Friday, January 2, 2015

Simpleacres Farm: The Dream Takes Shape

Land Ho!

Nope, I'm not talking about a sailor's cry from the crow's nest.

Rather, my search for a piece of real estate.

You know, a postage stamp and a dream kind of stuff.

I really wanted a couple acres and a house I could fix up, but nothing was working out. Finally I saw a new listing; about 6 acres on a country road, 5 minutes from Medina and only 8  minutes from church. I vaguely know the neighbor's across the road, having attended church with their daughter and son-in-law for a few years.

I wasn't too keen on the place but felt the Lord was opening the door, so I entered the offering process at the beginning of April.

Finally I closed on the place in June and was able to start clearing weeds and seeing what i got myself into.

What it used to look like:

What it looked like the year before I bought it, after the house burned down.

Sobering Reminder of the not-that-distant tragedy that took the lives of four people.

Lots of trash to burn

Putting water in.

Mornin' Coffee

Got my pole put up.

Strung across

All finished and ready for a meter. The high-speed internet is already hooked up.

The blueprints for the future...

Hopefully not-too-distant future.

My neighbor, but now also good friend, mentor, brother in the Lord, and "adopted dad": Mike Brown

The view of my southern back yard

Happy New Year!

Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"

Wednesday, December 10, 2014



That's the eighth car I've seen off the road in 45 minutes of driving.

I'm cruising up the fast lane of interstate 390 North at a bold 40 miles per hour.
The Park Avenue, with it's anti-lock brakes, traction control system, and low-slung air suspension, is proving to be a great winter vehicle. The tires are 50% and I have about 120lbs. of ballast in the trunk.

Most of the weight is my 3-ton floor jack. I should take it out, but I use it so often, changing farm tires. The 5-gallon pail of diesel engine oil is definitely fifth-wheeling though. A cardboard box of tools and brake parts are left from my work on the car Monday morning.

All told, I'm stickin' tight to the road and moving through the snowstorm pretty well.

But in what does my confidence lie? My winter driving skills? Even the best New Yorkers have had some ditch time.

My car? I like it pretty well, but I've owned it for less than 2 weeks and know very little about its quirks. Anything could fail any time in a $650 car.

Better put my trust in my Jesus. He's never failed me yet. And although He doesn't owe me a safe ride home I know he'll be with me the whole way.

Let's not test the angels, though. Slow and steady.

Town of Clarendon. 3/4 of the way home.

Why does it feel like I'm driving over frozen mud....? Oh, no.

It's 9 PM. I'm not home from work yet. I'm in the parking lot of the Clarendon Fire department, kneeling in the snow, straining with all my might on stubborn lug nuts. Finally, with the help of a pry bar to push the ratchet, they come loose, one by one.

The donut tire pops on, the heavy jack is back in the trunk, and the flat tire, its sidewall sliced clean somehow, takes its ease on the leather back seat.

10 PM. Finally in the driveway.

Let's get some supper, sit and relax, and thank the Lord for His goodness.

I think I'll leave that jack in the trunk fro a while.

Friday, December 5, 2014

SimpleAcres Farm: Simple Pleasure

What makes us happy?

I'm not talking about joy - that is found in Jesus Christ and a personal relationship with God.

I'm not talking about peace - that comes through knowing your sins are forgiven and the Holy Spirit's indwelling

I'm talking about plain happy. 

Because joy comes from the inside, but happiness is a product of your environment.
Oh, I know what they say, but it's wrong.  In a way.  Happiness is when something external stimulates you; brings a smile to your lips; or even breaks out a hearty laugh.

It can be a product of foolishness, but as my parents used to say, "When everyone is laughing foolishly, pretty soon someone's gonna be crying." Because foolish happiness is vanity. Doing stupid stuff with friends makes you grin, but there is leanness in your soul.

So how do I extract happiness out of my environment?  

Learn where to find it.

When I step out the door and the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the dew sparkles on the clover...
I know it sounds cliche but it makes me happy.

When I step out the door and the wind chill is -26 and the snow is slapping me in the face like a sandblaster..
I get in my old truck and the mighty Cummins roars to life on the first try. That makes me happy.

I see the autumn leaves fall. 

I watch a tire fill without leaks.

I listen to children playing.

Watch the sun set over the lake in a blaze of fiery colors.

Hear the harmony of the congregation praising the Lord.

Watch the crackling flames of a wood fire.

All these make me happy.  Because all these I count as a gift from my Father in heaven.

I'm going to go out now and work on rusty brakes in 20 degrees.

And I am going to find something to be happy about.   
o    o