Into the woods, on the hunt for Black Ash

The cold settled yesterday, slowly, stealthily, and by this morning it was a hammer blow to my face as I scurried from chore-to-chore, the wind buffeting the collar flaps of my jacket and driving spindrifts of new-fallen snow across the ground before relenting briefly to allow for dispersement and settling. Then another gust, the snow scuttling once again.

How cold was it? I cannot say, but very – the tractor barely chugged to life, and it’s generally good to about ten below – and besides, it wasn’t the cold so much as the wind, persistent and foul-tempered, like a herding dog at the ankles or a spoiled child in a toy store. Never satisfied no matter how much is offered.

I have been working on a number of other projects, both personal and professional (ha! Funny to use that word in relation to my work), and not writing so much in this space. And then when I do, not really sure what I want to say. Or worse yet, even when I know what I want to say, unsure of how to say it. The age old curse of this stone-turning work. So I thought I’d just share a few things. First, I think you should all watch this documentary. This one, too, which is quietly charming, and pretty short, if you’re pressed for time. And that accent! Music: Shakey Graves. And this one from The Dead South sure is a heel-tapper.





16 thoughts on “Enjoy”

  1. You bring back my memories of growing up on the Great Plains of Iowa. Some days I experienced just as you say, walking to school or walking across the fields just to get out of the house. Once, after having seen the movie Doctor Zhivago I joked to myself as I walked through the blizzard, alone, no one else around. Tonya! Tonya! Of course, to Zhivago it was no joke.

    The age old curse of this stone-turning work. Yes, indeedy.

    1. I got the same message but a description below said it was called Chester Grimes and may be available for a small fee somewhere on the internet. 🙂

  2. I already start dreaming about the snow! It is so fun to think about cold in the middle of the spring! I guess the second vid is not working or I need an update.

  3. Presently coddling seed starts while feeling more than a little envious of your snow. Tis true, … “Never satisfied no matter how much is offered.” Thank you for that.

  4. It might take me a week to watch all of The Fear of 13 but the first couple of minutes already have me intrigued. Thank you for the recommendation. Glad to hear all you have to say even if you think it is not much. Peace!

    1. OK, I just stayed up till 1 am watching this documentary. What an incredible story and storyteller! Thanks for sharing, Ben. 🙂

      1. What struck me the most was his vivid sensory descriptions. I would not think of prison as a place rich with sensory experience (quite the opposite, in fact) but even his incarceration where talking was prohibited (or maybe because of that,) he had almost a heightened awareness of such things. I arrogantly think that Nature can only provide such experiences but this story made me think that it is a real human/animal thing to live with our senses even in situations where they are suppressed. It’s like the innate fight for breath and we truly cannot live without all our senses seeking and searching for experience. Hope all who read this blog take time to watch. Peace, all!

  5. We have one of those jet sleds (essential piece of equipment) but just saw Farmway selling a giant model. Wondered if worth getting. Can’t tell from picture how big yours is. Ours is about 20″ wide, just right for 18″ firewood.

    I knew Chester Grimes. We once spent a day at his place putting a roof on his “house”, if I can call it that. A memorable day. In fact he and Helen (“We ain’t married,” they would always say) were altogether memorable characters, of which there are definitely not enough left. I wonder if the firm that produces memorable characters is still in business?

  6. Looks like interesting documentaries, looking forward to watching once we get to some internet connection. No weather babies in Vermont for sure… I was praying for some colder weather here in Northern Arizona but half of the folks here who are all transplants from California complained that this winter was incredibly unbearably cold, like 40F in daytime and 20F at night. 🙂

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