Backyard Beauties

After a week in Michigan, spent having a great time on a lake with my family, I’m reminded why I got into the online marketing industry in the first place.

Not having to worry about the money” so to speak, allows me to do things like renting out a small compound on a remote lake to enjoy time loving and serving my extended family.

There’s nothing better than sitting on the porch, looking out on to placid water, enjoying a cup of coffee with my grandpa on my mother’s side, hearing stories I’ve heard a million times.

A far cry from the “Lake Placid” that’s probably ringing a bell in your head now, lol.

It was during this week-long vacation that I became acutely aware of my surroundings, and how they added to the overall experience with my family.

See, I was enjoying the company and fellowship of my family, sure, but it was the scene that was set that was having just as much of an impact on my time.

There was a short pier jutting out into the water–completely covered by about 3 inches of water, due to the hard rains that came the week before we arrived.

Upon reaching the pier, there was a beautiful pergola encompassing a beautifully designed hardscape surface and retaining wall at the edge of the property.

It was me appreciating the world around me, trying to capture the beauty and pride of the craftsmanship I was surrounded by, all to the tune of familiar fables from good ol’ grandpa.

Psychologically, my gratitude for my surroundings and the gratitude I have for the time spent with my family were beginning to intertwine.

The positive feelings and emotions I was experiencing from one was being multiplied by the other.

The final product was pure bliss.

Because of keeping the correct perspective, it allowed me  to be in a place where I could experience an intensity of positive emotions that I hadn’t connected with in a long time.

I thank my surroundings for strengthening my bond with my grandpa, and in a weird way, I feel that my gratitude of the scenery I was a part of was my way of thanking my grandpa for strengthening my appreciation for what I was currently a part of.

We’re often told that money is the root of all evil.  And perhaps, the love of only money, there may be some truth to that; however, this vague phrase subconsciously fuels, in some admittedly, an immediate disease for ‘nice’ things.

Well I’m here to tell you that I’ve seen my fair share of nice things, and I’ve gone a step further in trying to get to know the people and processes behind the ‘things’, and they’re not all bad!

Country Living–With Style!

So I’m driving, 45 or so mph, windows down with my music at a comfortably loud level, soaking in the sun as I cruise down the country road.

There’s a few farm houses–some nice, some needing demolition.

Theres a wood working manufacturing company on the side of the road with this huge log out front with a gigantic saw blade (fake of course) seemingly cutting this log in half.

I had to stop.

Walking inside, I was immediately greeted by a 100 pound curious German Shepherd and what was obviously her little buddy by her side.

Slightly terrified, but always optimistic, I reach to pet the two gatekeepers and continue into the shop as if I was supposed to be there.

I found the owner looking overwhelmed by the size of his inbox, hands behind his head, leaning back in his chair.

“Hey” he said, “what can I do for you?”

“Just stopping in to see what it is you guys do here,” I replied.

His face immediately began to glow, as if I was the first human to actually give a damn about his saw mill in the middle of BFE.

He gave me the tour of the their “wood yard”, showing me the biggest saws I had ever seen, a large outdoor dry kiln used to dry the lumber they chop from their own tree farms up north.

They had their hands on every part of the process in millwork manufacturing–from growing the tree in their farm, to designing and cutting the trim to be installed in what I’m assuming are multi-million dollar homes.

So much beauty, trapped on the side of an irrelevant country road.

But he was happy.  He was doing what he loved and took pride in his minimal carbon footprint.

The American Dream was alive and well with the owner of this shop, and he was simply glad to share his gifts with a stranger for a day.

I was moved by his passion and knowledge of his craft. Not to mention his connection with the earth and future generations–running a millwork manufacturing center that was almost 100% “green”.

It was this encounter that put my ass-to-seat so to speak, in getting busy with this blog.

There are people out there with certain gifts.  You are one of these people, as am I.

Are we not called to make the most of them?

Should we take it upon ourselves to ensure our potential was not given to us in vain?

I like to believe so…

There’s power in it.