I have laid out the footings for the tipi platform . . . 20 blocks perimeter . . . Maybe I should have had the dozer man grad this level instead of just roughing it in.  Next come sixteen blocks in the middle.  I’ve pulled strings to mark intersections.  Now that it’s the next morning I can set blocks under the intersections. 

 The truck with the 2x6s and 2x8s is coming this afternoon.  I’ll be ready.  I’ve got a couple of boxes of nails and a hammer and a set of kneepads.  But I’m wondering if I can rent a nail gun (non-electric) to set this deck down.  That would sure move things along.  Well, whatever . . . the deck is going in today.

 The object is to complete the deck so we can put up the tipi and take a picture of what it looks like.  Then, of course, we strike the tipi, stash it back in the warehouse and haul freight back to Texas to be open PineWoodDerbyWorkshop Saturday noon.   Maybe, if there’s time, we’ll put up the second tipi and take its picture as well.  Now that would be something.  And I still have to build the second tipi deck.  I guess that’s why God made hammers and nails and strings.

The stars again last night were incredible, but the weren’t as bright as Monday night.  Maybe God turned down the volume . . . I do know that it was 26 degrees at 4AM when I got up the first time.  Uh, I went back to bed.  And in anticipation of the lower temps, in addition to the Christmas, Batik, and Valentine quilts, we piled on a new set of flannel sheets and “Morgan’s Green Quilt” that is still in construction.  Lots and lots of safety pins strewn across that one still. (And a needle, actually.)

The barred owls sang their unbelievable duets twice last night that I heard; once early in the evening and again just before dawn.  I found this recording on YouTube, and it sounds pretty close.  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgOrZ3jSrB8&feature=fvsr).  The first time you hear this song, even really knowing what it is, really sends the chills ricocheting up and down your backbone. After a couple of times, you come to cherish and enjoy it.

Then the coyotes joined the sonata.  Everybody was following a different conductor, but it was glorious nonetheless.  Even if none of the performers cared at all about Beethoven.

 We’ve been sitting in the Neosho/Newton County Public Library since breakfast catching up on the electronic world, waiting for news of the lumber’s arrival.  It’s time to call again and to head back down to the place.

 Friends, it is peaceful down in the woods . . . much like the sense evoked by Frost’s poem “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening.”  Still and peaceful.

 When I was setting the cast concrete footers for the tipi platform frame, I was down on my hands and knees in the tufted soggy grass, shoving around fifty-pound masses of artificial stone, heaving it around true to the line, and I started channeling that guy how many thousand years ago who was lining up boulders to span with tree trunks to build his house or his storehouse or his temple.  This place isn’t Stonehenge by any stretch of the imagination, but I have some idea how those builders felt.  When I pulled the tape measure from corner to corner to check for the square of the hypotenuse . . . well, I wish my high school math teacher had had us out on the football field laying out squares of stone and timber.  “Will this be on the test?”

“Is your building square?” 



 Thank you for reading.  Stay square, my friends.

 Uncle Pat

 Rates and dates and other stuff are at www.windwalkercamp.com.

 What the hands learn the mind cannot forget.