Something to ponder on as you wander on

Some liars are born that way, some are self-made; but the really great ones are elected to Congress…

Thursday, October 11, 2007


THE DUSTY ROAD…………………………………..
(Jacobs land)
It had been a long time since I had such a home cooked meal,,
a long time indeed.. For I had been on this dusty road for many
many months,, wandering the back roads of this land…
And I have seen and been in many a curious and wondrous place,,
and now I was in kinder,, gentler place,, among some
new friends I hope.. I know…

A very fine meal indeed… I had come across Jacob Setlier,,
while I was trekking thru the lush green farmlands,,
with white painted fences to each side of me,, me and Joe…
We had traveled from the misty forest,, thru the wheat fields,,
and now we were about the farmlands… Where exactly we were
I did not know,, I guess it really didn’t matter,, for I was always
headed east to the very eastern coast,, that was where
I wanted to go,, when I first started this journey,,
so many months ago…
Just wandering the dusty road I was,, when I came apon
Jacob Setlier in his field,, he was pulling an old tree stump out,,
using just his two horses and some rope,, no tractors or motors
vehicles was he using…
Just his back and those animals,, a very curious site for me,,
since I have always seen heavy labor done with tractors and
heavy machinery or maybe even a bulldozer,, but this was not
his way,, as I would learn later…

Joe and I stood by the white painted fence rails and watched
Jacob for a while,, taking a rest from this trek we were on,,
just watching as Jacob struggled with that stump,,
to be rid of it from his field…
We watched for perhaps 10 minutes or so,, and as I watched Jacob,,
I yelled to him if he need an extra hand with that stump,,
I was willing to help him I said,, if he wanted me to...
Jacob responded with a terse but polite refusal of my offer,,
and then continued with his chore... He had the horses tied to that
stump with four ropes and he had dug all around the roots,,
then he slapped the animals on their rears for them to start pulling
that stump from the ground… They strained and strained against
the ropes and that stump but it seemed not to move,,
and again Jacob slapped them on their rears,,
a little harder this time,, and the animals again pulled with all they
had to remove that stump from its place,, and then the rope
snapped and the horses where suddenly free from their binds and
as they lurched forward Jacob was knocked to the ground…

Well,, this was enough for me,, I could plainly see that he needed
some help,, so I climbed beyond that fence to help Jacob with
his chore,, whether he needed my help or not,, for surely he did…
I left my pack by the fence there and I told Joe just to stay and wait
until I got back,, which she did,, for she was a very smart dog…
Jacob was just rising to his feet and brushing himself off when I
arrived at that stump,, the horses stood nearby waiting…

Jacob was a man in his early thirties I suppose he was,, fit and firm,,
and well tanned he was from all his days out in the fields,,
he wore just a plain white shirt,, black trousers with suspenders
and had on a black rimmed hat... He looked somewhat like Lincoln
with his black beard,, but no mustache did he have,,
there were no buttons or zippers upon his clothes,, no adornments
of any kind,, for that was not his way,, just plain brown
shoes he wore,, not really the kind you would expect a farmer
to wear when he was out doing chores and such in the fields…
Jacob did not seem very pleased to see me upon his field that day,,
but I introduced myself anyway and I offered my hand to his…
He looked about me for a moment or so and then he shook
my hand in greeting,, a firm handshake did he have,,
he had much larger and stronger hands than I had…
We chatted for a minute or two and I told him who I was and
that I was just wandering thru this land to get to the very
eastern coast… He looked somewhat puzzled by my story,,
but he didn’t say much,, Jacob never did say much,, for all the time
I was with him,, never did he say much,, he kept his thoughts
and words mostly to himself…

So it was that I meet Jacob Setlier upon that dusty road that day
in early September... We proceed to work together that early morn
and we finally struggled enough and dug enough and sweated
enough that finally we pulled that rotten stump from its place…
Jacob didn’t say much after that,, he just thanked me,,
as I expected him to do,, for I was not seeking any kind of reward,,
and then he slapped the horses once more and they were on their
way dragging that stump to some other field I guess…
Having completed my work with Jacobs stump,,
I picked up my things,, then Joe and I continued down that
dusty road,, always heading east just Joe and I…
It was perhaps an hour or so later that we heard a horse coming
from behind us then,, and as I looked back I could see Jacob riding
in a black carriage with one just one horse leading,, he stopped it
just a little behind us and waited,, I thought perhaps he was going
to town so I moved to the side of that dusty road to let him by,,
perhaps the road was not wide enough for us all,,
Joe was doing his best to bark that horse away,, but it did him
little good,, the horse just stood there ignoring him…

