The couple that built the house we live in is no longer living, but they had amazing foresight. Everywhere we look, we can see signs of commitment to excellence.
For instance, the electrical breaker box has every switch labeled. Puzzling for months over the one switch labeled “Worm House”, we searched until we figured out the worm house was actually the chicken house/woodshed.
We knew the worm tables were down there, but we hardly guessed what they were. The industrious ones who built two houses on this property and maintained an enormous garden, were human after all. They fished. They loved having their own source for worms. Or they sold worms. What work went into their lives for a bit of pleasure or a few extra dollars!
The worm tables, consisting of framed, 1/2″ mesh wire, were for sifting out worms, I guess. I know the soil under these tables is uncommonly rich and free of the usual rocks from around here. It makes very good garden dirt and a great side-dressing for those plants that seem to need extra nutrition.
I can imagine a grandchild’s wonder as he watches a shovelful of soil reveal its inhabitants. I can imagine the child’s taking all this culture for granted, walking in such luxury of self-sufficiency, hardly guessing all the work others have put into this place.
A little like I tend to do, myself.
I say, “Oh, good, a chicken house,” and forget all the work in those rough-hewn boards. I stroll around a pond and never think that someone had to bulldoze it. I retrieve canned goodies from the basement without realizing all the engineering it takes to perch a house over a hole in the ground.
But I want to remember, to think, to realize. I want to be thankful for someone’s foresight, for those who went before and built for those who would come after.