Bane of Existence
Other times, my challenge was with Mother Nature. I came to recognize poison oak and poison ivy very well, but that was only after a few unfortunate encounters. Those goats continued to be the bane of my existence, at least the Billy goats. The herds of cows that came plunging through the land left piles of manure everywhere and they’d often break things around the camp, including parts of the tipi and tent. I took my job very seriously and as the watchman of the camp I would chase those large stupid beasts off our land with Chelsea’s help and keep them running for miles when I could manage it.
Cold, Storms, and Fire
The weather was also a challenge. Most days were warm enough, but when it was cold it was c-o-l-d. Fire was the only defense I had- and that was after I worked to gather fresh kindling and logs to get one started. When storms would come in I would feel the brunt of Mother Nature’s power. The wind storms would knock down the tipi, blow our belongings across the camp, and leave wreckage for me to clean when the trouble passed. I was small and insignificant, with few defenses. Hiding away in the abandoned trailer was often the only safe place for me. When the lightning storms would come in there didn’t to be a safe place anywhere. The wind and the rain would make the tipi and tent impossible. Again, almost always alone, I would curl up inside the trailer with a mountain of sleeping bags piled up on top of me.
The metal frame of the 30 foot shed sitting just a few feet away from the trailer I hid in was a lightning magnet. I felt and heard the spectacular power of the lightning and heard it crack the air and explode almost inside my ear in sync with the blinding white light, followed almost immediately with the thunderous boom. It was as if all of heaven was falling down on top of me. The trailer would shake and rattle, I would anticipate the walls imploding. I knew I was in danger and there was little I could do about it. The noise would surround me deep into the night and I learned to appreciate the power of nature and rely on the power of prayer to comfort me and keep me safe.