The Raft

Paul Knudtson

For some reason today I thought of the raft that we made at home when I was maybe about 10 years old. We made it from wooden beams (they must have been at least 12” x 12” and the longest about 8 ft) that dad had used to set the cattle tank on before he replaced them with a cement pad. For the floor of the raft we used wooden slabs from the pile that were stacked on the south side of the granary just to the south of the barn door, just west of the barn and along the slab fence.


Raft 3
Raft 1

When we had finished making the raft dad moved it with the loader to the slough on the north-east corner of what is now the acreage at home. It did float with two of us on it, though barely. We couldn’t both stand on the same side of the raft, or it would sink below the water. We used wooden boxes to sit on it and had some wooden poles to use to push us through the water. It seemed like a lot of fun, though the slough was quite small. I don’t think the water was very deep. I’m not sure how we got on and off the raft without getting water in our rubber boots. Anyway, it was fun to go out on the water on our little raft. We probably didn’t do it many times, but it was one of those many activities on the farm that as I remember it now, make me happy that I grew up on a farm.

I feel like I need to keep reliving those old childhood memories so that my present 65 year old self does not become disconnected from that farm boy who was also me—even though that life was so different than the one I live now. It has been a very long time since I have been on a raft!


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Paul was a preacher and teacher until he retired in 2015. He continues to write and listen to what God is saying to him in the ordinary and extraordinary things of life. Elaine was a public school teacher and administrator until she retired in 2018. She is using her retirement to reflect on God's work in her life and to share insights with her family and friends.

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