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The Pineywoods Manifesto: Don’t Carry a Lazy Man’s Load

In today’s Creekbank StoryLetter:

  • A new story from The Pineywoods Manifesto.
  • A Big Rattler.
  • Thanks for helping us on our September Africa Trip.
  • Get a free download of our most popular novel, The Wayfaring Stranger.
  • Readers are enjoying As the Crow Flies. Do you have your copy?
  • We haven’t forgotten about our next novel, 1918: No Man’s Land Louisiana. We’re in the research mode now.
  • What I’m reading.

A word from Curt

I’m writing a book for my four grandsons entitled, A Pineywoods Manifesto: Field Notes on the Full Life. It contains brief stories and insights I wish to pass on to them. They are blessed with strong fathers who are already modeling these qualities of our part of Louisiana, but I wish to add my two cents.

Additionally, I’m writing A Pineywoods Manifesto for the many young men I encounter daily who have no positive male role model. My prayer is that this book will serve as a guide to what a real man believes and does.
I’m currently adding a chapter per day on our blog at www.creekbank.net. I’d love your feedback, criticism, and ideas for future chapters. Let’s write this book together! You can read blog posts at www.creekbank.net
Here is today’s chapter:

Thoughts on Carrying a Lazy Man’s Load

I’m guilty of it. Been guilty of it most of my life. That was proven again today when I was unloading my work truck and tried to bring everything in the house in one load. Just as I got in the kitchen, my iPad slid out from my armload of books, papers, and mail. I knew I’d cracked the screen once it hit the tile floor.
Trying to make one big load instead of two sensible loads led to breaking my iPad. I had no one to blame but myself. I was carrying a Lazy Man’s Load.  It’s defined as trying to do too much at one time and often results in disasters like my drop.
If I could live my life over, I’d carry less Lazy Man Loads. I’d slow down some, not try to carry or do everything.
I’d say no more, while still saying yes to the things that really matter.
The myth of multi-tasking is just that. It’s a myth. Our mind is made to focus on one thing at a time. In western society, we pride ourselves on how many things we can (try to) do at once.
We don’t leave any room for margin in our lives. We don’t step away and return with a clearer big picture.  My recent trip to The Appalachian Trail was about that. I purposely went solo. I needed time alone in nature, walking in the mountains and getting closer to the Lord.  On about the third day of the trip, as my mind untangled and thoughts flowed, I prayed, “Lord, I want to feel your presence more on this trip. I need to pray more.”
In my heart of hearts, I believe God’s Spirit said, “Then why don’t you just shut up, walk, and listen.”
I was reminded that prayer isn’t me doing all of the talking. It’s also about listening, and that’s what I did for the remainder of the trip. I listened and looked and felt God’s presence in everything around me.
And I came back more determined than ever not to invest the remaining days of my life abstaining from carrying a Lazy Man’s Load. Today’s mishap shows that I’m not there yet, but I’m working on it.

I had a surprise encounter with this large timber rattler at 4000 feet on a cool day in Georgia.

Click on the video to hear rattler’s warning buzz.

A hiker ahead of me had discovered the rattlesnake. He shakily said, “I’m going back. I can’t go past that.”

“Well, we can’t just leave him there to bite the next hiker,” I said.  I thought about killing him, but recalled too many stories of fools getting bitten in situations like that. Instead, I found a long long forked limb and picked the rattler up. His heft bent the stick and he sluggishly struck the limb once. I rolled him off the trail about ten feet downhill. He went back into his defensive coiled rattling stance.

I shouldn’t have said it. “My great-grandma always said they travel in pairs.”

The hiker shook his head, nodding at the rocky outcrop where the rattler had been hidden. “I’m not going past there.”

I continued my northbound journey. Another fast-walking Thru-Hiker (attempting to walk from Georgia to Maine) passed me about an hour later. I asked about the snake and the hiker. “It’s still there, buzzing away. So is the guy who first saw it. He’s warning folks away. He even made a sign he’s put on the trail.

I’d not expected to see a snake at that altitude or temperature. I was much more observant of my steps, especially after dark.


Thank you for your help on our September Africa Trip
Thanks to your generosity, we’ve exceeded our goal of raising $1000 for the trip.  DeDe is going to northern Kenya to work with women in our refugee churches. I’ll teach two weeks on Acts at our Uganda Baptist Seminary to make a circular trip to Up Country Uganda to visit our South Sudanese refugee churches and their sweet members.  You can learn more about the trip here.
Any additional funds will be used to buy Bible Story Cloths and Audio Bibles.
Most of all, we covet your prayers. DeDe leaves on September 1, and I leave a week later.

It’s Free and it’s a Great Read!
I’d be so honored for you to take advantage of our offer of a free download of our novel, The Wayfaring Stranger.  It is the first book in the Westport Series and sets the stage for A Good Place and our latest novel, As the Crow FliesClick here to get your download and enjoy!

Updates on As the Crow Flies

Readers continue to comment, with many calling it our best novel to date.  It is available on Amazon and our Website in paperback, large print, and ebook formats.  The Audible audiobook version is nearly complete and as promised,  Bookshare is preparing a Braille version of the book. It’s a rollicking story of redemption and reconstruction set in Louisiana’s frontier “No Man’s Land” in 1881.

What I’m reading
Triggers by  Marshall Goldsmith. A fine book on how people can change their behavior.
In the Place of Justice by Wilbert Rideau .     I listened to the audiobook on my drive to the Georgia hike. Like Rideau himself, the book is controversial, but a must read by anyone in SW Louisiana and beyond. From my boyhood, I’ve followed the case of Rideau who killed a bank teller and shot two others in 1961.  Julia Ferguson, Rideau’s victim was a sister of Lloyd Bushnell of Dry Creek.
In the Shadow of Statues by Mitch Landrieu .   Another controversial book, this one by the mayor of New Orleans. It is more of a memoir of how Landrieu grew up and developed his views on race and more.   Another must read for Louisiana readers.
Ahead of the Curve by Brian Kenney.     A contrarian’s view on the game of baseball and how it should be played.
Ain’t There No More       A coffee-table sized book about Louisiana’s disappearing coastline.
Going back to my Lazy Man’s Load theme, Essentialism by Greg McKewon, has the theme of “Less is Better.” A book I return to again and again.

About Curt Iles

I write to have influence and impact through well-told stories of my Louisiana and African sojourn.

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