I don’t know where this is going

In quiet moments, I find myself wondering what my American Life will look like a year from now, two years from now, beyond that. Yes, Deb and I have our dreams, and we’re putting the foundations under them (physically as well as figuratively), but if the last 36 months have shown me anything it’s that I can’t predict how this’ll all turn out.

(I’ll give you a moment to grasp the irony — as certain as I claim to be about the future of America, I haven’t a clue about my own life.)

After we settle on The Mountain later this year, we’ll be farther removed from lots of things I write about here — not totally isolated, but more distant. It’ll feel that way, I’m sure. The distance, real or perceived, will affect the character of Ubi Libertas Blog.

I really hope so. Maybe you understand that, maybe you don’t.

It’s happened before. A couple of years ago, when Deb and I sailed into blue water, the sheer joy of travel pushed other concerns behind me. It liberated my mind to focus on discovery.

It reduced me to being present.

I can see that happening again.

We have a lot of work ahead of us on The Mountain, probably more than you can imagine. I’ll employ new skills and rekindle practices long-forgotten. And I’ll chronicle those days here on the blog — from the mundane to the unexpected, recording a life that’s necessarily simpler than any I’ve ever lived.

My pace will slow. My focus will be very much on what’s in front of me.

Ubi Libertas Blog won’t become a how-to on homesteading — I’m not that good, nor do I have the experience to occupy that lane. I don’t consider myself a teacher. I’ll do my best, however, to capture how we do things.

There’s a chance, I guess, that readers will pick up a thing or two. (Don’t laugh. It could happen.)

From time to time, I’ll still have something to say about politics and the broader culture. (And maybe I’ll say it.) My commitment to Liberty won’t change. But I suspect that sort of content won’t appear here quite as often.

Then again, what the hell do I know?

Through it all, a heart held humble
Levels and lights your way

Dan Fogelberg, “Along the Road”

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about that, too — humility, that is. For most of my life I totally misunderstood what it means to be humble. Maybe it’d be better to say that I thought that humility is a bunch of stuff it isn’t.

Humility isn’t the opposite of confidence. It’s not weak or submissive, nor is it passive or uncertain. Being humble doesn’t demand acquiescence or capitulation. It’s not characterized by indecision.

A humble man isn’t a doormat. He’s not without opinions, convictions and passions.

The truth about humility wasn’t obvious to me. A humble man, for example, knows less and yet he understands more. He identifies his own deficits more easily, while learning more readily. Humility makes better servants, but it also makes better warriors.

Being humble brings order. It sheds light where light needs to be.

In everyday life, we all see “humble” show up most often as an affectation (aka, “false humility”). Either that or people avoid it like broccoli. To anyone who finds humility too bitter a pill to swallow, I have good news — it does have another name.


Let’s bring you up-to-date about what’s happening here on the home front.

Yesterday, over a great breakfast at Jamie’s Local Flavor in Harrison, we reviewed the architect’s foundation plans with our site contractor. The guy who’ll be drilling our well on The Mountain speculates that he’ll begin work within the next couple of weeks. Equipment problems continue to frustrate the task of installing the septic system, but that delay really doesn’t hold up anything else.

Smudge turned four months old yesterday. She continues to show us that she’s perfect for this odd family of ours, making progress in loyalty and obedience every single day. The exception, strangely, is her weekly classes — she still reacts badly to the training environment, which may mean that we’ll have to find an alternative.

We drove up to Missouri today for the Branson Home Show. The event was held at Chateau on the Lake, a four-star European-style resort perched on a bluff high above Table Rock Lake. Deb had attended a conference there several years ago, and we visited briefly in May of 2021 during our first stay in The Ozarks.

Back then the place was like a ghost ship. Despite the fact that Missouri didn’t have restrictive WuFlu mandates, the feds’ scheme of paying able-bodied Americans not to work made it virtually impossible for employers to pry folks off the government teat.

The hotel was considerably livelier today — well-staffed, lights on, fountains flowing, restaurants open. We made our way to the grand ballroom for the home show, where we chatted with dozens of vendors and gathered ideas for our homestead on The Mountain before retiring to the Atrium Grille for a couple of spectacular burgers.

We don’t do the fancy-schmancy thing much anymore. In a way it was nice, for a change, but I didn’t feel the slightest tug back toward a life like that.

Heading out in the direction of Harrison, we crossed over Table Rock Dam and navigated the breathtaking terrain around Branson until we reached US Route 65. We decided to stop by Outlaw Joe’s on our way past Ridgedale.

We were saddened to find his shop closed and empty. Deb reached out to him by text, and he replied almost immediately that “it was time to move on.”

We all hope our paths cross again.

Anyway, we’re doin’ fine here. Life, as always, is good.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB

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