What is too much? What is enough? Tiny houses, green burial, simple living, and seize the day.

 

Grave digging DIY

Grave digging DIY: Yes, you can. Recently a family nearby bought a coffin from us and buried on their own land. Here’s how they prepared the gravesite. For readers just joining in, we are Piedmont Pine Coffins in North Carolina, USA. We spread the news about natural burial, and we make pine box coffins with only […]

In Belize, the empty tomb

There’s an empty tomb in Belize. Many, in fact. More on that below. In traveling, death conversation opens people up. During a stay in San Ignacio, I’m talking to people about funerals and cemeteries. For new readers, we are Piedmont Pine Coffins. We enthuse about natural burial and, in NC, USA, we make pine coffins. […]

Spilt milk: a monastic lesson for activists

It was during the time I left teaching to make coffins that our Dexter cow had her first calf and began to give milk. For readers just joining, we are Piedmont Pine Coffins. We make our boxes with hand tools and take our inspiration from farmsteads and monasteries through the ages: self-sufficiency, hospitality, and a […]

We get to carry each other

A recent download of FREE coffin plans to one Ann-Marie in NC got me going on “get to.” Read on, I’ll ‘splain. For the many of you just joining (thanks!), we are Piedmont Pine Coffins, and we spread the gospel of green burial. Also, we like the kind of thing that Ann-Marie and her family just did. She bought […]

What’s the use of profit?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again here, then maybe pipe down. I want to die (and live?) poor. But Piedmont Pine Coffins is a business, and the purpose of a business is to generate profit. What are the uses? B-corps, donations, foundations, community action, and the rest. I’ll let you read up on […]

Mid life crisis and the skulls of Mt. Athos

Mid life crisis wants metanoia. Metanoia is Greek for a “change of heart” — a transformation and conversion — and it’s a monastic specialty. For those just joining in, we are Piedmont Pine Coffins. We advocate natural burial and make pine boxes for it. We take some of our inspiration from the examples of monks and […]

We are Vergil’s busy bees

We are Vergil’s busy bees. In my county I’m on the grand jury this year. Today I sit in deliberations. We are a group of 18 random citizens fulfilling a function of our society’s compact. We are all doing the best job we can within the allowances of our personal power. Even, I suppose, the alleged criminals for whose adjudication […]

I want to die poor

I want to die poor. Funny thing for an entrepreneur to say, but saying it I am. Here’s why. For those not in the know, we are Piedmont Pine Coffins and we help families with natural burials. We make simple pine box coffins, urns, and pet caskets. Since we opened in August 2013, our revenues […]

A murder of crows

A murder of crows in both senses — that’s the tale of this post. But my hand was stayed, and to good effect. Read on. A flock of sheep, a brace of coneys, a murder of crows. Well, there’s been a murder of crows in our garden the last couple of years. It’s usually about […]

Your big day, your birthday

Go big on birthdays, sez Your Coffin. Yes, if your coffin could talk, it’d tell you to do it up right for yourself when your big day comes around this year. Things in this life have an obverse and reverse, a light and a shadow. Mountains have valleys and birdsong, silence. A birthday, your coffin […]

Spider time & death-positive conferences

These are the days of the large orb weavers at Melleray Farmstead, cottage industrial home to Piedmont Pine Coffins. At dusk their webs are everywhere stretched across paths and under eaves and in corners. You root for them, except when you find them with your face in the morning. The orb weavers at the tail […]

Practice your dying breath

Practice your dying breath every day, is my advice. That way you’ll have one ready — in your back pocket or up your sleeve — in case your actual last breath goes off-script and isn’t the one you always wanted. More on that below. I’m Don with Piedmont Pine Coffins. As part of my work, […]

Monastic hospitality and green burial

Monastic hospitality links firmly with green burial – both things we’re fans of here at Melleray Farmstead, the cottage industrial home to Piedmont Pine Coffins. What’s the link? Well, we are all guests, we are all just passing. You might say that we are guests passing through this magnificent Earth. Both stewardship (in our context, […]

Ringo’s Kingdom

We lost a good one last Sunday at Melleray Farmstead, the cottage industrial home of Piedmont Pine Coffins. Ringo — our great Great Pyrenees — got a foot caught in the fence as in a trapper’s snare. A crappy way for a noble one to go out, and not the good death I’d always imagined for her. […]

The Eagles!

Just in time for July 4th, here’s a post about Eagles. Not the Hotel California Eagles, but Gandalf’s Eagles and our eagles at Piedmont Pine Coffins. If you’ve ever read J.R.R. Tolkien or seen the movies based on his Hobbit and Lord of the Rings books, you know that giant eagles are his deus ex machina. Sort of. Or at least, […]