Jacob motioned for me to come over,, and this I did,, then he said
he would like to offer me a job,, helping him about his farm,,
just for a few weeks or so… Now I could plainly see that this was
not Jacobs way,, to ask for help,, especially from someone he had
just met only and hour or so ago,, especially from someone such
as me,, who was just wandering down the road,, but I guess he
realized that I could help him,, and that I was not just some tramp
passing by,, and that he really could use some help before the
winter came... He said he couldn’t pay me much,, this I didn’t mind
for I don’t really need that much when I’m apon this road,,
so it was that I ended up helping Jacob on his farm that year…
As I joined Jacob in the cab of that carriage,, Joe jumped up and sat
apon my lap,, just sitting there with her tongue hanging out,,
ready for a ride… Jacob didn’t seem to take much liking to this,,
a dog in his carriage,, I could tell by the look on his face and the
low grumble he gave,, but he said nothing…
And then to his farm we did go…

Jacobs farm was like any other I suppose,, except for the fact it
was just plain white with no other colors about and there were no
farm machinery that I could see… Just horses and some sheep and such…
Along by the barn there I could see two children working with the
chickens in the coop,, giving them water and some grain and also
going about cleaning and tidying up the chicken coop,, if it needed it…
The kids were dressed quite plainly with no shoes about there feet
and the young girl wore a bonnet and a blue dress,, the young boy
dressed much like his father,, only he wore a straw hat and
his right arm was in a cast,, a broken arm from some fall I suppose…
Jacob guided the carriage into the barn there,, and then the children
came running to greet their father and to see who it was with him…
A strange sight I was to them,, for I was not dressed as their
father was,, that was very true,, a strange looking stranger,,
their father had brought to the farm that day... He introduced me
to each of his children,, there was Sarah,, she was perhaps
8 or 9 years old and Daniel,, with the broken arm,, he must have
been about 10 or 11,, both were very quite,, and mannered,,
but also very courteous to me,, they didn’t say much,, just hello
and nice to meet you… Jacob then told the kids to take care of the
horse and carriage while we went inside to discuss matters…

A very plain house it was,, we cleaned our boots off before entering
and Jacob just pointed at Joe,, meaning that he was to stay outside,,
and this I had Joe do... The inside of the house was just as plain as
the outside,, with very little furniture and no carpet on the floors,,
but it was very well kept and tidy,, we went thru two rooms,,
a parlor and a dinning room they were,, into the kitchen,, and there
it was that I met his wife Sarah… A plain looking woman with
blonde hair fastened neatly under the bonnet she wore and she
wore just a plain blue dress with a white apron… She was courteous
to me,, but I could plainly see that she was not too happy about
having me there,, a stranger with strange clothes and ways within
her house,, but she was still courteous...
Then Jacob politely asked me if I might wait in the parlor,,
just for a minute or two while he talked to his wife,, and this I did…
In the parlor were just wooden chairs and a small table,,
no electric lights that I could see,, just candles ready to be lit
for the night…

As I waited I could see the children tending to the horse and carriage
and going about their chores thru the window with its plain curtains…
I also noticed a large Bible on a stand there it the corner,,
a very large thick Bible,, not the type that one finds in a hotel room,,
a family Bible,, it did look very much cared for and used…

