Can I ask you to do something real quick?
Imagine a campfire. Imagine the heat on your face and pant legs, the soft crackling and popping, the smell of the smoke…
You can even imagine the taste of a roasted marshmallow if you want to (personally, I prefer to cook something a little more filling — like a steak or a bratwurst — over the fire). One thing is certain; there’s just something comforting about staring into the red hot coals of a campfire.
Now that you’ve got that image in your mind, I’ll explain why I decided to start a blog.
Really, it’s all about stories. I love stories.
Growing up, my family didn’t go on very many vacations. We went on some — but it was far from a yearly occurrence.
However, we did go camping.
Several times a summer, we’d all load up in my dad’s old ’87 Custom Deluxe pickup truck (which was no small feat) and go somewhere up in the mountains. In fact, by the time my youngest sister was born, the cab was so packed that me and my brother would have to ride in the bed of the truck, tucked in between sleeping bags and other camping gear.
Ah, the memories… 😉
It was on these family camping trips that I first discovered my love of stories.
As far as I was concerned, there was nothing better than to listen to my dad and his siblings telling all the old familiar hunting stories as they’d sit around a campfire. They would laugh and joke for hours about the good ol’ days; and sometimes, if we were really lucky, my uncle would SCARE THE CRAP OUT OF US with his tales of bigfoot or “the junkyard leopards.”
(I honestly have no idea where he came up with that stuff, but it was terrifying.)
There’s just something about campfires… I know it sounds nerdy, but there’s something magical about them — the way they improve and intensify almost any story. Everything just seems more vivid and more real when you’re sitting around a campfire.
I would get so engrossed in these stories that it almost felt like I was there. I could almost see the icy road that my dad and his brothers had to dig, in order to get their truck out of Bull Flat. I could almost smell the bigfoot in my uncle’s stories. And don’t even get me started about those dang junkyard leopards!
My point is, I love stories. With or without a campfire, I love stories.
And THAT is one of the main reasons for this blog.
There’s a special connection that comes from hearing and telling stories.
There are actually several reasons for my sudden foray into the world of blogging — my love of stories is just one of them. Another reason is journal keeping.
Spencer W. Kimball said:
What could you do better for your children and your children’s children than to record the story of your life, your triumphs over adversity, your recovery after a fall, your progress when all seemed black, your rejoicing when you had finally achieved? Some of what you write may be humdrum dates and places, but there will also be rich passages that will be quoted by your posterity. … Get a notebook, a journal that will last through all time, and maybe the angels may quote from it for eternity. Begin today and write in it your going and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements, and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events. … This is what the Lord has commanded and those who keep a personal journal are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance in their daily lives.”
I’ve never been very good at keeping a journal, but after reading something like that, I realized that I need to repent and do better.
Hopefully blogging will help me with that…
FLINT, STEEL, AND SOURDOUGH BREAD
Another motivating factor for this blog has to do with my fascination with “the pioneers.”
Self-sufficiency, hard work, and a simpler way of living have always called to me.
Ever since I was little, I’ve enjoyed learning everything I can about the strong men and women who sacrificed so much to carve out a living in the untamed West.
Actually, I think it really started in elementary school…
When I was in 1st grade, we’d get “computer time” once a week with those ancient MacIntosh computers (the ones with the gigantic 5-1/2″ floppy disks, no mouse, and the tiny black & green monochromatic screens). It seemed like they all had at least 3 buttons missing on the keyboard — and they all came with “The Oregon Trail” game loaded on them.
(You know the one: “[Insert Name Here] has died of dysentery.”)
Anyway, I just love learning about that era; and I can’t help but wonder, could I do what they did? Could I have been strong enough?
I still wonder that sometimes.
In fact, I like to test myself on it whenever possible. I know it’s super weird, but sometimes I’ll fire up our little BBQ grill using flint and steel, just to prove that I can.
In my last post, I mentioned that we had sourdough pancakes for breakfast… Well, that all came about because I wanted to bake bread like the pioneers — again, just to prove that I could.
That being said, I have spent a lot of time (probably too much time) searching out nearly-forgotten skills, and I want to share some of the things I’ve learned. Sure, most of it’s useless nowadays, but y’know what? This is my blog, and I can write whatever the heck I feel like! 😉
And that, my friends, is why I started the OneAcreLott!