Saturday, April 28, 2007

Uncle Howard's April 28th

My uncle has lived for thirty years at the log cabin he built near a fishing lake. It is quite a magical little place and very rustic. We skidded out logs for an addition he'll be working on in the fall. As can be imagined I feel bad for the trees that were cut, the animal lives and homes interrupted, and the vegetation hurt in the process. I felt better in knowing he had grown these pines with the purpose of using them as building material. He had cared for them and protected them from disease and blight. The usefulness in my mind outweighed the loss. As is obvious I feel I have to rationalize the destruction and motivation for what we did.
I did resolve to make some tools that might come in handy for me someday, or for my Uncle Howard to use in the upcoming fall when he plans on scraping the bark off all the logs. Howard had shown me the simple draw-knife and how it was used (and also the price tag of about $65 dollars!) I just finished a book by an excellent author and expert of self sufficiency; John Seymour. He has many books and the one I read showed all about the tools and methods of different traditional skills now almost lost to society. The draw-knife is shown as needed in many of the trades and I plan on making one with two purposes. One: to know how to make the tools effectively, and two: to practice with the tools. I suppose a third reason is because I am a cheapy and don't want to pay for something I can hopefully fabricate!

Monday, April 23, 2007

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Doesn't everyone like crawling around in the bushes?
A Preface: NO I AM NOT A PERVERT!!! I know a question like that could throw people off a little. I wanted to establish my orientation before I ended up linked to some bad sites or being investigated!!!.
I'm a sincere and observant guy.There are many thing that are very important to me. I also like to laugh and enjoy life. I am sort of like a mullet; -Professional in the front, Party in the back!!!

So now to my story and point about nature's call and bush crawling and stuff...
Have you ever thought about why we find peace and relaxation when we are in or near nature?
One of my favorite things to do is to disappear into the woods. Nature to me, is sacred. I'm probably quoting someone with that sentence but all the same I feel that way too. Nature has a way of cleansing us and clearing up our minds long enough to see what is really important. I get so caught up in the rat-race of life that I often miss everything that is going on about me. I miss life in my attempt to live it! (At least the way the world tells me to live it.) Nature tells me to live it differently. To slow down, and literally smell the roses. It's spring now. How many of us have knelt down and smelled the tulips up close, grabbed a handful of dirt and taken in its leafy sour smell? One of the funnest things I did a few years ago on vacation was to visit a lake near my brother's house. I took a scuba mask, knife and my swimming trunks.
Unlike every other person on the beach that day I proceeded to the edges of the sand, where the vegetation starts growing and the sand turns to mud. I got some pretty strange looks when I walked further into the marshy peninsula. I had left the sand! The beautiful blond manicured sand! The only area that promised a clean walk to and from my vehicle! The only area without nasty little bugs and critters! I had stepped into no mans land where the snakes and monsters and muck and spiders and every other creepy crawly thing could get me!!! AHHHHH!!!! What had I Done?

worry! I survived! In fact I can tell you I grew! I learned and experienced Nature. It called me to this animal trail worn into the mud by muskrat and passing deer. The animal trails opened up to a beautiful little sheltered cove where the cattails grew tall and the lilypads floated on the surface of the green water. I was experiencing something different than most do on their visits to the beach. I decided to test the experience and do something very strange. I slowly waded into the murky green water and felt my feet sink deep into the cold muck of the bottom. As I moved slowly through the lilypads I got down further and deeper until I was up to my shoulders in the middle of all these lilypads, green mucus and floating seaweed. Wow!!! Instead of disgust and fear I felt peace! Like the area had something to teach me. I grabbed my scuba mask and submerged through the lilypads and slime to see a whole new world beneath that which I saw on the surface. Light catches the green and yellow particles that are suspended under the water and makes them almost glow. The stalks and stems of the surface plants and weeds disappear from view in a constantly moving almost glittery underwater.

Thing are different than what you might expect. There exists a peace and flow of life. In talking with my wife about the experience (Yes I am Married! Sorry Girls!) She said something that helped me to understand the peace and spiritual cleansing that occurs in Nature. I had asked why a great sunset or visiting a waterfall or any wild place can change us so much. She said; " I believe it's because Nature obeys." She continued; "Nature is a spiritual place where we can find peace because nature follows with exactness the laws of creation. God created Nature, Nature obeys, and so it is worthy of God's spirit. That spirit clarifies our cluttered minds, cleanses our hearts and heals us". WOW! If only the rest of this world understood this too! If only we would give up some comforts and give in to Nature's call to learn and experience life through Her ways!!!


I work in an Emergency Department and have showed a few of my coworkers how to make snares and stone tools. I was paged by another coworker. He asked "You're outdoorsy right?"
I admitted at least an intention of being such and he escorted me out to the ambulance bay where there were quite a few nurses giggling and screaming about a bat that was on the ground, supposedly injured.
I remembered learning about how bats need a vertical surface to start their flight because they couldn't get the full span of motion they needed for liftoff from a horizontal position. (Hence why they like hanging?) After many jokes form the nurses about which one would be lucky enough to give me a rabies shot, I managed to pick the bat up and with a light boost up into the air the bat commenced flying and sent everyone scattering! It turns out that bat just needed a little help. The next day coming into work I was greeted as "Hey it's Batman! "

I am Running Waters

Anyone who knows me can easily tell why I chose this symbolic name. Perhaps because I am a wealth of knowledge flowing endlessly on. Swirling, and bubbling with fresh ideas and life. I carry the secrets of the woods and the valleys I run through and offer refreshment to the lifeforms that come in contact with me.

(That or I just have an overactive bladder which is probably why I prefer outdoor settings to the confinements of normal living spaces and schedules.)

I am very much the latter, but aspire to be the first definition of my self-declared name. My bladder aside, I do intend to chronicle my experiences and flirtations with the outdoors. I am intrigued by the outdoors, and the beauty in every creature. I do believe in the Spirit that moves in all things, and that there is a Grand Creator. I find peace in my outdoor ventures and find that clarity comes from asking nature to reveal her secrets. I am nowhere near the level of inner awareness I want to be but that comes with time and patience.
As I am part Cherokee, I am not trying to make fun of Indians or primative lifestyles in my attempts to mimic and master their ways. I simply want to learn and come closer to living with the Earth as our ancestors have done.