Tiling with Dad & other good labor

Mom, Dad & Daisy

A happy week has passed at LP.

The weather hasn’t been too hot and the rains haven’t been too heavy. Visitors have brought cheer and energy. Good work enlivens.

Grouting the kitchen floor

Santi’s parents came up from Chicago so that Dad could grout the floor tiles in kitchen and bathroom that were laid in the spring. He did an excellent job, assisted by son, as pictures below show.

Mom kept an eye on us, as we both have a tendency to overdo things, and in fact did so on Tuesday. With dad in his eighth decade and son recovering from cancer & chemo, some prudence is wise, hence mom. And Daisy kept her company.

Jo Marie & Leigh

On Tuesday we were blessed with a visit from Leigh, the priest who married us a few years back. She moved from Sparta to Cortez, CO last December and this is her first time back. We much enjoyed catching up, hearing about her escapades with new congregation, and munching berries, plus showing her the unfolding wonders of LP. Of course, the ducks were good for a few chuckles.

A new scythe arrived with a longer snath better fitted to my height. Along with it came maintenance tools and a wonderful book, The Scythe Book by David Tresemer with an Addendum by Peter Vido. The Scythe Book is a delight. Tresemer quotes Tolstoy, Robert Frost, New England farmers, and English poets; references Alexander technique and Zen; and writes with simplicity and elegance.

Through this and previously mentioned scything resources, we are being introduced not only to a wonderful tool, but also to a way of thinking and living life that is in harmony with Dhamma, enjoys good honest labor, and aims to set the world right without whining about its failings.The necessary skills are within our reach. Natural intelligence can feast on the acquiring and learning.

To mow as a disdained chore is inimical to healthy living. With a wry chuckle, Ajahn Buddhadasa regularly admonished me to enjoy whatever I was doing. If Dhamma is duty and duty Dhamma, why not be fully satisfied in the work. I’ve long agreed with such ideas; learning to mow helps me embody them. Applying them to all the joyful chores around LP — such as today’s trimming the dropping branches of our beloved hickory tree and accumulating wood for the winter — is part of my strategy to keep cancer at bay.

Old-fashioned Princess

I must follow Dad’s grouting with tidying and polishing. This entails lots of rubbing and some scraping. Tomorrow, I will begin to install the wall tiles around where the tub will go. Meanwhile, Jo Marie is scraping and repainting the old-fashioned bathtub we found a couple years ago. Within a week or so, the tub will be ready, finally, to move out of the garage and get hooked up. Along with toilet and other fixtures, the cabin may be a bit more usable.

On the sad side, David Servan-Schreiber, the author of Anti-Cancer (noted in an earlier post) died at the age of 50. Should anyone think that his death detracts from the validity of the integrative practices he counseled and wrote about, I suggest they learn more about cancer, specifically the brain cancer that he survived for 19 years, and consider the prognosis he had been given by the mainstream docs, which he never rejected, just supplemented. This obituary in the NY Times says more. His example and writing still inspires me. The push towards are a smarter diet is another pleasant challenge and good labor.

At the close of this week we count our blessings and look forward to sharing these blessings with whoever is able to come study and practice with us.

after some scrubbing & wiping up

Many happy returns to you all.


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