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Places Beyond the Gone World

In a little hilltop village, they gambled for my clothes
I bargained for salvation an’ they gave me a lethal dose
I offered up my innocence and got repaid with scorn
“Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”

We all need shelter from the storm during these days of rape and murder and the sullen stupidity, popular delusions and the madness of crowds. My shelters are the Essential Craftsman and Icon. What are yours?

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  • John Venlet July 1, 2020, 1:50 PM

    Mine is wading thigh deep, in clear waters of a small trout stream in Northern Michigan, fly rod in hand. It matters not whether I entice a trout to my fly, or, actually, whether or not I step into the water after sitting quietly on the bank noting the hatching mayflies of the moment, and the rise rings of feeding trout. Though I know time does not stand still, during these contemplations and wades, it certainly does not touch me.

  • TC July 1, 2020, 1:54 PM

    That’s a thing of beauty. Great site. Thank you.

  • James ONeil July 1, 2020, 2:38 PM

    My shelter? The top of the world (21 hours and 24 minutes of daylight here today) and the computer off swit

  • Ulysses Toole July 1, 2020, 3:14 PM

    Love that Ford. Wasn’t that a ripoff of IH Jeepster? 1967 through 1973 International Harvesters’ Jeepster?

  • steve walsh July 1, 2020, 3:40 PM

    Mine? Music. Erik Larson’s book about Churchill. Selling my MA home and moving to ME. And, yes, Essential Craftsman.

  • ghostsniper July 1, 2020, 6:18 PM

    My neighbors chickens live like royalty. Their crib is hand made out of raw poplar wood from the sawmill and custom fabricated one stick at a time for a cost of about $3,000. The chickens free range in a fenced in area about 2 acres in size then literally hit the hay in the mansion each night. It’s plenty tall enough for 6′ tall people to walk in easily and I estimate it is about 300 square feet in floor area. Said he’s going to add a wing for some goats they want to get. The green eggs have yolks so orange they hurt your eyeballz. Slap a butter fried one between 2 pieces of wheat first thing in the morn and you’ll burn hard all day long.

    I had a 2 hour deconstruction and reconstruction project today that I hope to never do again. 2 days ago my mutt Shannon was alerted to the cracks between the deckboards where the floor joists are only about a foot above the ground. There was something under there and there was no way to see way back under there from the yard. First thing this morning when I emerged from the house the stench hit me square in the mug. Something was dead under the deck and the temp was going to be in the 90’s today. This had to be dealt with right away. The screwheads holding the deckboards down were fucked up so I had to carefully pry the 1st 18 foot long board up with a crowbar and an 8′ 2×4 as a pry bar, slowly pulling the embedded screws through the boards without breaking or splintering them. It was arduous. I finally got that board out and with a flashlight I looked down in there and saw nothing, just lots of dead leaves. I held a 3,000,000 candle power spotlight with one hand and my cellphone on video in the other, down below the joists and rotated 360. Viewing showed nothing. Hmmmm…..this was the specific area Shannon would constantly alert too and her smeller is never wrong.

    So up came the next 18′ long stick. Oh yeah, the flies were unbearable. I had a box of fly tapes in the garage and strung 6 of them on the porch. Once the 2nd board was out I looked and there it was. A possum, and it was already turning to liquid, covered in flies and maggots, and it was the most ghastly thing I had ever seen. Laying on it’s right side, it’s mouth contorted into a sneering grin, all teefs showing. That view will haunt me ever. And that smell. good gaw, the smell. 12 hours later, out here in my office, and I still have phantom smells popup randomly. I think my brain imprinted on that smell. Once she seen the possum my wife almost collapsed, and ran into the house. I was on my own. I had a large amazon box sitting there with a contractor grade over size black trash bag in it. Using 2 shovels like 2 big chopsticks I coordinated that nasty mess up and out and into the box. I stood the shovels back down in the hole and promptly closed the bag and then the box. Then I walked up wind about 70′ to the other end of the deck. I required large volumes of unmolested air.

    The whole thing took about 2 hours, mostly because getting the deckboards out was a major pain requiring the use of multiple tools including a circular saw and a speed saw with a spiral up-bit, then good old fashioned wood chisels. What a way to start the day. Fortunately the rest of the day was much better. My wife told me at suppertime that if she didn’t know better, by looking at the deck now no one ever know the turmoil that had taken place there. I hope I NEVER have to deal with that sort of thing again. shiver

  • Annie Rose July 2, 2020, 5:11 AM

    My oases of peace and sanity savers are my garden and my quilting room. My veggie garden and flower gardens have never looked so beautiful. Every morning I tend them and we are now enjoying harvests of radishes, lettuce, celery, and sweet sugar snap peas. The tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini are coming along, as are the cabbage and purple potatoes. My dear husband has built me three garden walls, including a garden for our new blackberry bush. We have visits by sparrows, cardinals, blue jays, finches, hummingbirds, squirrels, bunnies, a raccoon, and sometimes a coyote. This week they were joined by black swallow tail butterfly caterpillars on our dill, and lightening bugs. In my quilting room, I listen to Stuff You Missed In History and the Tarambay series podcasts while teaching myself new quilting techniques. I’ve made tons of masks to give away, two wall hangings, 4 pillows, and two quilts. I started a new quilt this week. With my job with children fizzling out and finding out this week that my elderly mom may be gone by Christmas, I’m so thankful for the simple things and being able to keep busy with my hands. This COVID time has just reinforced how precious life is and has allowed me to slow down and reflect on its beauty.

  • jd July 2, 2020, 5:51 AM

    Really enjoyed both posts above mine. Thank you!

  • lpdbw July 2, 2020, 6:29 AM

    That visual of the Bronco smacked me upside the head.

    My dad moved us to a farm in 1966 and he bought a Bronco that looked very much like that one. Later, I learned to drive a stickshift in it, three-on-the-tree.

    No Mustang engine, no fancy anything. I wish I could have kept that. Stupid me not insisting.

  • Roy Lofquist July 2, 2020, 6:49 AM

    Shelter from the Storm – original

  • ghostsniper July 2, 2020, 8:21 AM

    They did a very nice job on that Bronco. It’s the same color as my 1991 S10 that I’ve owned since Oct 1990. If I had been the client I would have requested 3″ fender flares, 1″ wheel adapters, and wider tires, giving the whole thing a wider, more stable, stance. As far as the phone/bluetooth/toonz set up goes, I checked into that for my Blazer last year and didn’t like having to “configure” my phone every time I jumped in my ride. I opted for a standard AM-FM (no disc player) with a USB port that holds a thumbdrive with almost 40GB of MP3 files all categorized and easy to find. It’s a no name brand that my son picked up at a flea market and gave to me for fathers day. I just don’t drive much any more and when I do I don’t listen to music much as the distraction is more than I can bear.

  • Flannelputz July 2, 2020, 7:25 PM

    Tomorrow, I’ll be running across alligator alley. At about 90 mph the ride is smooth, and the Grand sport with the 7 speed manual will be pulling only 2500 rpm, and that is not the final gear.
    Outside temp will be 95 in the shade,but there is absolutely no shade, so pavement temp is about 125, with tire temps even higher. Inside, it’s 78 degrees, killer stereo, radar detectors sniffing 4 miles ahead. There are consumables, and the windows are tinted black. We call this running on plane, and it is my happy place.

  • Vanderleun July 3, 2020, 1:43 PM

    Elwood: It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark… and we’re wearing sunglasses.

    Jake: Hit it.