Tag Archives: Writers

Lifescapes: Susan Wittig Albert

Reading note. As a responsible omnivore, I need to know where my food comes from and understand and respect the needs of the fellow creatures whose deaths make my life possible. The chickens that gave us eggs and went into the freezer were treated with care and concern; they had the run of the meadows, with all the green grass and grasshoppers they could eat…  What’s more, all these animals came from this place, or nearby. They shared the soil with us, the water, the weather, the air. In that, there is a certain deep integrity, a wholeness, a relationship which I find richly satisfying.–Susan Wittig Albert, Together, Alone: A Memoir of Marriage and Place

via Lifescapes: New arrivals: baby chicks.

Leon Hale Talks About Owning Rural Property

I caught Leon Hales latest in my feed reader last week and thought he had a lot of good points. After spending a quarter of a century posting columns from the porch of his place in Winedale, Leon Hale has come to some conclusions about the joys of a second home in the country.

Here’s the main one: Your weekend hideout will end up costing you twice as much as you probably thought.

He explains this point this way…

Owning a weekend farm, or whatever you want to call it, is a great deal like starting all over. You’ll likely have another mortgage payment to make. And more insurance. And another set of taxes. (Taxes in the country aren’t super high, but they do the same thing taxes in the city do — they go up.)

I’ve heard weekend landowners say that somehow it didn’t occur to them that when they bought their little place, they would also need to buy everything they already owned in town.

Then he reminds all us men of this terrible fact of married life…

Here’s the gravest risk of them all:

A couple buys 30 acres in the woods, 100 miles from Houston, and the husband loves the place and wants to live out there. But the wife hates it. Can’t stand the loneliness and the insects, and once she saw a snake. That husband has big trouble.

This is the one that worries me about planning a move to the mountains…What happens if my wife isn’t happen once the move is a done deal. It’s not like you get a do over. And moving to the mountains wont be a perpetual vacation.

His most important point is this…

What you need to do, before making a move like this, is realize that you’ll have a good many days when you wish you hadn’t done it.

For his reasons to these points you’ll have to read his column from this past week over at  Owning a country home is no easy chore | Leon Hale | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle.

When you live in the country full time, not just on the weekends, your life moves at a different rhythm. The things you take for granted in town just take longer in the  country. Especially when it involves repairs. Parts are never available when you need them. The parts warehouse is far away in a distant city.

Even finding someone to do work on your place takes more time and effort.

p.s. I have been having a bit of trouble finding my voice these past few weeks…Blame on the dog days of summer…Blame it on procrastination. What ever the cause, I will make a more concerted effort to restart the habit of opening the stream and letting the words flow.

Lost In Someone Else’s Words

If it seems like I’ve vanished from the face of the world here lately, it’s mostly because I have. At least the face of this world. I’ve been spending my time for the last two weeks lost in the world created by Stieg Larsson.

It seems I finally made the mistake of picking up the first two books in the Lisbeth Salander saga. I had been hearing about them for a while, but hadn’t run across them in my few travels until last weekend when I saw both at Sam’s. I tossed em into the basket and figured from the heft of the two paperbacks I would have the rest of my summers reading lined out…Boy was I wrong.

It seems these books are real page turners from the very first chapter. Once I started reading them last week, I found myself pushing as far as I could each very late night and rushing through chores each day to get back to the story…By the time I finished up book two I was hooked. A quick check with Amazon and the hardback of book three was ordered for delivery this week…Then, it looked like it was going to be a few days of withdrawal as I waited for the book to get here.

I turned my eldest onto the book and she rapidly found herself hooked as well…But when she showed up on Sunday and said she saw the movie was out at Best Buy and I should put it into my que, I headed over to Netflix. A quick search and it turned out it was available to stream…yeah. I wasn’t aware that it was Swedish until I started playing it on the big screen, but that made it even better in my view…

Book three actually arrived early and I was back in the world of Salander and Blomkvist right through to the end yesterday afternoon. Now I’m just sad that Mr. Larsson isn’t still around to  write some more novels…I would really like to see where he would have taken these characters.

I highly recommend the three book series to one and all…

A Tale Of A Simple Creek

A couple of weeks ago, I walked along a spring creek in the upper Madison Valley, just south of the town of Ennis, Mont. As my guide, Jeff Laszlo, explained, the creek is one of the unnamed tributaries of the Madison River, fed by innumerable springs along the valley’s rich bottomland. The creek meanders for miles before it reaches the Madison, gaining water, providing spawning grounds for fish and invaluable wetland habitat for birds. I looked on in disbelief, because the section we were hiking — nearly eight miles of cold, clear waters — did not exist before 2005. – via Editorial Observer – Restoring a Montana Spring Creek – NYTimes.com.

As usual, Verlyn makes us think. His tale of the rebirth of a stream brings to mind all of the stories I grew up with. Stories buried in the pages of The Whole Earth Catalog about Malabar Farm and other efforts to restore lost ecosystem.

I am glad Mr. Klinkenborg forced these memories out of my stuffed head. Because of his walk I took a stroll down memories lane myself. Googleing for the link above led me to the page the link will lead you to…A source of electronic versions of the very books I spent so many hours of my youth pouring over.

I studied the pages of The Last Whole Earth Catalog more than my school books at the time.  I would even venture to say, I learned more from the reviews in the Catalog than I did from many of those school books. It could even be said that Stewart Brand has more to do with the man I became than practically any teacher or mentor I ever had. Just studying the very variety of the subjects that were covered by the catalog and their arrangement and classification taught me the necessity to have a broad base of knowledge going forward in life.

I can even remember where I bought my copy in 1970, Space City News in downtown Houston a block or two from the Humble Building. At $5 it was a hell of a good investment. 452 pages of knowledge between over-sized heavy paper covers. It was huge. Many a night I would fall asleep with this monster on my chest…

Thanks Mr. Klinkenborg for the memories…And thanks Mr. Laszlo for taking on a project of the nature I grew up in awe of.