The quad trail I walked yesterday leads down from the summit area of The Mountain toward the road. It’s steep in places and its surface is loose rock, making it prudent to slow down and take deliberate steps.
I was glad I’d left Smudge back with Deb, and my hophornbeam walking stick came in handy. As I picked my way downslope, I found myself leaning on it a lot.
Sketchy as it can be, this trail is a delight in any season, and it’s the downhill trek I enjoy most. In a couple of spots the long ridge of nearby Hall Mountain, topping out 350 feet above my vantage point, appears through the trees. Impressive, imposing, I seek out and linger in places where I can feel its presence.
Closer to the trail, boulders and outcrops lend sharp edges to the soft woods. Springtime brings the greenest greens — overhead, underfoot and all around. Autumn may take the prize for the widest variety of colors, but yesterday’s verdant palette was dazzling in its own right.
There’s just so much to notice. I never tire of this place.
These days, however, exploring The Mountain on foot isn’t easy. I’m not complaining, because the pleasure is immeasurable, but navigating the slopes with this aging frame can be a challenge.
I wish it weren’t so. Time was, 40 or 50 years ago, when I had few limits — I could bound and fairly leap around such terrain, my muscles strong and my joints forgiving. Now I slow my pace. I choose much more carefully where I step.
And yes, I rely on that South Dakota walking stick. Out of the woods, often I’ll resort to a cane. I feel no shame in doing either.
(I just realized that I bought both my cane and my walking stick at Wall Drug Store, the two purchases separated by 43 years. Strange that I hadn’t noticed it before.)
Getting older, a privilege denied to many, ain’t for wussies. My days (and nights) without aches and attention-getting pains are rare. Mentally as well as physically, I’m missing the edge I had in younger years. Anyone over 60 who doesn’t cop to that either is lying or is a freak.
To wage my own battle with the inevitable, I adapt and, most important, I keep moving. I keep my mind active. (My practice of making lists for everything, personal and professional, left me with discipline that’s serving me well as the years roll on.) Maybe that formula sounds way too simple to be useful, but honestly, there’s no reason to complicate it.
Move. Think. Repeat.
Deb and I are getting closer to living our dream on The Mountain. The homesteading life will place a lot of new demands on me, more physical than mental. I’ll be tested, and I’ll be damned if I’ll let the years steal my joy.
This week, Congress and the current occupant of the Oval Office formally brought down the curtain on pandemic theater. You probably didn’t know that — there was no signing ceremony, no photos, no video — but an actual joint resolution put the charade out of our misery.
Not that Democrat legislators wanted to pass it. Not that Doctor Dementia wanted to sign it. Not that it truly nails shut the coffin on useless edicts. (Ask that big-name tennis player, or any other foreigner who wants to enter this country without having been suitably jabbed.) Over three years after the artificial “emergency” commenced, anti-Liberty progressives cling to the myth.
Meanwhile, the Permanent State continues to grind the People. Agency after bloated agency schemes to ban what’s good (gas stoves, washing machines that actually work) and mandate what’s ludicrous (electric vehicles, by requiring absurd emissions standards).
The Holy Narrative tortures logic and insults reason. Like the mayor of Louisville last week, speaking after five innocents were murdered in that city, he bleated and blathered about “gun violence,” as if he got paid each time he invoked that liberal lie (and he probably did). Or take the single greatest source of decline in IQ scores nationwide — that’d be the White House spokestoken, who wrestles with her own ineptitude as she struggles to defend an indefensible administration.
And then there’s the tranny on the beer can. You couldn’t make that up.
These are the days in which we live. This is our government, our country, our culture.
Last one to leave, please get the light.
I flipped through my photos late this afternoon, looking for a couple of images that’d convey just how much the crew accomplished yesterday. Ideally they’d be shots from where the house will sit, with similar perspectives (more or less). I got pretty close.
I captured the “before” image, showing the large piles of rubble on the west side of the driveway, on March 29th. Deb snapped the “after” photo yesterday afternoon.
Maybe it’s just me, anxious for evidence of progress, but to my eyes that’s pretty striking. I can see clearly how much usable space we gained. Because I’ve been on the site so much over the last 18 months, it’s obvious to me how many trees came down (and which ones).
Notice, too, how springtime transformed the Ozarkansas landscape in the span of just two weeks. It’s quite remarkable. I’m glad we’re here this year to witness it.
Today we hung out at the campsite. We basked in the sun, napped, and engaged in a little day-drinkin’ (in that order). While that last one isn’t usually our thing, this afternoon bourbon felt just right.
Tomorrow we have an early morning appointment on The Mountain with our site contractor and the concrete guy. More progress, comin’ right up….
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.