House Story, Chapter 9

LoganBlogPicLogan photographed by D. Plasman

I’m almost positive that five years ago God decided to take on flesh again, this time in the body of a kid named Logan. While I’ve been working to save a house from the grave, Logan’s father, a professional house painter, has been giving attention to a two-story structure next door. His son Logan hangs around.

When I told Logan my name, he said: “Man, your name’s a swear word!” Logan’s dad set his boy straight. “His name’s not Damn, it’s Dan. D-A-N.”

A while later, while I was repairing 120-year-old wood siding, Logan announced to me: “You an old man!” Willing to take the bait, I said, “I know I’m old, but how do you know that?” Quite matter-of-factly, he pointed at me. “You got a spot on your head.” I leaned down so we were eye to eye. “Show me.” With his finger he touched the top of my skull. “You ain’t got no hair up there. You old.” See, this kid knows everything, just like God.

The thought crossed my mind, “Hey, Logan, you wanna play with my power tools?” But instead I said, “Hey Logan, why don’t you put on these gloves and here’s an extra hammer and a scraper and a tape measure.” For the next couple hours, he measured everything he saw and scraped every board he could reach.

When it was time to leave with his dad, I said: “Keep the tape measure, it’s brand new and you’re the only one who’s ever used it.” His eyes got as big as dinner plates. “Thanks, Dan!” It crossed my mind: Not bad for an old man.

Logan’s dad is as attentive as they come. The bond between the two is obvious. Logan’s mom is in jail, doing time for drugs and child neglect (Logan told me that, and his dad confirmed it). Logan loves his dad and misses his mom. I hope in his young life, he’ll get the best of both of them.

I recall a poster I came across a few summers back when spending a week at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. It read: “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” I’m pretty sure this kid has a lot to teach me about the earth and life. I just hope my hearing doesn’t fail me.

[For previous installments of A House Story go to and pull down the CATEGORIES menu and select A House Story]

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  1. Diana Farmer July 17, 2014 at 10:15 am #

    <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  2. Peggy July 17, 2014 at 11:50 am #

    Once again I have tears rolling down my cheeks. Dan, you never fail to profoundly move me.

  3. Dennis Keefed July 17, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

    Nice touch, Dan. Your special balance of heavy thoughts and a light touch. Keep it coming. Can’t wait for the next installment.

  4. Nancy July 17, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

    This made me laugh! Good luck with the house!
    Nancy – First Church Rochester

  5. Jean Koorndyk July 17, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

    Dan,you have a wonderful way with words.Always enjoy your posts and following your
    Huge undertaking restoring the old house, and you make it so interesting.Love this weeks,
    especially your interaction with sweet Logan. Thanks for sharing that beautiful story.You have definitely made a new friend!

  6. Dr. Don July 18, 2014 at 7:54 am #

    What a beautiful story! Not to put too strong a point on it, but researchers have found that spatial reasoning skills at age 7 are a strong predictor of future success in science, technology, engineering and math. Just think what you may be fostering with the gift of that tape measure?

  7. Christine July 21, 2014 at 9:56 am #