It’s been a busy week—new staff member at work to train which requires time in the office—so I haven’t had a chance to post much this week. Here is a belated picture and video from our house on Halloween. Our neighborhood feels like an 80s movie on Halloween night. Literally hundreds of kids come through for three hours. Decorations everywhere. People (like me below) in front of their porches handing out candy.
My daughter Darcy has declared this Spooky Saturday. She says this involves Starbucks for breakfast, putting up more Halloween decorations, carving the pumpkin, a campfire, and more of the Spooked podcast. They’re still asleep at the moment so I’m watching Horror of Dracula.
It’s going to be a beautiful weekend here so one more big push to finish a few projects: finish the grape arbor, fill the final raised bed, put out some Halloween decorations. But first, coffee and The Biggest Little Farm (thanks for the recommendation, Tim).
In a recent post, Robert Rackley riffs on an article by Jon Askonas at the New Atlantis arguing that Jon Stewart paved the way—however unintentionally—for Tucker Carlson. I haven’t yet read the piece (I will over the weekend) but I have to say that I agree with the premise. The Iraq War, the War on Terror, the Bush presidency generally were formative times for me. Voting for Bush in 2000 was the last time I voted for a Republican for president.
Rachel, Darcy, and I have been enjoying a week off from school and work. Mainly we’ve been getting a lot of work done—cleaning out the garage and basement, prepping raised beds for next spring, setting up grow lights. We’ve also had some fun. On Sunday night, Rachel and I camped out for the third consecutive week at Hardin Ridge. On Tuesday we made our annual trip to Huber Orchard and Winery to pick a pumpkin for carving.
A damp but thoroughly enjoyable morning at Hardin Ridge.
No one needs me to recount the greatness of a living legend like Wendell Berry. I’ll limit myself to describing his impact on my life. I heard of him about twenty years ago through the newsletter/website Christian CounterCulture. The first book of his I read was What Are People For?. But let’s back up for a second. As with many people, my intellectual life began in college. Up to that point, my thoughts and opinions were merely echoes of the adults in my life.
I have mentioned previously that I was raised in a fundamentalist Christian church — and I remained there until my brain completed development in my mid-twenties. It was a church that strongly emphasized separation from the “world” and enforced that separation by creating, as much as possible, a bubble around the members. We were constantly warned about the dangers of too much contact with people outside our church. And they were right!
After my visit to the Geode Grotto, I stopped by two other southern Indiana landmarks: Jug Rock and Hindostan Falls. First, Jug Rock. This is a sandstone formation just outside the small town of Shoals. I’ve seen it many times from the road but this was the first time I actually walked down the short path to it. When I actually stood next to it, I was surprised by how tall it was.
In need of a distraction from work stress this past week, I googled “religious shrines in Indiana.” (Haven’t we all been there?) I like a beautiful religious temple, but what I really love are weird little shrines, bits of devout folk art that often fall outside religious officialdom. And there it was: the geode grotto in Jasper, Indiana. My Saturday morning was set. Like many others, I’m a lifelong Hoosier who never heard of the geode grotto.