At Home In Dogwood Mudhole, Volume One: Nothing That Eats
By Franklin Sanders
Although there is a long standing link at JWR's Investing page to his Moneychanger web site, not every SurvivalBlog reader may know of Franklin Sanders. His stories will either have an air of familiarity or yearning to follow in his footsteps. Christian, father of seven, farmer, historian, husband, outlaw, and reenactor are all facets to this interesting man.
This is first of three planned books. It solidly weighs in with a hefty 379 pages. There’s something nice about picking up a paperback that is well made. There are also a Kindle, ePub, and pdf versions available for those who like the weightless version.
Franklin Sanders wrote the Moneychanger Newsletter every month. In it, he included a section about his personal life. In putting this book together he made a conscience decision to print what he wrote at the time. This is a unique perspective in that most writers would use their notes as a basis and then write history, often years or decades later, as viewed from today. Ask a six year old to what happened to him that day and it might include a story about monsters in the closet. That same writer at twenty-six would likely not tell the tale for fear of looking silly. As you read the book you will get a sense of truthfulness you would not normally expect from someone writing about himself.
Franklin’s Christian beliefs run deep. One could say that he is exuberant in his faith and it shows in his writings. To some, the interspersed Biblical references and quotes may be off-putting, but it is key part of who Franklin is. In no way do these times come off as condescending or preaching which makes for a pleasant read.
Another thing that makes this book a pleasant read is the way it is laid out. The sections are headed by the month and year it was published. The length may be a page or a few pages long. Franklin’s writing style is straightforward and easy to read. This combined with monthly sections will have the reader flying along through the adventures.
One interesting thread through the book relates to the Y2K bug. For the younger readers, Y2K or year 2000 bug was a crisis in the late 1990s relating to computer programs in their ability to understand the difference between 2-digit year abbreviation (such as 00) versus 4-digit (such as 2000.) Possible catastrophes included all bank account information being lost to public utilities being turned off. There always tends to be a looming danger in the near future and it is interesting to see how the Sanders family dealt with this example.
Franklin is an interesting man and that reflects in his monthly sections. One month may have you reading about a sow and her piglets, touring America, or the Civil War, I mean, the War of Northern Aggression reenactment as he plays a Southerner. There is always something of interest to read about.
The move to country life or homesteading has become more poplar in the last decade as many people realize the substantial benefits of this lifestyle. The Sanders Family began this journey almost 15 years ago. Like many fish-out-of-water tales, this book has plenty of humorous episodes as they relearn what most of our great-grandparents would have thought as being common sense. Read what he does with 2,000 pounds of Y2K rice for a good chuckle.
W. C Fields, American actor and comedian (1880-1946), was once quoted as saying "Never work with children or animals."The folly of both is bound to drive any sane person crazy when you are trying to get things done on time. Both surround the Sanders. As I am sure Franklin has said to himself many times that God never gives us more than we can handle. Weather it is children that move back home,
horses that bolt off with heavy equipment, pigs refusing to be corralled, or disappearing chickens there were plenty of challenges facing this homesteader.