I Love the Word Rustic

I love things in this world that are rustic! If you look up the word ‘rustic’ in the dictionary you might find something like “an unsophisticated, simple, or clownish person from the country”, or (adj) “lacking the refinement or elegance associated with urban life”. Hey! Sounds like a perfect description of the Ranger! Here is another definition (noun) “bushwhacker, hillbilly – a disparaging term for an unsophisticated person”. Remind any of our readers of someone we all know? Kidding, this description has no association with the Bushwhacker of the 2old guys walking blogs!
The rustic I am referring to is more like “constructed or made in a plain, homely or a simple fashion” and in architecture “with rough-hewn surface or with deeply sunk joints”.

Here is one more… “charmingly simple in a manner considered typical of country living”. These last two definitions are the ones I’m talking about…yes, a log cabin or a stone house or mill!

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At my age and with my limited income, I really doubt that I will ever own my dream home which would be five acres of bush with a year-round stream running through it. I know a couple of friends who are fortunate enough to live in just such a home. Some of these homes are a modern log which is cut in squared timber and notched to fit together to form an air tight seal without the need for any nails or chinking. Because cedar logs are such a great insulator, the need for insulation is not needed so that everything in the home is wood. Some may find this too much, and might do some dry-walling to break up the theme a bit. One such home was built high on a hill in Camborne by two high school teachers who had bought the land from my dad and assembled the home themselves. For several summers the teachers hired a young fourteen year old to keep an eye on the place while they vacationed on the East Coast. Yes, the Ranger truly felt like ‘The king of the Hill’ those summer days!

I guess I will have to start buying Loto tickets to ever achieve this dream! Fortunately rustic can also be seen in an old run down and deserted house. Whenever I drive by one of these derelict places, I always imagine the memories of long ago times. Marriages, parties, births, deaths and family reunions all cross my mind likely because of being from such a large family.

Most rustic old barns are now falling down or are being demolished mostly for liability and insurance reasons and because they are no longer needed to store hay, straw and grains. The massive bales of hay and straw can now be stored outdoors anywhere and huge silos are used for grain and corn. Soybean crops can go from the field to truck to overseas markets!

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Here too, I have vivid memories of an old barn (now gone). Hand milking several cows morning and evening, shoveling manure and working in the fields.

A lot of hiking trails also contain many rustic scenes. Old stone foundations, bridges and cedar, snake rail and root fences always get my attention. North of Garden Hill and because of the sandy soil located here in the Ganaraska Forest area there are numerous old foundations (and tobacco kilns that once stood on them). Old schools, churches and graveyards are all rustic to me and are so full of local history. Next time you are out for a stroll in the woods, keep your eyes open for some of these wonders that most people seem to ignore.
Regards, Ranger.

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