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Mar 3,   My Miracles, Part 2
Mar 2,   My Miracles, Part 1
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Feb 7,   Twitterpated!!!
Jan 25,   Jacob and Esau, Part 2
Jan 24,   Jacob and Esau, Part 1
Jan 10,   A New Goal?
Jan 9,   My Earliest Memories
Dec 31,   2016: Successes and Failures
Dec 30,   2016: My Self-Discovery
Dec 28,   I Finally Hear My Angels
Dec 27,   Angels and Me
Dec 26,   Angels Inspire Me
Dec 24,   the Littlest Angel
Dec 23,   Story of My Name Part 3
Dec 22,   Story of My Name Part 2
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Dec 11,   Christmas Lights Fade
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Dec 9,   Finding a Perfect Tree
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Dec 6,   Christmas around the World
Dec 4,   Mom’s Story Part 2
Dec 3,   Mom’s Christmas Story Part 1
Dec 2,   Ghosts of Christmas Past
Dec 1,   My First Blog

Guest Blogs

Mar 24,   SusanDay on Being a Grandparent

17th Dec Today Was a Red Letter Day

Today was a  red letter day in my life, when I turned over the keys to the new owner of my treefarm.  A defining moment when the door finally closed on a lengthy era during which I learned that I can do much more than I ever thought possible.  I accomplished this mostly by reading how-to books and then applying what I learned.  Prior to that I would hire an expert and let them do what needed doing.  Now I became the expert, at least in the limited world of the utopian classroom I called my treefarm. For 35 years I accumulated knowledge and experience, daring to attempt virtually every project that came my way.  Depending on the complexity of the projects they might take a few hours or a few years to complete, but they always kept my mind going, spurring on my enthusiasm for sticking with them to the end.

The first thing I learned was how to tell when a road is not ready for traffic. On our very first weekend trip to the treefarm we blithely went through our gate and down the hill toward the cleared area where we would camp for the night.  On the way my husband, KW, stopped the truck momentarily and asked me to look out the window and see if the road was ok, so I did. It was yellow clay with a thin sheet of water flowing over it.  That looked good to me because we hadn't left deep tracks, so I said "it's OK".  The next day we started up the hill and did not reach our gate before spinning out.  We had to walk out several miles before a kind stranger picked us up and took us to our home in town. 

The extrication from our predicament required not one but two 4 wheel drives along with a block and tackle.  Lesson learned. Clay of any color when even slightly wet is not travelable, especially without 4 wheel drive.  The very next weekend we went up there again, this time sporting a brand new 4 wheel drive truck. Even that time we came close to getting stuck, but KW’s driving experience saved us from a second long walk. Before long we had spread rock on the road, and also had a winch, and, armed with our new knowledge, we never had such problems again. 

That was the first of 35 years of hard-learned lessons.  Soon after that with help from KW I learned about chain sawing, brush cutting, ram pumps, and road building among other things.  After we bought the partially completed cabin next door, my need to learn all sorts of skills began to expand exponentially, and I was more than happy to meet each challenge head on.  Buy a book, build a septic tank.  Buy other books to do the plumbing, electrical, solar, and gas systems.  Buy a very thick book and build a complete shop from pier blocks to roof shingles. This went on for many years at the treefarm, slowing only when the health of my mom and KW required much of my attention. Then after they were both gone my interest in projects resumed.

However, my projects for the past 2 years have been limited to repair and maintenance of systems already installed. This was because my highest priority was to prepare the treefarm for sale, by organizing everything and removing all my belongings that I did not plan to sell with it. As time went on I found it more and more unpleasant to do this, or to even visit the treefarm.  Gone was the sweet anticipation of knowing that I would spend time in my paradise doing some project to improve the place, or at least to afford me an outlet for artistic expression. Looking back I believe that my angels were gradually preparing me for today.

In the past few weeks I’ve stepped up my moving efforts, and today the only things left were those that I physically could not move myself. I scheduled the date and made a plan. Two neighbors came and brought their trucks, and I hired 2 additional strong young men to help with the heavy lifting.  Doing projects at the treefarm has taught me how to lay out ahead what is needed to accomplish the objective, and then follow the plan. I prepared everything I could at both ends, made a list of what was to be moved, decided ahead of time which truck would haul which items, and synchronized all the workers to be there at the same time.  Believe it or not all went exactly as planned, and was accomplished in even less time than my conservative estimate. This is proof that what I have learned during this era can be used for many applications.

Tomorrow will be my first full day of “life after treefarm”, allowing me the time and freedom to do whatever I want. So I will exercise this new-found liberty by leaving til later an even deeper scrutiny of this notion of red letter days. Each of these defining moments is a split second in time that is at once the end and the beginning of an entire era of a person’s life. I expect that future discussion to be a fascinating and picturesque peninsula on this colorful island we are currently exploring on my voyage of self-discovery.


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