Clean Air

On this St. Patrick’s Day I choose to let clean air filled my lungs, as opposed to green beer filling my belly.  I stood on the top of the well on my grandfather’s land.  The Meeks farm is outside of Martelle and it was such a beautiful day that I decided to grab my camera and pay it a visit.  When I was little I remember playing on top of this tiny little mound of dirt at the top of the field.  Sam, grandpa’s dog, would usually hang out there with me.  Today a black lab kept an eye on me.  I don’t know his name, I just called him buddy, and he seemed quite fine with the moniker.  From this tiny little mound I can see for miles in all directions.  That view has always been one of my favorites.

There is something wonderful about the look of farm land, with dried corn stalks, at sunset.  The rays cut across the field and a warm glow springs forth like a fountain of optimism.  There have been hundred of evenings where I have found myself driving down gravel roads, just to soak up the visual warmth.  Who doesn’t love a sunset or sunrise?

It isn’t just the glow that I find so appealing, but the sounds of the tires crunching on the gravel roads.  In Iowa, I would wager that it is still possible to cross the state on these rural roads.  I like feeling of the slight drift of the car as the tires hit tractor ruts.  Even the look of the crowned road as one comes to the top of a hill.  All of these stir up something deep inside of me, a connection, if you will, to mom earth.

I think the feeling, the connection, is the same one that I get when I am working with wood.  I am sure there are all sorts of reasons for taking up woodworking.  Some people likely take it up, because of the wonderful things they can make, which will enrich their lives.  Others may like the artistic outlet.  And there are plenty who are like me, just like the feel of changing wood from how it was, to something entirely different.  I suspect that all woodworkers are motivated by various combinations of all three, as am I.

On Monday I felt a leap of excitement when I saw the two woodworking books in the bargain bin at Prairie Lights.  I picked up ‘Making Woodworking Aids & Devices’ by Robert Wearing and ‘Mastering Hand Tool Techniques’ by Alan and Gill Bridgewater.  It is too early for me to give a recommendation, as I have not read too much of either book.

So I think I will grab myself a couple of chocolate chip cookies, turn off the TV, and curl up with a good woodworking book.  It isn’t a typical way to spend St. Patrick’s Day, but I think it is a good choice.  Woodworking may be even cooler than green beer.

12 comments
Brian Meeks
Brian Meeks

Radicalfarmergal,

Yes it is, though we don't farm it any longer. It is leased to a family that has been friends for several generations.

Brian

Brian Meeks
Brian Meeks

Radicalfarmergal,

Yes it is, though we don't farm it any longer. It is leased to a family that has been friends for several generations.

Brian

Radicalfarmergal
Radicalfarmergal

I enjoyed the description of your grandfather's farm. Is it still in the family?

Radicalfarmergal
Radicalfarmergal

I enjoyed the description of your grandfather's farm. Is it still in the family?

Brian Meeks
Brian Meeks

Jim,

Thanks so much for the support. It does seem that there are more and more people finding there way over, including Ralph, who is an orange cat on LJ.

Ralph,

Meow.

Brian

Brian Meeks
Brian Meeks

Jim,

Thanks so much for the support. It does seem that there are more and more people finding there way over, including Ralph, who is an orange cat on LJ.

Ralph,

Meow.

Brian

ralph
ralph

I hope that you didn't skip the corned beef and cabbage.. it goes well with woodworking literature. rtb

Jim Artibee(the great pumpkin)LJ
Jim Artibee(the great pumpkin)LJ

I was suprised to read that people seemed to not be reading your blog as much.I just wanted to let you know I read it everyday,it comes in my email. Alot of times I don't have time to post comments, or go to LJ site, so I'll read it as an email. I really enjoy a little lite reading to set thr tone for the day. Keep up the good work and I'l bet there are more people reading it just as I do. All the best , JIM

Brian Meeks
Brian Meeks

Yes the Lincoln Highway has certainly changed. I am glad you liked the pictures. Iowa is a great place and it was especially beautiful today. Thanks for stopping over to read the blog.

Brian Meeks
Brian Meeks

Yes the Lincoln Highway has certainly changed. I am glad you liked the pictures. Iowa is a great place and it was especially beautiful today. Thanks for stopping over to read the blog.

Nils
Nils

In my youth growing up in Iowa there were lots of gravel roads. Lincoln Highway (US 30) all across the state was very narrow and had the infamous Iowa taperd curbs. Now when I visit it is all freeways and the gravel of my youth is now " farm to market" black top. I still love and marvel at the beauty of the fields and the promis of the next harvest. Thank you for the pictures.

Nils
Nils

In my youth growing up in Iowa there were lots of gravel roads. Lincoln Highway (US 30) all across the state was very narrow and had the infamous Iowa taperd curbs. Now when I visit it is all freeways and the gravel of my youth is now " farm to market" black top. I still love and marvel at the beauty of the fields and the promis of the next harvest. Thank you for the pictures.