The out of doors

When the weather is really nice (which is most of the time) one tends to work outside and forget such mundane matters as paperwork. We keep a “blackboard” (but it’s really white) just inside our door that perennially has posted all of our many “to get done jobs.” Should we ever wonder what we’ll do any given day we just wander by that board and choose a project. The blackboard lies fallow for long periods of time as we usually don’t have to go looking for something to do as fences are always falling down, this came apart (again), the road should be plowed, blah, blah, blah. If you’ve ever lived in a rather remote country setting I think you’ll have no problem identifying with this modus operandi. We live in the glorious age of cordless phones, cell phones, pagers, beepers, voice mail, copy machines, fax machines, computers, the internet. etc., etc. All of these grandiose inventions supposedly came into being to save us time. They were designed to leave us with virtually nothing to do but play: No more work for us. Isn’t that what we’ve been told over and over again’ I first read these fairy tales of endless time on our hands in the The Weekly Reader. Remember that little grammar school ditty of a periodical’ All underground electricity by 1950, just hop in your car to go on a trip and play cards the entire time’no reason to drive, the automobile would do that for you. The car was to be equipped with a giant magnet that would follow a roll of steel about eight inches wide and an inch thick that was counter sunk into the pavement. Just set all the equipment to connect and to auto-driver and soon you’d be at the destination of your choice. Also, city dwellers would all live under a big glass or plastic dome that was completely climatically controlled’it was 72 degrees day and night. If one wanted to leave and watch it snow or see a farmer farm all one had to do was walk or drive out of the dome. I wonder if Timothy Leary was one of the first writers for The Weekly Reader. For that matter I wonder whatever happened to The Weekly Reader’ It went the way of the dodo bird I would suppose. Meanwhile back to the future and our wonderful world of all this spare time where one just lies in bed each morning and decides to do this or that or nothing. Whoops’sorry, I must have drifted into Nevernever Land for a moment. Our lives today are bizarre. Everyone is running around like mad, armed with a list of things that just have to be finished. Or what’ We’ll explode’ Anyway, living up here miles from anywhere still finds us busy as we can be. I’ve told my wife many times that I thought we moved up here to have a bit of peace and quiet. It seems the phone rings off the wall and we always (ALWAYS) have something to do that neither one of us would particularly choose to do. I personally think it can be blamed on all of these modern gadgets that were invented so we’d just have tons of free time on our hands. Somewhere someone punched in the wrong formula. Last night the low was five degrees . . . as we speak (noonish) it’s about twenty degrees. It’s clear and there is no wind. It’s undescribably beautiful. Already there are about three inches of snow on the ground. Our next storm is rearing it’s beautiful head as we speak. Therefore, the chore of the day is winter firewood. It’ll only take about three or four more of these cutting days and we’ll be set. We have a fire in the fireplace almost everyday from mid October ’til mid April. We also burn wood out in the quonset hut; so, we need lots of wood. Luckily our private outlying forest supply of potential firewood doesn’t seem to be dwindling. So, today we live on the edge. It’s mid November and we’re actually headed into the woods. Talk to me chain saw. I’m so glad to be marching off with a good outside purpose that I’m ready to holler out loud (and just might). But I’ll be tiptoeing out of the door for fear of the phone ringing and something, somehow destroying our wonderful day. I may find a good use for that old shotgun yet’I may collect all of our newfangled time saving electronic gadgets, place them outside in a neat little pile and blast away. Whadda ya’ think’ Mickey Smith, his wife Karen and their three spoiled rotten dogs live five miles north of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in West Central Colorado. He can be reached via e-mail: campwag

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