blog, October 20, 2014
Greetings and regrets for another long, long, long silence. Forgive me once again?
Short version: all is well.
Longer version, but still briefly:
i recorded two new CD’s this year. One is a collection of lullaby-ish songs. The other, which i started last year, is songs about farmers and farming and about how agriculture expresses the Gospel.
i wrote a messy first draft of a book about Gary, for the family. i’m still working on it and have a new appreciation for people who do their writing strictly with ink and paper (or keyboard and screen.) As you might imagine, the project was bittersweet. Gary’s memory was and is good company to keep.
i took up turkey hunting, something Gary and i used to do together from time to time. It’s an early morning hunt that requires skill, movement and pre-sunrise wake ups. It is amazing what one sees and hears when the eyes and ears, as they must be in turkey hunting, are on full alert.
i oversaw the first blueberry harvest at the farm this past summer. The plants were put in the ground — a thousand of them — maybe 4 or 5 years ago, by Gary. i thought it might be another year before they produced anything substantial. But by May of this year, it was rather obvious that the plants would make a lot of fruit. It caught us a bit by surprise but we were able to offer the berries to friends and neighbors who would do the picking themselves. My guess is that 400 gallons were harvested. Many more gallons fell to the ground or fed the birds. Hopefully, we’ll be ready next year and will have a process in place. (From the gallons picked this year, we were able to collect several thousand dollars to help a church in Pakistan.)
As of two weeks ago, the farm has a new dog. i say “farm” because it’s uncertain at present just who the dog belongs to. My folks got it for security at their house. For some reason, i’m spending lots of time with it. He’s a beautiful 4 year old mix — Lab for sure and maybe Rottweiler or some such — that we got from the local shelter. He shows signs of having been trained and well cared-for. He’s big and sort of scary looking but he is as gentle as any dog we’ve ever had. His name is Buddy. He shows signs of being a songwriter.
i’ve had two dreams –well, really more like scenes in a dream — about Gary. i still find it hard to believe that he’s not coming back. i think considerably about heaven, and it makes me happy, and homesick.
i harvested around 36 gallons of honey this year.
On 5 different Saturday mornings this summer, i helped a friend “process” his pasture raised poultry. i’ll leave to your imagination all that goes into “processing” a chicken. Clue: the bird starts off alive and feathered; she ends up in a plastic bag, ready to be cooked. We handled 750 chickens over the summer.
i am running for Probate Judge of Harris County. Yes, that is a very big life change (if i win the position) but one that seems like a great opportunity to know, serve and love my community is new ways. i am running at the suggestion of some wise friends (i would never have dreamt of such an undertaking on my own), ones whose judgment i trust much more than my own. The election is a just a couple of weeks away. Perhaps i’ll write more about it when it’s over. To those of you who know me even a little bit, let me assure you — yes, it is as awkward and uncomfortable as you are thinking it must be for one of my disposition. But the job offers some wonderful ways to help people who are in some difficult seasons of life. … And, yes, i’ll continue to do music on some level.
i had the exquisite good fortune of hearing Andrew Peterson sing and Wendell Berry speak, in the same room on the same night in Nashville, Tennessee.
i saw James Taylor in concert. So good.
i still read lots. At present i’m enjoying The Autobiography of Mark Twain. Have just recently finished the short novels of John Steinbeck. Am also reading F.W. Boreham on a regular basis. Got a book in the mail today, Letters of Note, which is a collection of historically significant, if little known, letters from the past. Looks quite good. Maybe one a night at bedtime.
i am presently rehearsing a Christmas concert that will be performed in Columbus, Georgia on December 20. i have wanted to do this concert — a collection of Christmas songs that i’ve written — for years. i’ll be joined by some fabulous other players for a two hour’s program in a magnificent 1800 seat venue.
My hair turned white this past year. Not just a touch of gray, but seriously white. It catches people off guard and, as they try to make sense of the change, i explain to them that it probably looks a bit unfamiliar because i’m parting it differently. Amazing how quickly the transformation occurred. Just in time to run for judge.
i cannot imagine life without Christ. i cannot imagine love without Christ. i cannot imagine dying without Christ.
All is well. Life is good.