What is a "tiehacker"?

"Tiehacker" is a term originating in the Ozark hills of southern Missouri. It referred to a class of people from WAY back in the hills that made a living cutting trees into ties for the railroad. I first heard the term from my wife shortly after we married. I had been working outside all day and was dirty and stinky. She had learned it from her father, and thought it just meant "a bum". Never having heard it before, I looked it up. Although I am not really a bum, I thought it was interesting, and I do have a life-long love affair going with the Ozark hills, so ... there you have it!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Simple pleasures in life

One beautiful summer day some years ago, my best friend and I went fishing along the banks of a creek. While we were wading up and down, casting and so forth, his wife sat on the bank by a series of ripples and shallows. As she bathed her feet in the clear cool water, she tossed in small pieces of bread. She was having a grand old time, just watching the minnows chase around grabbing the bread. Her grin was from ear-to-ear, and often broke into soft chuckles. No, she isn't "a wee bit soft". She simply knows how to take great delight in little things that most people don't even notice.

Although I, unfortunately, do not have the same unbounded capacity for being delighted that she has, there are many things that give me great pleasure.

The love between my wife and our grandson is an awesome delight for me as well as for them. His peels of laughter as he teases his Grandma are infectious. My Debster is buoyed up for days after a visit with the kids. And I take great delight in my wife's pleasure in our grandson. (I love the little guy too, but what they have is really something special.)

I truly enjoy the feel of my ultra-light spinning rig bent double in my hand, the mono-filament line zinging off the reel as a feisty small-mouth bass fights tooth and nail against me. Or should I say, jaw and fin? Whatever. When I have finally landed a fish that weighs two or three times what the line is rated for, I'll be grinning for hours.

I enjoy getting all dirty and muddy, working the soil of my garden in the spring. Tilling in the manure and compost, raking, and planting the seeds. When I get home from work early in the morning after my midnight shift, I have to walk past the garden to get to the house. And to see the little green shoots begin to come up, and knowing that in a few months I'll be harvesting the fruits of my labor, that is a pleasure.

Stopping off on my way home and picking up a bouquet of flowers for my Debster and watching the smile on her face grow and grow, is a pleasure.

The solid feel of a well-bound book in my hands, the crinkle of the pages as I turn them, are a pleasure that can never be duplicated by a digital edition on my smart phone.

I haven't indulged in this one for some time, but I used to really get a kick out of building models of World War Two-era fighter planes. Starting with a basic kit, researching and researching, poring over photos and diagrams of the real planes, matching paint colors, manufacturing from scratch and adding on little detail pieces that turned the simple model kit for ages 8-14, into a virtual miniature of the original, almost a work of art. Sometimes worked on the same model for several weeks until I was satisfied with it. But boy, was I satisfied!

I could go on almost forever, listing things that I find delightful. But I'll leave you with this one:
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4 ESV)
As many and varied are the pleasures to be found in daily life, there is nothing sweeter than the Lord Himself. To be totally immersed in His presence, being overcome with awe at His strength and mercy and love and majesty and truthfulness and all the other attributes that He possesses. As the old hymn calls it, the "sweet hour of prayer". Reading and ruminating on His written Word. Worshiping Him along with other saints in a group, or alone in the depths of my heart. Knowing that He loves me, and that the greatest gift He can bestow on me is the gift of Himself.

I don't do this often, but in this case I am going to recommend a book to you:

This book is available at this website: desiringgod.org. It can be downloaded for free as a PDF file, or it can be purchased from Amazon. And, just for the record, I am NOT affiliated with that website and do not receive a penny from them. My only reward is the knowledge that someone will have their life changed by this book, like I did. To say that it gave me a new perspective on the Christian life would be the grossest understatement.

Until next time,

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