Dateline: 24 August 2016 AD
Some people who know me think I'm retired because I left my job in the city (3 years, 6 months, and 24 days ago) and I am home here in my Upland every day. But I'm far from retired. I just changed my occupation.
I left a secure and downright easy job, with good benefits (working for a government agency), to pursue self-employment in a home-based business. Now I work harder, I have no benefits, and I have no so-called security. But I'm a free man. And that's something that I place a high value on.
I don't reckon that I'll ever have the luxury of not needing to generate income. Which is to say, I'll have to work the rest of my life. But I don't see that as a bad thing, especially if I'm working in my Upland every day. Besides that, I happen to like to work.
There is a widespread belief among Christians that work is a curse put on mankind back in Genesis 3: 17-19. But I don't think so.
The way it looks to me, the curse in those verses is not work itself, but the hardship of work. In other words, work became a chore after the fall.
The Bible tells us that one day God will create a new heaven and a new earth. If he did it once, I don't suppose it will be that hard to do again, eh?
This new earth will not be corrupted by sin. It will be a physical earth. It will be a place "wherein dwells righteousness." This new heaven and earth is where the followers of Jesus Christ will spend eternity. That is, as I understand it, biblical orthodoxy.
So, if that is the case, put away your thoughts of heavenly cloud-floating and harp-plucking ease. Oh, there might be some of that, but there will, I firmly believe, be work to do. And I don't think it will be work in cubicles, staring at computer screens.
I can imagine that the new earth of eternity will be an agrarian paradise, much like the Garden of Eden was. And I can imagine that the work will not be hard. It will be a joy and a pleasure. And the fruits of such joyous labor will be incredible beauty and abundance.
Now, I could be wrong about that. But I like to think of my eternity in that way. Whatever the actual case is, I am looking forward to it.
But, until then, I have plenty of work and responsibility in this world to busy myself with.
In the picture above, I am sharpening a wheel hoe blade. I have made and sold wheel hoe kits to intelligent gardeners since the Spring of 2009.
I'm sure I don't sell as many of my wheel hoe kits as the other wheel hoe makers sell of their already-made wheel hoes. I'm sure of it because most people aren't inclined to assemble their own wheel hoe. Besides that, my wheel hoe does not sport numerous attachments. It just has an oscillating stirrup blade. So it's a single purpose wheel hoe. But it is incredibly efficient at that single purpose, which is to shallow-cultivate soil and destroy small, emerging weeds.
I've gotten a lot of great feedback from users of my Planet Whizbang wheel hoe in the past seven years. A few small farm operations have purchased one kit, then purchased more once they realized the tool works well and is designed to last a lifetime.
So, these wheel hoe kits are a little niche market that I serve. I don't make a lot of money on the kits, but it adds up. Besides that, I really do enjoy making them and sending them out. And I enjoy the positive feedback I get in return.
But the hardest part of making these wheel hoe kits is grinding the edges on the stirrup blades (before I bend them into a U-shape). I used to pay a man in my community $3 each to grind the edges. He did a great job. But he got tired of the work. Now I grind the edges myself, as you can see in that picture above.
I bought that 3M respirator you see in the picture last year. I had to sell a lot of wheel hoe kits to pay for that piece of equipment! But it has proven to be a good investment (in my future health and well being). It works by drawing air through a filter in back and pumping it into the sealed face mask. So there is positive air pressure in the mask. No dust gets in, or very little gets in. It has a rechargeable battery in the back, next to the filter.
In my younger working days I did a lot of home remodeling, and I breathed a LOT of bad dust. I didn't use a face mask, or I used cheap ineffective filter masks.
I remember on a particularly dusty job that my co-worker, Steve, and I came up with a unique idea for filtering the air we were breathing. There were some cigarette butts on the job site and they had filter ends. We wondered if it would be possible to put one of those cigarette filters in each nostril, then close our mouths and breath through the filters.
Steve gave it a try, but a single filter wasn't big enough to effectively seal a nostril. I suggested maybe three, or four, or five crammed tightly into each nostril might work better. Or, perhaps, I could seal the single ones in with a little bit of silicone caulk.
Well, Steve wasn't keen on that idea, so we never did find out if it would work. But, in theory, I do think the idea has merit.
Now you know just how far I've progressed when it comes to respiratory safety. Which makes me think of an old saying...
"We get too soon old and too late smart."