Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mail from North Dakota

Today's is just a quick update--I don't quite have the ambition (or desire) to get you up to speed on everything that has happened since our last real update in February. However, I will attempt to inform you about our current circumstances.

I had applied for an internship in March (a four month affair with the Vision Forum in Texas), and only ascertained last Tuesday (April 13) that I will indeed be staying in Michigan. I was therefore unable to concretely form any plans at home for the next few months; however, the days have been filling quickly.

This Morning (Sunday, April 18), I directed the congregational singing at church. This was my third (and last for the present) Sunday of leading the music. Coincidentally, my first was Easter morning! I was directing the choir, which was accompanying most of the music, and it worked out for me to do the rest, also. Next Sunday, I will be playing the piano while our regular pianist visits a friend out of state. Mom and I also played a duet for the offertory today.

Matthew has been to Alpena again, and his hard study has paid off: he passed both a computer and a math class with scores of 92/100. He only has two more classes to test out of, but those are CLEP examinations and can be taken locally. Also, God has provided a family that he can stay with during his tenure at the school.

On the home front, Matthew has bought some sheep (Finn/Corriedale cross), and they are lambing over at the W. farm. Shortly, four of the ewes (he has seven: four older ewes and three yearlings.) will be coming to stay on his rented acre of pasture across the road.

This is #1, "Abagail" (so christened by an ecstatic great-grand shepherd [Mom]). She had quadruplets (only three are in this picture), and is raising all of them. She was the second to lamb.

This picture is of #3 "Sarah", one of Abby's lambs:

This is #295, "Elizabeth". She only had twins, but was the first to lamb.

Next up is #8 (unchristened as of yet): She was the third and most recent to lamb, and had twins.

This is the great-grand shepherd with the shepherd, holding #3, Sarah:
Matthew, "Sarah" and Mom

These are the other girls:
Clockwise, from left: #79, #159 MI "Deborah", #84 & #281, "Lumpy"

Lumpy (so named because of a lump on her side) may or may not lamb this year. #79 & #84 are the yearlings.

These are the neighbors (I don't have a picture of the neighbors in the building, which are hogs):
This is the view south from a grain bin near the barn (Matthew's sheep are in the south-most three pens in the barn that juts into this shot):

And now, to the cover story of this post:

I reciently won a contest celebrating Andrew Bornemann's first year of blogging. Friday, the prize arrived in the mail:
A wooden milk can, apparently hand made.

Two shiny new state quarters, one North Dakota 2006 D and a 2004 Michigan D.

The milk can has a removable lid.

And Andrew's initials burned on the bottom.

It will take a place in my desk drawer next to my stress removal tool of choice, a lump of dimethyl siloxane.

I had hoped to offer you a picture of Matthew's new tractor, as well as that of the new and improved (read: more than twice as long with a wood stove and better plastic) greenhouse, the freshly plowed garden at the farm (the rented property across the road), and possibly some of our flowers, but I am unable to find the pictures already taken, and am running out of time before the evening meeting.

"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you." - Isaiah 26:3

In Christ, Fidem Servate,

Jonathan Potter

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Was Milton an Agrarian?

I've been reading Milton's Paradise Lost (written in 1667), and came across an interesting comparison.

Satan has escaped from hell and is spying out Eden to find opportunity to deceive Eve. Beginning at Book IX Line 444:

"Much he the place admir'd, the person more.
As one who long in populous city pent,
Where houses thick and sewers annoy the air.
Forth issuing on a summer's morn, to breathe
Among the pleasant villages and farms
Adjoin'd, from each thing met conceives delight;
The smell of grain, or tedded grass, or kine,
Or dairy, each rural sight, each rural sound; "

Almost as if to compare cities to hell and rural country to eden. I'm not saying that's correct, I'm just saying. :-)


Jonathan Potter