On a whim…

Chaotic, esoteric, marginally coherent, stuff about life.

Archive for the ‘life’ Category

Boredom Is Not a Birth Defect… It Could Be Congenital, Though…

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Not too long ago I listened to an interview with James Taylor  and he attributed his creativity to boredom. I guess I haven’t been bored enough for a while now? Today to add a new post to my blog I am leaning on the extraordinary creativity of a friend whose effort to invite a date to the school prom suggests that he is must suffer from congenital boredom (if Mr. Taylor is correct).  PLEASE watch this: 

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Written by David Wilkerson

13 February 2013 at 9:18 pm

Posted in grace, hope, humor, life

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For shame….

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Autumn morning fog over Colebrook, New Hampshire

Thanks to The Christian Gift for a great shot.

The maple I see from my window is clearly embarrassed by the pending nudity of limbs and branches. She is blushing. It must seem odd to her, having nurtured the tree since spring, to now abandon her perch and leave the tree free from her calming presence. If only she could know nor’ easters to come are the sum of the great northern forests’ wiggly flaunting their bare selves. Oh to sing the coming stirring air and let our pale yellow blush burn with brightest passionate red!

 

Written by David Wilkerson

10 September 2012 at 11:34 am

Chicken… really?

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OK, now for something a little different. Well, ok, a lot different. My favorite niece has asked me, “Should I keep chickens?” Actually, she said that the new home she is buying in an upscale community has a coop with tenants. She wants to know if keeping them is “over her head?”  You bet! But there’s more to it than that. I already have a vision of the scene and I cherish the opportunity for her to bring that dream to reality. Here’s what I have told her so far.Chicken for dinner?

According to her there are a dozen chickens so in many ways, 12 are no worse than having two or three in terms of effort. It’s more a question of the ‘net effect’. For example she can expect to average around 6 eggs per day if they are laying well.  In fact, I think chicken breeds lay one egg about every 27 hours.  (I am sure my daughter Maribeth will correct me). Of greater significance than eggs is ‘poop’.  Oh boy!  Years ago I kept two dozen Rhode Island Reds. They were great layers (and poopers).

I had converted an old tin utility shed into their coop and kept a bed of sawdust on the floor to reduce the effort to collect poop, er, droppings. The shed was WAY back on the edge of the property (nearly 100 yards from the house). Soon I found that the, ahem, droppings were heavy; Shoveling them out was a bigger chore than I expected.  (By the way, is cleaning out a coop like cleaning out a stall? If so, was I mucking the coop? That sounds far more disgusting!  Anyway, I digress from my primary digression… ) It was too much work to haul the manure from the coop to the garden. Besides, in my ignorance, I thought it was too ‘fresh’ and would burn my precious plants. I needed a simple solution and I found one.

I just piled up the waste near the path that led from the house to the coop. Quite a pile, or piles, they turned out to be. The blended wood shavings (sawdust) and fresh manure seemed made for each other and from a distance it looked like I had a lovely stone wall lining the path down to the coop. My late wife, Beth, did not find the “stone wall” charming from any distance but I, as usual, had a vision that was not firmly rooted in reality. I forged ahead with my birds; I was a keeper of poultry, a rooster rancher, a hen hustler, a . . . well you get the point. I was proud of my pioneering spirit and self sufficiency.

One day some old friends not seen in years came to visit. Jim and his wife, Tina Cunningham, were from a neighboring state and they adored my late wife while graciously tolerating me. The afternoon was filled with conversation devoted to catching up and narrowing the gap of years that separated us. Meanwhile I, absorbed in my new found self sufficiency, was eager to ‘move on’ and invite them on a tour of my chicken chalet. I waited as long as I thought I could stand it and finally prevailed on them to follow me across the lawn, to a muddy path lined by my ‘charming’ stones to the the coop.

Jim had on a pair of Allen-Edmonds loafers. Those fine shoes with their leather soles didn’t belong on the muddy path. So I pointed to the margin where the grass, a bit long, offered the assurance of a drier trek. Instead, Jim, spry for a man in his seventh decade, leapt instead to the nearest stone… and thrust his right foot clear through.

Poor Jim, clearly unsettled by the nature of my rocks, felt his understanding of the material universe unraveling. Maybe, he reasoned in a nano second, his right foot was already passing through the earth’s mantle and descending toward the core. Indeed, his dexterity on one foot was beautiful as he elegantly leapt again… to another stone with his left foot.

Seemingly, he had acquired a ghost like capacity to pass through solid granite; He leapt again, and again. Each foot preceded the next, one stone at a time, until he transited the entire length of the adjacent path. Gasping for breath while grasping for an explanation he struggled to speak; How, what, who… why, Jim sputtered without resolution, without explanation… ever.

I never heard from Jim again after that day. I remember little of the aftermath other than it was filled with finding spare socks, clearing ‘granite manure’ from his sad shoes. I have vague memories of the fierce looks from Beth in response to my belated apologies and clumsy attempts to suggest she find some humor in the moment.

Since then I have often wondered how Jim, or anyone, from the coastal plain of Georgia or the sandy flatland of Florida could imagine a path lined by a New England stone fence could find its way to the marshy verge of my yard? One thing I have never forgotten is this: if you keep chickens you better plan for the prodigious production of poultry poop.

Yes indeed, dear niece, chickens need food, water, extra light in winter, and occasionally need to be treated for minor things.  But of all the things you consider consider this: You may enjoy eggs benedict for breakfast. Perhaps you will find an Emeril Lagasse recipe for a quiche, but for poop, well for that you need a plan all your own.

Written by David Wilkerson

14 March 2012 at 5:38 pm

Why I am a Cubmaster: Reason No. 235

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Do you notice that days fly by the older you get? I remember getting out of school for the summer and I believe that June to the end of August seemed as long as September to Christmas.

Not anymore! Walking through my garden yesterday morning I was acutely aware of summer… in a good way. The air was not heavy and the sky was clear. It was perfect and the scent of sage, oregano, and thyme wafted up from the garden. That’s when I realized that in not too many weeks the first frost would be here. Not what you wanted to hear? Well try this on then, some our boys will be old enough to join the army, drive away from their high school graduation, or pack for college in as many days as it has been since they were born. Weren’t they born a few weeks ago?

They are going to make more and more decisions and the time remaining for us to help them make good ones is very short. By the time they turn 11 or 12 they will already be well on their way to independence. By the time they hit high school, whether we like it or not, they are going to be making choices and living with the consequences.
It is my deepest hope that in the time left to us our boys will internalize the twelve core values of Cub Scouts so well that it will be second nature to them to try their best and stick with the effort to achieve worthy goals, respect others, speak the truth and deal honestly even when it is hard, be compassionate even to those who do not deserve it, exercise faith and have a positive attitude rooted in the belief that good can rise above any circumstance, demonstrate good citizenship and an ability to find solutions when none is obvious, and finally, to have courage that they are adequate to prevail over any obstacle that confronts them because they have within themselves the confidence that comes from a strong heart and clean mind.

Visit our Pack web site: http://pack610.com

Written by David Wilkerson

25 August 2011 at 7:19 am

Posted in life

Life in Light

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Sun shines over my shoulder. Cascades of light and warmth spill across me and to the north I see long shadows of myself on the floor.
I cannot look into the light but I know of Light’s embrace. I cannot see God but I accept that God is near all the same.

Written by David Wilkerson

10 February 2011 at 1:18 pm

Posted in hope, life, theology, Who knows?

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