Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Total Revamp of Direction in a Mere 24 Hours

This post may sound suspiciously like it has nothing to do with homesteading, but it does...eventually. But first -- a scary little retro trip around the inside of my head. Y'know...the place songs you can't forget lurk...

You know your life is going to take a dramatic turn in a different direction when you can't get this radio refrain out of your head for the past four straight days:

Once upon a time I was falling in love But now I'm only falling apart
There's nothing I can do A total eclipse of the heart Once upon a time there was
light in my life But now there's only love in the dark Nothing I can say A total
eclipse of the heart

Poor Andy Gibb. (My husband just asked me who Andy Gibb was, no joke. Forgive him, Bee Gees). No, Andy didn't sing this, but for some reason this song catapults me to post-1980s sorrow for him over his breakup with Victoria Principal. Which happened HOW many decades ago??

Oh the silly pop culture concerns we had. My best friend of that era and I had simultaneous crushes on the Hardy Boy TV stars guy was Parker Stevenson and hers was Shaun Cassidy.

Oh the imaginary dates we had with that pair. We would decide who went where with whom and what the most romantic settings would be, and if we'd doubledate, just us and Parker and Shaun. We decided these weighty matters while listening to Karen's Captain and Tenielle records...yeah, please don't do the math there (I think we were what, 12 at the time, and there was no such thing as dating till you were at least 16)

This was made all the more interesting by the fact that my parents raised us with NO radio-listening or record-buying of pop music at ALL. Zero. Zilch. But exposure did happen on a limited scale, which probably heightens its impact at that impressionable age. I can hum the songs from back then, because I heard the radio now and then with my friends in other settings, but I know NO words.

Except for a few refrains. Such as Total Eclipse of the Heart. And when I hear them now on the OLDIES (ahem) station, they're harder to make go away than a crowd of bad relatives.

There are as of yet no total eclipses of the heart going on around here (and no plans for those, either!), and yet BAM, there in the middle of the day, for NO reason, like a bad commercial jingle comes the turn around bright eyyyyyyyyyyyes, turn around BRIGHTTT eye-eye-eyes...

But in a foreshadowing of life imitating (bad) lyrics, there has been a turn around. No word yet on how bright anyone's eyes are, though.


This isn't a bad thing :) It has to do with what happened last night.

I've mentioned here a few times that we're researching biblical verses related to country living, agriculture, debts, and animal care. We're finding some very interesting things.

One of the things we've been chewing on is how to emulate many of the principles in our lives, as Jews, even though we don't live in Israel. Many of the commands that directly impact homesteader-sorts of ownership, gardening, and husbandry are preceded in the text by the phrase "when you come into the Land the Lord your God has given you." It's written in all the instructions Jews keep while living in Israel, since in the verses, God says it's a land set apart and which must be cared for in specific ways to maintain its being set apart for His uses. That's my quickie explanation to precede describing just what changed for us last night.

Some of the commandments are preceded by the "when you come into the Land" phrase, and others aren't. The 10 commandments aren't. You don't murder, no matter where you live in the world. You keep the 7th day as a day of rest wherever you live. But others are specific to the land of Israel, at least as we understand the simplicity of their construction.

One such commandment has to do with "7 weeks of 7 years," or a rest for the land every seven years, counted the same way as a week is counted...the first 6 days as days of work, and the 7th as a day of complete rest from any labor. Counting this way makes every 7th year of the Jewish calendar a year in which the Bible specifies that all growing of crops and vines ceases, including pruning and harvesting. It's considered by God to be a complete rest for the land, specifically the land of Israel. It doesn't mention anything about anywhere else, and most scholars agree it's an instruction specific to Israel.

The very VERY cool thing is that God promised that the Israelites who will keep that command will receive 3 times the normal harvest in the 6th year...enough for that year, the following year of fields resting fallow, and enough for seed and food for the year beyond that during which things are replanted. How COOL is thatt??? God is so incredible!

We looked it up on the Hebrew calendar, and discovered that year of rest for the fields and vineyards, THAT year, is NOW. It started last fall, the way the biblical months are counted, and ends this coming fall. Of THIS YEAR ....NOW. Eeeeeeps.

