Our Trail of Family Life

Woods Before

The middle of a construction project is not a convenient time to take a picture, but that’s when the true story happens. That’s when the before pictures become the after, when we follow through on all the ideas, schedules and plans.

For years we planned—or rather, had the idea—to create a trail through our woods to access an ideal spot for a fire pit and campsite. We finally built it.

My son needed to organize and carry out a family project for his scouting family life merit badge. The old idea of a trail surfaced again.

The motivation came after he tackled the smaller project first. After he built the fire pit, the trail became a necessity. At our campfire dinner, we scheduled the day we would start the trail and a goal date to finish. Then, NH planned how we would do it, how much time it would take and the materials we would need.

We began at 10:30 on a Saturday morning. Our biggest challenge was the water that comes out into our woods from the ground source heat pump. It soaked all the parts of the trail where we wanted to go down. That meant we had to change our trail location, which meant a lot more physical labor.

We decided to clear away the raspberry bushes on the downhill side of the water run off. EH dug up and transplanted the raspberries. Paul and NH hauled logs to slow and divert the water. We all cleared brush and debris until we could see a trail emerge.

Paul helped us engineer and create stairs of concrete block at the trail head. Then he built  a small foot bridge over a lower section while the rest of us raked and cleared the trail all the way to the bottom.

By 2:30 in the afternoon, NH ran up and down the trail admiring the work. He had an idea, we schedule it on the calendar, he planned it out and we all followed through and finished in one day.

Fortunately, you can’t see from these after shots where we ended our day. Crashed.

Trailhead After

Trail After

The old idea of a trail, now, seemed like a good project and the time was right.

At our campfire dinner, we scheduled today as the day we would start the trial and next week as the finishing date. And yesterday Newel made a plan of what we would need to do and how we would do it.

We began at 10:30. Our biggest challenge was the water that comes out into the woods from the ground source heat pump. It soaked all the parts of the trail where we wanted to go down. Finally, we decided to clear away the raspberry bushes on the downhill side of the water run off. Elena dug up and transplanted the raspberries. Paul and Newel hauled logs to slow and divert the water. This was a big project of cutting and hauling wood, but it cleared and we could see a trail emerge.

We put in some stairs of concrete block at the trail head and raked and cleared the trail all the way to the bottom by 2:30. Newel ran up and down the trial admiring our work. He was so excited to see the results of his idea come about. Yes, I said, we get an idea, we plan it out, we schedule it on the calendar and then we follow through. That’s how it comes about.

We’re all so tired tonight, but grateful to have such a nice addition to our landscape. It makes me want to use the woods and the fire pit and even go camp down there.

On another note, we are fasting tonight because last Sunday was the Fourth of July and fast Sunday at the Jensen Family reunion in Missouri. My parent’s suggested we fast at a different time. Newel is fasting to know if it is the right time for his patriarchal blessing. Two Sundays ago he was downstairs listening to hymns at bedtime. He came back upstairs and found me in the living room. He said, I think I want to get my patriarchal blessing. I’ve been thinking about it. And I want to know more about myself. It was a cherished moment for me, a moment when I could see the spirit working on his heart independent of anything I had done or said. He was acting of his own initiative.

In both cases, I felt Newel’s maturity. I have joyed in seeing this growth in him this year as he fulfills his priesthood and scouting. I know this is a turning point time for him that will set him on a good course in taking care of his church and family responsibilities in the future. He is a wonderful son who has so much strength and talent within him.

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1 Comment

  1. David
    Jul 29, 2010

    The project was quite a project for the family. Activities like these keep families involved with each other and appreciating each others talents. The trail is beautiful. Congratulations to all especially NH.

    Dad

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