A NH Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

I have long been taken with the notion of being able to apply general and specific knowledge to solve the problems at hand and to build and provide what is necessary for one self and most especially for family and community. We are all capable of so much more. The way culture, civilization and society has moved has to a large degree insulated us from the ‘needs’ that give rise to the opportunity to apply ourselves to such things. Many of us are, as a result, missing out on the fundamental rewards provided by putting our minds and  hands to these things. The book that I comically refer to in the post title affected me as a child and later experiences and proclivity to self-sufficiency has made certain that I continued thinking that way.

When I was a younger man, I became interested enough to have lived for a short time on and visited other self-sufficient farming communities. One of which is in Northern British Columbia up near the Yukon. I was there for a couple of months in winter time. Its amazing what folks can accomplish and do without quite happily and in relative comfort. In those situations, folks solve lots of basic day to day problems in some marvelously ingenious ways.

I had children and a wife who wanted a ‘normal’ life, so we left those things behind, but not the impact of the experiences.

I still think in terms of self-sufficiency and raised my kids that way. As a result, my two oldest boys are heavily into wilderness survival and have learned much about how to survive with basic tools and some knowledge of surroundings.

I suppose I have digressed a little bit from my intent to post a picture of a couple of knives that I’ve made recently. This is something that I have always wanted to do. Especially since 1994 when I met a fella named Daniel Winkler, who was selling his knives at a blue grass festival in North Carolina. His work isn’t difficult to admire and I bought one of those knives. The knife was made from an old file and both of my lackluster attempts are also made from a file.

The one handle I made from a moose shed that I found in the grouse woods and the other from a piece  of poplar. It was very satisfying to put my hand to this task.

You can click on the image for the full sized version.


~ by John McGranaghan on May 12, 2010.

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