Often when I write a song or post a blog, I don’t fully comprehend what is behind it. Sometimes months later I understand it much differently. Such is the case with this one, originally titled Clueless in Orland.  Having a day or so to think about it, I changed the title to Transformation because that seemed to be the theme behind the seemingly unconnected paragraphs and photographs.

Our house in Paradise was finally cleared and hauled away last week. We were sad during our last visit, cried a tad, thinking once again of all that was lost, before the ugly charred remains were to be taken to some hazard material facility..

We came back afterwards and we were encouraged by how the land was beginning to heal itself. Have no idea if we will rebuild up there. We miss the pine trees, but they have all burned and the town is beginning to look like a lumber company has clear cut it all. Stumps everywhere. Actually, just shocking to see.

Here in Orland, California, I continue to work as if something is bothering me. Always have multiple projects going on. Can’t sit for very long. I know some emotions are driving my behavior. I want to create something very special here, trying to regain that feeling I had about our home, up the hill, in Paradise. It is as if I want to show the fire, it didn’t win. Weird, I know. Also, very aware that I am aging and physical ailments are becoming obstacles. Probably should talk to a therapist – but that would be too logical and perhaps too emotional.

Let me share some recent photos.

We built a water feature for the 3 Koi that we inherited.

It is very difficult to judge the emotional state of fish, but I think they are much happier now.

I built a work bench from a piece of blue pine, but everyone said it is now a bar for drinking beers out in the shop.

The shop is starting to take shape. First big purchase will probably be a table saw.

Started a little project to store all the stains and varnishes. I saw something at an antique shop and thought, “I can build that.”

I now have a small tractor and boy did I need one!

I am using the tractor to create a space for lavender to grow upon and also to keep the flood irrigation waters from entering into the backyard.

The gardening has been good for the soul.

The back pasture is mowed and just waiting for me to decide what to do with it. Right now I am planning on putting in some wine grapes, blueberries and about 25 fruit trees. That would still leave 3 acres for some Alpacas.

Our house here in Orland often has several people working on their latest crafting interest. Lately my wife has been fascinated with the colors of copper and has been making earrings…usually with family and friends around the table. I think the conversation is as important as the crafting. Also, she and my daughter made some very cool earrings from leather. My sister and niece are also making some beautiful wooden earrings.

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Below are the copper earrings. Really interesting the transformation from a sheet of copper to these beautiful earrings. Oddly enough, it requires stress from fire and some pounding from a hammer. Maybe it is perfect analogy for life.

My wife also just made a table from a very beautiful piece of yew.

St. Francis stood in our Paradise garden and he went face to face with the fire. We brought him down to this small, hot, flat, humid, dusty, sometimes ugly-but often quite beautiful- town of plain speakin’ and hardworkin’ folks… and few tweekers. I know he has a message for me, one that I haven’t totally heard or understood yet.  I need to listen more carefully. This broken, burnt statue seems to have developed different, more realistic, facial features than when it sat among our flowers back home. St Francis seems transformed..

Here he is in Paradise.

Now in Orland.

God bless you all.

Thank you for reading this and I don’t have clue what it was all about.  (I do now…Transformation!)