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.