish in these latter days of summer because already I am beginning to notice that it is darker these days when I wake for the commute across the river styx to a place some call Seattle, but I call hell. The city. Each morning as our boat approaches the concrete monstrosity I say in my heart: "That's no moon..." And then the imperial march theme begins to play in my head.
Dormition (BTW, the relief above is 10th century from Constantinople) marks the beginning of the end for summer. We may get lucky and have an extended period of dryness throughout September, but you never know. Best to be ready for winter and I am afraid I have not been as productive as I should have been.
In ages past parents used to tell their children the fable of the Ant and the Grasshopper in which the grasshopper learns the hard way that being prepared for times of necessity (winter in this case) is a good idea and that being slothful and wasteful with your time is a sure way to ruin. One needed read far into the Wisdom books of Scripture to see similar exhortations and lessons. Oddly enough, I find that amidst my laziness there is always to be found a prodding toward other unfruitful or even destructive habits. Always best to keep busy being productive in some way.
I wonder if we as a culture of plenty, leisure, and entitlement do not spend enough time teaching ourselves and our children the virtues of hard work and self-sufficiency? In fact, I suspect by default we do the very opposite...it seems so many of us these days believe the world owes us...you can often hear it in how we speak and certainly in how we litigate.
Anyway, as I look back at my life I can see that laziness has been an ongoing bane to me. My fiscal struggles today - though they could be far worse - are clearly mine to own. And now, as I stare out at a nearly empty woodshed, I know I need to get busy as the days are growing shorter. I do to some degree blame my back problems in the spring, but in a round about way, that too is my own doing. As a side, I do worry to some degree about the chronic pain of these injured discs and the degree to which I may be inhibited from working as hard as I like...or rather, as hard as I should!
Fact is, we cannot afford insanely high electric bills this winter, so there is more to this than just having the romantic aura of a fire going in the stove. Though, that IS a very nice fringe benefit...along with the contentment that comes with sweat-of-your-brown labor and the sense of self-sufficiency. No, this is another wa in which this is NOT a hobby we are engaged in: we need the wood heat.
In correlation with these thoughts, Susan has posted on the farm blog some cool pictures of her cheese making. We can now say that our little goat farm is providing ALL of our dairy needs, except butter. Another in my long list of projects is to build a cheese press so that we can make some of the hard cheeses.