In the Land of Israel, that is.

Which sort of means we're officially off the hook, in a literal way. We're free anywhere else to do otherwise in that respect.

So, I had visions of tomato plants. I had counted them, planted them, and harvested them all in my imagination, as the summer approaches here.

There's nothing I can do A total eclipse of the heart

Arrrrggggghhhhhhh!!! Told you! I can't get it out of my head!

ANYway, we talked about a lot of things related to this, and read in Leviticus 25 about the 7th year sabbath and crops and such. As you know, our plans are to expand Bucketville into a fertile orchard-in-waiting till we can move and plant them as more mature specimens. And to fill the many, many wonderful buckets with other lovelies, such as Paul Robeson, Black Krim, and Black Prince tomatoes (the list is miles long in my head).

The conversation turned to something important to both of us: to keep alive in our hearts the desire to live in Israel, and to keep the love of Israel alive in our hearts while we live anyplace else...for ourselves and our children. It's a different expression than a lot of people have, and it's certainly just our own way of walking it out. It's NOT incumbent on Jews to do anyplace but Israel. And we're just fleshing this out as we go...just making it clear that there's no directive anywhere for our doing things quite this way. BUT...we want to "stay in practice" since we are on this as a learning journey. We want to learn to make this way of life our habit, even in exile as such.

So it won't look like anyone else's conviction, and that's fine by us :) But we prayed about it, and decided to sleep on it for the night...the decision of whether to STOP doing any planting this year, anymore buying, and (gulp) any tomato plants. (waving bye to Paul Robeson...)

Well, we did sleep on it, and this morning found us both energized and my wonderful hubby has a firm mind that we ought to carefully try to observe this command, as if we were in the Land, even though we're not required to. With all we want to do, keeping the WAY God set things up as central in importance is truly the foundation upon which we hope to build. No, we're not shooting for "brownie points" here...that's not the way we see this relationship and covenant with our Maker. We do, though, want to LEARN how to be more honoring of His ways, and want PRACTICE. We want to make things habits. For ourselves. To pass along. To be familiar with since many of the practices are very foreign to our surrounding culture.

One thing that sets apart my husband, to me, is a rare heart that CARES about pleasing God, and cares about learning more and attempting to put His ways into practice. I'm ALL ABOUT being a team in that respect, so YAY, what more could I ask for?? He thinks we ought to hold off on any planting (other than what we've already planted), well, so do I!

So look for some upcoming posts on our revamped plan.

We went to lunch today to have a date together (when we can!), and many things were discussed. The most exciting was the prospect of preparing our house to SELL. Whenever it is a better market or the opportunity presents itself. There are OH SO many projects we can be doing in the meantime, while NOT planting this year. Many many skills we need in other areas to develop till they become habits, a learning curve to continue along prior to being on our future land. Getting the house ready to SELL gives me chills of excitement...that's something very tangible TOWARD a nearer time frame to DO THIS :) :) How VERY much we want to be out of here and THERE (wherever there is)

More about what we're going to be redirecting and doing. We'll be making lists, and crossing things off (likely in lists with strikethroughs!) and getting ready to move, yayyy!

We'll also be filling ALL those buckets with soil...just not plants, and in the fall of this year, after the year of rest ends, we'll celebrate by planting a lot more trees in them. That's always good to do in the fall :) (And it should REALLY confound the neighbors NOW, since they'll just be pots of dirt, sitting

Till then we'll be crossing off other projects and working hard to bring down our debt, towards its eventual payoff.

There, I've typed nearly an entire post without You-Know-What-Song interrupting me.

I just reminisced a few minutes with my husband, to assure him Parker Stevenson is but a memory (lol). And then, oh then...

I remembered...


I will no longer turn on the oldies station at work. I do not want to know what changes the memory of Sonny and Cher foreshadows.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had a life-size poster of Shaun that hung on the back of my bedroom door. He was a DREAM boat! :) We're aging our selves here :) Thanks for the walk down memory lane.