Mar 25, 2012: washed clean and muddy

Alright, take two. I just accidentally deleted my first version of this article, so I’m trying again. (sigh) Maybe this will be the better version…or maybe it will be less coherent. Either way, it should be entertaining.

In Genesis 9, God promised never to destroy the world with a flood…for which we are very grateful, because we got a ton of rain this week, and had many opportunities to practice trusting God and not worrying about the water that kept getting higher and higher, and ohmygoshthecreekhasneverbeenthathighbefore…we didn’t do so well, as you can see. But God was good, and the creek stayed in its bed. But we didn’t.

My wonderful Mom called us at 3:15am because the website that shows the height of the creek near our house had just showed a huge jump in a matter of hours. We decided to plan for the worst, and spend two hours moving our valuables to higher ground, including the refrigerator we need to sell (blocks of wood), the elliptical machine from craigslist (also on blocks of wood), and the riding mower (moved to our hill under a tarp later that day). After some food and conversation, we went to bed for a bit, and got up at half past seven.

Well, if you had imminent flooding and four kids who couldn’t play outside, what would you do? Exactly; you would re-organize all your books. We decided to sort, label, and re-shelve all our children’s books, and we have a goodly number. So we all got to work: my two youngest boys carried armloads of books to the living room, my wife and oldest son sorted them into piles by subject, and my daughter labelled cards for each pile and put on colored stickers. Me? I was mounting curtain rods and hanging racks on several walls in several rooms, and I helped only a little.

It took nearly all day, but we did it, by God’s grace and a terrific attitude from everyone. Oh sure, we had some issues: a 3 year old doesn’t know a life science book from a physical science book, you can only stack books so high before they fall, and the boys all needed to run around yelling for no apparent reason before we finished. But now we can find the book we want, and it has a home when we are done with it. We put in a new shelf under the shelves we mounted on my daughter’s wall. We had been keeping a number of books in a cardboard box, but we figured that, after a year in our new house, we should probably transition out of the living-out-of-boxes look.

The next day, we visited our fellow homesteaders, Dwayne and Dee, in their home they built themselves on 20 acres several miles from the nearest remote village. We enjoyed home-cooked food, educated and uplifting conversation, and took home a number of books they didn’t need anymore. Yes, more books. Yes, we already have a ton. Yes, we believe books are better than a Kindle. Yes, reading is that important to us. How else can you understand the Word of God if you can’t read? I think God designed it that way on purpose. My wife says every parent ought to experience the joy and satisfaction of teaching their child to read. It’s like nothing else.

So after all that, we decided to spend the next day…reorganizing the monster-sized cabinet that housed our home education materials. We did it in much the same way we had done the books. All the kids helped, and it took a while, and when we finished, it was neat, organized, easily accessible to all, and had less clutter in it. We threw away, re-labelled, re-stored, and gave away lots of things, and in return, we got peace, satisfaction, and tools we can actually use. Cleanliness is next to Godliness, right? Order is from God, and it sure feels that way when you have it.

Since we were on a cleaning kick, we spend much of the next day cleaning the house, although the kids did a lot of it. We knew we had company coming that weekend (Tim and Ana, thanks for a wonderful time!), and it always feels so good to clean the house, and it needed cleaning. With six of us in the house, the dust is motivation enough.

I spent part of the day outside, cutting saplings and honeysuckle away from the bank of our pond, and fixing my car (again), but it starts now, glorytoGodHallelujah! Thank you, Dr. Vance. I have a passion against vines, especially honeysuckle, mainly because it grows everywhere, and it shouldn’t. It should get out of the way so other things can grow instead, or so nothing will encroach on perfectly good empty space. I know, the little flowers are nice and the kids love to eat the “honey”, but I’m tellin’ you: vines are from Satan. They don’t stop until you slice them to pieces, and they tear things apart. We had some at our first house, and I did battle with them every spring and summer. I had my way for the most part, but they required constant vigilance. I have never, before or since, had occasion to use a weed-eater vertically, but it worked.

Vines and wasps are my enemies here. Several kinds of spray are effective at killing the little devils, but there always seem to be more of them to spray next time. They remind me of the hordes of robots from Star Wars: mindless, evil, limited understanding, and an important weakness. I am the Jedi: highly trained, very athletic, calm and confident, wielding my spray cans with mind-numbing effectiveness against overwhelming odds to save the helpless! Plus, I look good in boots and a beard, even better than Obi-Wan. And I get to wear blue jeans. Jedis never get to wear blue jeans. :) There should be a YouTube video about redneck Jedis.




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