Crazy with Books

My house is crazy with books. Right now I am trying to read a book on landscaping with native plants (specific to Michigan) as well as one for folks with tiny lots who want to homestead. There’s also What the Robin Knows, Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel, and Colonel Roosevelt by Edmund Morris—just to name a few from the stack next to my bed.

collage2Eventually this current reading obsession will wear off. I can already feel my bones aching for action. There are, of course, the usual chores to be attended to. The garage needs cleaning; I need to build shelves in the workroom, clad our roughed-in staircase, and finish the entry hall. The crawl space needs to be cleaned out, and a vapor barrier needs to be laid down. And this summer has me painting the house, landscaping and gardening, and tending to so much yard work I am almost overwhelmed already.

I am also hoping to try my hand at hard cider. Bought some of the equipment last week, and now I am gearing up for a slow brew. My dream project this summer would be to recreate Thoreau’s cabin as a workroom/seasonal office on our property. I’ve been researching plans online, and I think I can score materials relatively cheaply, but it’s likely a pipe dream on my part.

And then there’s the writing, the most strenuous task of all. Writing projects are constantly on my mind. Back road guides to Michigan and Ohio are on the to-do list, but I also have a few more ambitious projects are also in the works. These later ones are more work and less sure, but a guy’s got to dream, right?

All of this is part of an underlying desire to push back somewhat against the onslaught of modernity. (I don’t find it ironic at all that I am posting this on the Internet, since you asked.) Having read Neil Postman’s Building a Bridge to the 18th Century a few years back, I increasingly find myself trying to create a less technological atmosphere for our family. A big part of that is getting outside as much as possible, but it also means finding joy in simple cooking, reading books, and projects that keep the hands busy.

So, what are you doing this winter? What are your plans for warmer weather? I’d love to hear what you’re reading and what the underlying philosophy is that guides your daily lives these days?



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