Dog Days of Summer

kids with dogs

Despite my best writerly intentions, late July brings a bevy of visitors (all of whom love our crazy dogs–and cat) and excursions. It’s the price I pay for living in the beautiful Adirondacks–I’m not complaining! I’m enjoying my time, but look forward to visiting all the wonderful blogs I follow. Hope you’re  having a great August!

So I thought I’d show a few pics of our RESCUE DUCK “Chip.” He’s now taken to spending his dog days on the hammock:

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Green Acres, Garden of Eden, America

I don't miss Wall Street a bit.
I don’t miss Wall Street a bit.

I’m not one of those people who think all back-to-the land people are pretentious hypocrites. Americans were bred for it. Bred with the desire to change their surroundings in order to meet their needs and ascetic (and aesthetic) desires. Bred to spend little time on book learned philosophy and more time on blowing up mountains for railroads and installing solar panels to be “off the grid.”

We like the romance (or once did) of living nearly government free. We like the romance of the nomadic Sioux Indians on horseback because we’ve all come to this continent as wandering, fleeing people. We take photographs of “primitive” people with “simple lives” not because we like exhibitions at zoos, but because despite our almost diametrically opposed other desire for the most up-to-date material goods–there is a sense in us that simplicity will free us from ourselves.

Making some homespun music--sorta sounds like a violin.
Making some homespun music–sorta sounds like a violin.

Americans strive and want progress–an endless list of accomplishments to prove our worth, but at the same time we’ve known that this proving, this rat-race, this hard-driving road over scattered rail lines leads to no where in particular.

The manufacture of solar panels leads to industrial waste and not every person really wants to depend on their local weather for the wheat berries they grind themselves, but sometimes in the face of vicious human corruption that feels like it’s getting progressively worse, we type into our smart phones a search for a real estate agent in the middle of nowhere.

We can have horses then and grow our own stuff and wear home-made clothes with fabric from our sheep (who won’t have parasite over-load and die). We’ll live with the bears until they knock over our honeybee hives. We’ll uneasily buy a gun and shoot it into the air when the first shadow of a grizzly lurks in the yard. Then we’ll get so angry at a fox after it feasts on our chickens which we carefully raised from chicks shipped cross-country from a hatchery (we wanted a heritage breed) that we REALLY shoot and kill something.

Little baby chicks enjoying life before fox eats them.
Little baby chicks enjoying life before fox eats them.

When Europe killed Christians, slashed down their forests and found technology, the most desparate and brave people crossed the ocean to the last Eden. We’ve been figuring out what to do in it ever since.


It’s Not Your Fault That You’re Evil–Or Is It?


I was going to write about a charming little bookstore I visited recently, but then I happened upon the horrifying photos of beheaded Christian children still in their adorable kid clothes. I really wanted to just escape back into the past or at least into a charming bookstore. I wanted to flip through books that showed how people bandaged wounded soldiers who are long since dead. I wanted to see books on genocide and pass them by because, thank God, the holocausts were over. I wanted to still be able to imagine that I could use the word evil lightly as if the meaning of the word had lost it’s essence and was just a funny remnant from the past.


I bet most Germans browsed bookstores, wrote novels and gossiped as the powers of evil rolled by carrying people to camps. My neighbor sends his beef cows to market but I never see them shoved into the truck that carries them away.

Finished and safe worlds
Finished and safe worlds

We see. Everyday we see things on television. How many innocent people are murdered every week in Chicago? Would a big counter in the corner of our screen make us give a damn? If we want we can read Bertrand Russel’s disturbing idea’s about education and see as we sit before our computers that his ideas may have become reality. I’m just as dumb as the next person–the person who thinks that couldn’t happen here; that couldn’t happen now. And why is my coffee cold?

Dead people neatly stored away--handled gently
Dead people neatly stored away–handled gently

What is that numbness that so paralyzes us all? That sense that it might be a bit rude to question evil? But once questioned the problem still exists for the sort who like quiet bookstores–what’s to be done?  Do we have a right to say someone is evil or is that a little too judgmental? Maybe the very same people who manage to write sonnets and invent telescopes and love their children have no control over their actions. Bookstores magically appear and child butchering is explained away–they couldn’t help it.

Why do we embrace death when God's glory is all around us?
Why do we embrace death when God’s glory is all around us?