Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Year

On Christmas Day last year, we were building our cabin. We had bad Chinese takeout from the only place open in town. And then we got back to work.

Over the past year we've doubled the size of the cabin, learned how to live off-grid, dug a large pond, built gardens, a pig pen (and raised a hog), built a workshop, and learned a new career. We've gone out into the community and met new friends upon whom we can depend. No one has been seriously hurt or ill. It has been a very blessed year.


I am sitting in the workshop right now typing this, beside a roaring fire in the woodstove and with plywood up over the windows to keep out a cold south wind which has sprang up. We have wood, gasoline, ammo, and food stocked up for the winter still. Alas, the cabbages I had in the ground have finally succumbed. I do not think it was the cold nights that did them in, as cabbages are pretty hardy. I think it was the 50 degree temperature fluctuations between day and night. Most days it's in the 60-70 degree range with the nights plummeting down to freezing or below. That, more than the cold, has made winter gardening a hassle.


The cabin is drafty as I still haven't found the time to put up siding all the way around. When the wind is cold and from the south, it seeps in and chills us to the bone. Those are the days of blankets and cuddling and movie marathons. I would regret it somehow if, once the siding is up, we don't find time to do that.


When the wind picks up to about 30mph, we have sandstorms. Dust is ever present here, but the sandstorms are a rare thing. We've only had a couple. I put on goggles when I have to go out in them. We have learned to keep things tied down and weighted when the wind picks up. Otherwise you are picking up trash or building materials (or trashed building materials) from the neighbor's pastures.


The lack of rain continues to be a problem. I have to buy water from the city once per week if my wife intends to do laundry. I pay $6 for 200 gallons which I can haul myself. The minimum charge to be hooked up to rural water is $45 per month. Even if I have to buy every week it's only $24.


We haul our trash to the dump once per year, but I would like to do it once per month. For an entire year's load carried in a trailer it costs $5 and some of my labor to haul it to the dump.


The knife shop continues to be mostly shut down. I find myself so busy every day that I just don't get to work on it like I should. God has blessed that enterprise of mine more than some others, so I really ought to pay more attention to it. That is my endeavor for the new year.


We have gone beyond mere survival and begun to really thrive out here. It has (and continues) to change me into the person I wish to be. My skin has darkened beneath the constant sun and outdoor work and I'm always covered in scratches and cuts. I also seem to never get fully clean. I have learned how to do minor repairs on my equipment, which is something I never thought I'd be able to do. I feel far more capable these days than I ever imagined I could be.


God continues to bless us with health, wealth, and time together. My personal relationship with God has deepened. I have no fear.  

I hope the past year that the Lord has blessed you and your family. A time of coming judgment approaches, but whether I survive it or not now seems to be of little consequence. I have given up my will unto the Lord. If it be His desire that my life be taken and all that I have wrought under His guidance be given over to other Christians or to the scavengers then I am content. 

It may very well be that God is guiding you towards this life, and I hope seeing such a man as myself be humbled and then uplifted and blessed is an inspiration to you. The Lord has sent many guides to me along the way who have taught me what I needed to know. I pray that they are all blessed.

To those who fearfully rebuked me, I have softened. My prideful self was wounded by the fears and doubts that they expressed, for they reflected only the fears and doubts I had within. If any of them still read this, I hope that they are well and that their anger and resentment towards me has also softened.

The winter solstice has passed now and the days will lengthen and grow warmer. God's promise of spring is around the corner and there will be much labor to be done.  I am content.

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