Jul. 1, 2022


We have lived in our home for over twenty years. We have very few trees in our yard. The few that we do have we planted and still are to small to offer little shade.
Our house sits high on a hill and gives wonderful views of both sunrises as well as sunsets. This used to be a cattle farm and no one has lived on this property other than us...so far.
I found this property as walked miles while I was out deer hunting. A line from a John Denver song always triggers my memory of that day. It goes something like this, 'I was coming home to a place I have never been before.' I was looking for a trophy buck and stumbled upon something far more wonderful. That discovery would affect not only my life but the lives off my family as well. I went home and a day or too later discussed my adventure with a neighbor who had lived here for many years. He could not follow me at all and was too nice to tell me that I was nuts.
The problem is that this property is surrounded by trees on all sides and is not seen from the county road. It is not far away as a crow flies, but only a crow could see it without trespassing.
I was able to get my hands on a plat book and track down the owner. I asked if he would let me bring over my beloved horse Rusty who was passed on to me from my dad. He said no. He also politely denied my request to hunt and fish here because of legal concerns. I thanked him for his time and shook his hand. As I tuned to walk away he explained why he had to say no. He went on to explain that he was hardly ever out there. If he didn't know about it would bother him and grinned as he asked if I understood what he was saying.
He would see me on the his place and never seemed to mind . We forged a friendship. One day he asked if I could meet him for lunch. I think my fingerprints are still in the wooden chair when he said he wanted to sell it to me! He worked with me as to allow me to buy it over 3 years with little interest.
We have been so blessed to not only hang out here on wonderful piece of property we call Summertree. It has allowed many joys as we have raised our 3 boys.
I have a funny little ritual as I dress for work each day. it is early and the sun is just coming up. I look off and out to the west. The shadow of our home is projected far out into the yard. I can see the shape quite clearly including the fireplaces.
This makes me think back to when the first started on our house. There was a giant dirt pile in front of the house left over from digging our basement. The boys loved playing on that and were upset when that precious top soil was spread out and around forming our yard. I think about all the piles of stone that were piled in the yard that would be joined together as our beautiful fireplaces. These stones were gathered in a branch not far from where I grew up and makes them even more special to me. As a young man I hiked and hunting as God watched me walk by them from above .He these would be gathered and joined together in a fireplace in on a farm a few miles and few years down the road. He could see my sons and knew the names we would give them. I am filled with awe and emotion as I thanks for what he has done for me and my family.
I can never ponder these thought without the one that is most private and personal to me. I think of the men who labored so long to make out dream come together . It was especially dry and hot that summer and no shade for them even on breaks .The sun was brutal and beat down upon them day after day. Soon however I noticed how their own efforts came back to reward them with shade as the house took shape. Now they had a place to work sooner even later as fall rains came and the house proved protection from the wind as winter approached.
I have try to use this high point we live on to make one with you. I feel this is the case with our own faith. We need to work on it each and every day. We all know there will storms coming into our lives in various ways and different days. We need to make our faith strong well in advance knowing someday our own minds and bodies will weaken.
All three of my sons know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. This warms my heart even on the coldest of winter days. This is more precious and comforting to me than anything I have ever owned or known.
We pray for each other every day. Does the faith that I have tried to build in them come back to help me as they pray for me? As they read and study they will become wise and make good decisions. I think this is good for me maybe if they have to make decisions for me and my wife if we are not able. Would you agree the things we have failed to teach our kids can come back to haunt us.? The faith I grew up with has been taught and passed on and along to them. My prayer is that it will passed on to heir kids and their kids kids .
As for me and my wife and our house, we will continue to raise our hands as we raise our family. We will praise the name of Jesus as long as he allows ,and till the cows come home.

The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.
Proverbs 27:12

A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them. Ecclesiastes 3:5

Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing
while in pursuit of something else. Lawrence Block

For every beast of the forest is mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hillsides.
Psalm 50:10

Unless the Lord build the house , they labor in vain who build it.
Psalm 127:1

... And there is nothing hidden from it's heat. Psalm 19:6