I have just finished my second book. It is entitled “A Curmudgeon’s True Tales of the Outdoors, Or Maybe Not” It is truth and fiction combined in stories about things to do or things I have done in the great open spaces of my world. There are stories of hunting, fishing, and personal observations of things that happen outside.

The growth of technology in the past one hundred years make it seem that it was centuries ago that we needed to live off the land to the best of our abilities. We don’t grow our vegetables, raise or hunt for our meat or make our own wine and beer. People did that a millennium ago, at least that is what most city  and younger country people may think. Well let me tell you, I am not that old! I am in my eighth decade of life and it seems like it was just a month or two ago that I was helping weed the family garden so my mother would have enough veggies to preserve in the canning cooker for the winter. Maybe the squash, potatoes, onions, beets and apples would survive in the root cellar. And don’t forget the carrots.

OH yes, we had to get in the wood supply for our kitchen and living room stoves as well. Axes and crosscut saws and how to use and keep them sharp were important skills. At least one or two large maple, ash, oak trees, etc. were required to make a pile large enough for the winter months. I forget how many times wood warmed me  before it went into the stove. Think about it.

Hopefully we could raise and properly store and preserve the pork and beef needed. Even better was the time when I was old enough to join the hunt for this years supply of venison and other game to supplement the diet. We had a small general store where we could buy things we did not make for ourselves, but super market? Nope. The closest thing to that was the Montgomery Ward Catalog that contained unheard of treasures. That is where Christmas was located we learned later.

I hope that if anyone reads this and you are under 40 years old, you will truly appreciate the life you have now. I know I do and I have adjusted to technology as well as an old dog like me can. I hated those weeds, especially quack and crab grass. If I can remember all of this at my age, we still need the land and knowledge to use it properly. The products of the land are far more valuable than the products of the oil barons and overpaid CEOs of the world factories and financial institutions.

Neale McClintock