Homeownership, I’m learning, comes with a life of projects. I stained the deck earlier this year. I’ve strung lights, worked on flooring, mastered hot tub chemistry, revamped our sprinkler system, stacked cords upon cords of firewood, split a thousand sticks of kindling, and even tried my hand at gardening (with utter failure).
My most recent project has been replacing the fire bricks in our woodstove. The bricks absorb the heat from the fire and help the stove last longer. I don’t think our bricks have been replaced for years and they were all cracked and crumbling.
So, I got some new ones from Mark at the hardware store who lives down the street and lent me his saw  to cut a couple to size (which I totally botched and had to start over from scratch). I put the old ones in the wheelbarrow and gave them to my free-range daughter to do something with. She’s an only child like me and I know that only children will make a game or a project out of anything in order to escape the boredom of their lot.
When I wrapped up, I walked out and saw her stacking them, lost in her work. I know better than to interrupt a child who is in the ‘flow state’, so I decided to crack open a dry cider (my doctor took me off beer and hey, it’s fall now!) and sit on the hammock chair.
Turns out, it’s hard to sit on a hammock chair holding a beverage in one hand. You kinda need both hands to hold the ‘seat’ of the hammock chair in place as you place your ass on it. But, since there was nowhere to sit my cider (maybe my next project is devising a drink holder on my hammock chair), I one-handed it and aptly spilled some on my t-shirt. 
After I settled in and enjoyed the silence of a beautiful September evening, I noticed that she was still focused on arranging the bricks in an intricate fashion. It was fascinating to behold. I couldn’t help it after a while and asked…
“So, do you have a plan there or are you just seeing what happens?”
She replied, “Yeah.”
Confused, I asked, “Wait… Which one? Do you have a plan or just kinda winging it?”
“I have a plan to just see what happens.”
My little guru did it again without even trying. She beautifully displayed an integral feat of intentional surrender and exemplified third-way thinking. I got a free lesson in how premeditated trust in the wisdom of the moment provides total freedom in one’s endeavor.
And so, here I am again.
Cider in hand,
but smiling ear to ear.
 This kind of thing never fails to delight me about life in a rural town. When I lived in Chicago, there was no way the clerk at Home Depot would lend me their own power saw before saying, “Yeah, when you’re done, just leave it out by your woodpile and I’ll pick it up on the way home.”
 It was fine. Spilled cider is a notch or two better-smelling than spilled beer; it’s actually aromatherapeutic. And again, the stale sour apple smell went well with the autumn season.
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