A very quiet place this was... Jacob and Sarah arrived in this room
after only a few minutes,, and they both greeted me again,,
and Sarah offered me some cold water,, which I accepted,,
just to be polite…
Then Jacob explained to me,, why he had asked for my help about
this farm of his… He said that over the past few weeks the weather
had been rainy,, with lots of storms and wind and that it had
damaged much of the fields around here and many trees had been
knocked over and that some barn roofs had to be fixed,,
not just on his farm but also on many of his neighbors farms,,
and that it was nearing harvest time also... He said that normally
he would have asked his neighbors for help,, as they would have
asked him,, and each would have helped each other,,
a good thing I thought to myself,, neighbors helping neighbors,,
always a good thing,, then he explained that with all the storm
damage about,, that everyone was busy with their own farms and
that as soon as they were done with the repairs they would
come along,, as he would do for them… So it was that he came to
the decision to ask me to help him about his farm,, and also since
Daniel had fallen from the porch roof two weeks ago,, he would not
be of much help,, he told me that he would not be able to pay
me much…For it was not his way to gather money about him,,
and that if I wished I could stay in a spare attic bedroom they had,,
until the work was done,, but he insisted that Joe could not come
into the house,, for he didn’t believe that animals should stay within
houses of men… This I understood and I agreed too,,
for it was his house,, and it was by his rules,, that I would have to
live by,, at least for a couple of weeks…

And so it was that I stayed with Jacob, Sarah, Daniel and Mary,,
for just a couple of weeks… And fine weeks they were two,,
the weather was cooler now but very pleasant for working about
the fields and in the barnyards,, Joe,, well she just kind of followed
me around from place to place,, and would just lay about waiting
for me to be done with whatever it was I happened apon…
Jacob as I have said was a quiet man,, and he went about
his business,, with purpose and he and Sarah were always very
respectful to me,, and sometimes even to Joe… Sarah proved to
be a very fine cook and I think that maybe while I was there I may
have gained a few pounds too,, she didn’t much care for me sneaking
table scraps to Joe,, but she let it go,, and didn’t say anything
to me,, or to Jacob,, she knew that Joe was my only family while
I was traveling on this dusty road…

My time apon Jacobs land was almost at an end and it would soon
be time for me to be once again traveling on,, the days were getting
much shorter now and the leaves were starting to turn into their
fall colors... I was mending one of the last broken fences along Jacobs
pastures when I saw him go by in his carriage,, to town,,
or to a neighbors house maybe,, then I heard the horse bay and
I looked down the road and saw that the horse had reared up and
now the carriage was turned over,, Joe and I scrambled from our
fence work and went to that spot just down the road,,
and there we saw what had happen,, a black and white badger
was there,, frightening the horse and Jacob had been throw about
and was now pinned underneath it… The horse kept rearing up to
fight off this wild animal,, which made things worse for Jacob there,,
then it was that Joe took off and she went into that badger with a
fierceness that I had never seen from her before,, she was not to be
outdone by this other animal,, and she bit and fought and scrambled
for all she was worth,, until finally she drove off that badger and the
horse was once again still…I could now help Jacob get out
from under his carriage,, and this I did,, he was not hurt much,,
but he did get a lot of bumps and bruises and a nasty cut on
his forehead,, but he was alright,, Joe,, well,, we both looked at her
with surprised looks about our faces,, she was fine,, with just a c
ouple of claw marks upon her back,, pretty good work for that
dog of mine,, pretty good work against that badger that day…

Two days later it was time to go,, all was well upon Jacobs farm,,
at least as well as it could be for now,, Jacob recovered for his
carriage mishap and Sarah even stitched up Joes wound on his back...
Things were going to be just fine for Joe and me along
that dusty road…
As I left that morning Sarah stopped me and gave me some canned
preserves,, some fresh made biscuits and some honey jam for
the road,, and she even gave me some bones for Joe...
As I walked down the driveway from Jacobs house I could see the
children doing their morning chores and Jacob out in his field there…
So it was that I started east once again along that dusty road,,
beside the white painted fences,, and just after a little while,,
I met Jacob standing by his fence there,, waiting for me to come by,,
he shook my hand again and said goodbye one last time,,
for he was a quite man of few words.. And he said to me,,
that if ever I should be about this way again,,
that I would be welcomed within his home and family,, and yes
even Joe would be welcomed there,, but not in the house of course…

I smiled as I walked along now,, it was a good couple of weeks…
These were fine folks that I had met,, although I was different in
every way from them,, as they were to me,, fine folks they were…
I have met many a fine folk along this dusty road,, and I guess that’s
way I came apon this journey,, to see what was out here,,
to view what was just over the next hill,, and yes to meet the many
fine folk who live along every dusty road… Very fine folk indeed live
along the dusty roads………………………………..

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