Author Archive

Keep On Truckin’

Remember when those words arrived?  Boy, I sure do.  Suddenly it became the official signing-off expression for a generation of people, mostly young, who saw it as part of the newspeak that demarcated the old generation from the new.  Music, the environment, openness about sexuality,  education, and a language that captured the feel of these changes in flexible

Yesterday’s Child of Progress

I paused from my labours on our now relocated schoolhouse/summer dacha this past weekend to sit on the back porch, gaze out over the valley with the many acres of fully tasseled corn against the distant hills, and reflect on the speed at which this world changes.  I admit I’ve had a hand in pushing things along, just like everyone else.

A Liking For The Hard Stuff

I’ve always wondered at the immense use of concrete in this industrialized world.  The stuff is everywhere we look.  This being an automobile-driven nation, it’s impossible not to notice the vast use of concrete for highways and bridges.  Airports, waterways, dams, office buildings, sidewalks (ah, yes, sidewalks – this harkens back to an earlier blog on

Playing Cricket With Summer

With the first of August there comes the hint that summer may not, as we always wish, go on forever. A sudden realization that the summer solstice lies a good five weeks to the stern of us.   Summer flowers that mark the months now reach a certain apex allowing for the realization that their beauty

The House That Didn’t Get Away

  How does a house get moved?  The answer became clear over the course of the five days it took get our summer dacha, that old, still under renovation, one-room schoolhouse placed on steel beams and raised up by strategically placed hydraulic jacks.   “It ‘s a question of balance,” the chief engineer said.  “Everything’s got

Tricycle Theory

Back when we were all kids (and some of us, thankfully, still are), many of us started out bicycle riding with the idiot-proof tricycle.  Admittedly, a few were slow to get a sense of physics, managing to topple over to one side.  This didn’t last long, of course, and they went on to become accomplished bicycle

Battling Gravity

A lot had happened in only a few days.  Like a Normandy invasion, months – no, years – of talk had quite suddenly turned to action as men, trucks, and tools swarmed under and around our little (little?  Try moving it!) summer dacha.  Day one saw digging and the building of the first timber cribs.

“I” Is For I-Beam

The party is over.  In and around the blasted foundation walls crowbars have been cast aside, skid steers idled, and sledgehammers retired.  Fun while it lasted, yet not so much that it brought down the house.  When the dust cleared everyone stood back and admired the ruins.  It was one of the best wrecking parties

Wrecking Party

We must destroy the old in order to build anew.  This has become the expressive phrase of modernity, a phrase that is at once brave and troublesome.  Within months of each other, our town where our summer dacha is located has lost its 100 year old brick and mortar school to the wrecking ball, a public policy

A Puzzle With A Solution

To begin with. this shouldn’t be working.  How could it?  I mean, just stop and think for a moment.  A house on a bum foundation out in Wackersville that no one seemed to care about (except the two of us), and now the idea is to pick it up and waltz it across a field, plopping