I always tease him that he only does the yard work that can be done on a tractor or riding lawn mower. And sometimes will run the chainsaw. But he is very good with that tractor. A friend observed him moving a large tree that had been cut down. He used the hay spear and our friend described the scene as his using the spear like a pair of tweezers precisely placing the log where he wanted it on the big fire pile we had blazing.
The other day he was working on cleaning up the cow pen. There were several mounds of hay and manure accumulated from a couple of winters’ feedings. He used the front end loader to smooth the ground level. He needed to get next to the fence posts. I was perched up on the hay bales right next to the fence posts. I watched him ease that blade within an inch of the post and carefully drag the muck clear without touching the post.
I’ve seen him, helped him really, use that tractor to move deer stands through obstacle courses through the woods and up and down hills and ravines. He raises the front end loader up to the side of the stand and straps the stand to the bucket. Then he lifts the whole thing intact and drives along with it bobbing out in front of him. He dodges trees and ruts and whatever to get to his new spot picked out.
Recently he got off in a bad place that didn’t have a bottom to it. Sunk her deep in a boggy spot. Our son came to help and the two of them worked out a system using two heavy duty pickup trucks, a pine tree, a pulley, and a lot of rope and chain. They got it out of course and I don’t think either of them minded the task. They were laughing and joking and slinging a lot of mud!
I’ve ridden many an hour tucked up next to his seat. All kinds of weather. Doing all kinds of jobs. I haven’t been up there in recent years. Maybe I should go with him next time he loads her up for the deer lease. My bones screech at the thought, but my heart says yes, load up.
This past weekend, I had time on my hands. I spent most of Saturday sitting in a deer stand and part of Sunday afternoon, too.
It was raining Saturday. The woods in the rain are lovely to experience. The rush and patter of the rain. The whoosh of the wind. The dance of the trees and swirling of light over raindrops. The noisy quiet of nature.
I spent time trying to focus the vision. I know one thing for certain. I am a home keeper at heart. Everything seems to come back to home. I love to travel. But home is my vocation. I expend a great deal of energy and thought on my home. Trying to figure out how to make it better. How to make it stay cleaner. How to make it more comfortable and user friendly. How to make it kid-friendly, both crawler size kids and grown, married size kids.
If I move this over there and rearrange this closet. If I get rid of this and try to find something like that? So it goes with me. Drives him crazy. I don’t mean to make him nuts with all my moving and changing. Sometimes I get things situated and think it will work and it doesn’t. Or something changes. Or it doesn’t fit the way I thought it would.
I do the same in my deer stand. I have three chairs in each of my stands. Each chair serves a different purpose. It took me a bit to work out the best arrangement. I like to be comfortable. It is a long time sitting.
But the reward of the confined space in the open woods is great. I have to sit still and let my mind be my occupation. I take my journal and write page after page of gibberish. But, amid all the static, I hear that voice telling me this is the way. I see the light for the next step. The fog clears from the vision for a moment and I have a chance to make a note on my pages before it is shrouded again. But, this time I am not in despair. I have captured a glimpse of the vision on paper. I have words I can refer to when I get unsure again of the next step.
Take the broom and sweep. Put away the paraphernalia let over from the past days’ adventures. Clean the fish tank. Pull a few weeds. Cook a good pot of tortilla soup. Get the coffee pot ready for the morning. Figure out what tomorrow’s chores will be. Decide what closet needs attention. Another page in my life has been written. Today was a good one. A good one preceded by good ones.
I just realized I am doing what my mother and her mother always did. My mother’s sisters do the same thing, too. That constant moving and rearranging in our homes. And so the family connection flows.
I love hunting season. One of the main reasons is the time to unravel my mind. And let Him show me wonders of his world. And have time with him adventuring in the mud and rain.