Greetings and heil, dear readers. How time has flown for me! I wrote you last in spring, and now summer is gone and autumn is here. Our peppers gave a bounteous yield. This winter we will make our own tabasco sauce. We harvested a large crop of okra. Large for us, at least. We got eggplant and much more. There have been many good things from our small field.
Due to some goings on within our larger family we had a period of stillness. Every morning when I get up and go out to look at my garden, sometimes with a cup of coffee, I am reminded of what a good life it is. Recently I have been given a great deal of time with my youngest children. When I think back on this time I see I have gained back some sense of wonder that was hidden for awhile. Like taking a blindfold off. Things keep growing, sometimes much faster than you expect!
The weeds have been one of the quickly growing things, so I decided to forge a scythe. We made the raised beds wide enough to accommodate the push mower. Since then we have been given, as a gift, a riding lawnmower with a much larger deck. This has cut down the time spent mowing a great deal. In the meantime, the push mower has finally worn out a carburetor it seems. I will take it apart this winter, for now it sits in the shop out of the rain, awaiting my time.
After the push mower stopped working, and in the time intervening, I simply mow between the beds(infrequently) with dad’s scythe. Since it is two feet of blade however, it is not ideal. I settled on a length of roughly a foot. There is still some beveling to forge in so stay tuned, you will see a finished tool before Yule.
In the meantime, we replaced a tire on our little riding mower. When I do not have my father’s scythe, a machete serves in place of one. Now the grass is slowing down, we can all feel the change in season coming. The sky has given us some really fitful blasts of late, aside from any hurricanes. Deluge of rain has followed torrents. Summer giving the last kicks before night descends.
This summer has taught me to stop and smell the flowers. That saying is very quaint to some ears, perhaps. For me this summer has been full of growth, and death. These two things always go together. Among all the work, it is easy to get lost, drug away, by yourself, from the things that really give value to life.
To see the snail did add value to my life. Just like the sunrise. Hearing my children laugh. Watching the slow stream of time carry to them the gifts of words, and wisdom. The gifts trickle down from my mouth and hands, the example of my soul. They combine in the river with those of my wife, and our parents. Our aunts and uncles, their parents. It is an incalculable joy to see my children mimic my work. They do a good job despite their age!
You can see one of our eggplant there. There also is a grape leaf. My daughter is learning about the physical world in her schooling, and we try to give her opportunities to learn more about it in her work. She has learned to do many of the same tasks her mother does, and happily. Nothing makes a homestead more than children. She still finds time to come to my shop and watch me work, or join in. If any fathers of daughters are reading this, take them with you into the shop. The time and experience for both is well worth it.
Ares and Willow are blooming as well. Ares took the picture above. He has “borrowed” his older sister’s camera and has been roaming around snapping what seems interesting to him. Sometimes a piece of lint, a cat sleeping in the sunbeam, his finger. He is getting pretty good, you might even say sophisticated. I saw him shading the camera lens from glare the other day. What amazing creatures children are.
I took the picture above, do not blame Bubba! Why snails? Who knows, but the entire tiny ecosystem that dwells in my shop and on the sides of and underneath my house, certainly adds a layer of depth to me that cannot be dispensed with. The hunting cats returning in the heat of the afternoon sun, the snails out feasting in the early morning dew, the cardinals and jay holding court as the mists burn away. The butterflies endless dance hither and yon.
Indeed, my shop and fields would be barren indeed without all these myriad details. I do not cultivate them, I probably step on a few. Without them, my life would be incomplete. So when worms get into the corn, or the beds drowned with days of torrential rain, I try, imperfectly, to remember all the little things that are so consistently there. Like the sunrise, which is no little thing.
With all these things to bring me joy, I hope to bring joy to other people. We are going to continue making more ironwork both for interior use as well as camp use in future. In addition to the scythe blades and snaths, we are planning another upcoming project involving blades. The very first picture at the heading of this article is the prototype. My wife likes her chef’s knife. In order to have a supply of replacements, I offered to make her another one. She suggested I produce several, and the ones we thought were good enough, offer for sale. These might not be ready for Yule, time will tell.
When you come back to visit, I will have another article to share. I have really missed writing to y’all regularly. My wife noticed and mentioned it to me. We are going to make it a priority. Until next time dear readers,
P. S. We are still available for any house projects you may need our help with. We do a wide range of work from building furniture to building showers. We put the smithing on hold(as much as possible without delaying other patrons), for your projects. Winter is a good time to do things. If you need our help, get in touch. Our phone numbers are always on the home page.