Taking Back Life

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Taking back a life and a farm is no easy task. It starts early, lasts till dark and cleanses the body with sweat. My “take back” plan started in the quiet pre-dawn hours of the morning. Over a cup of free trade tea I sat at my kitchen table staring out the window and thinking as all that needed to be done rumbled through my head. But none of that would get the job done, so I picked up my pen and started writing, making a list really of all the chores, repairs, tasks, errands that needed to be accomplished to get us back on track.

When I had filled an entire page I stopped, a little overwhelmed by the shear volume. But when I realized the jobs were falling into categories like barn, garden, yard, garage, house I felt a little better. I could group the jobs by area and work on one area at a time with inside jobs being done in the middle of the day when it was too hot outside to work very long in the garden or yard.

By mid-morning I had fed and collected eggs, planted and watered in 45 4” pots of pumpkins, squash, and tomatoes, watered 2 flats of sunflower seedlings, picked lettuce, radishes and spinach, fixed the water line to the fruit trees, repaired a few sprinklers, washed and refilled water fonts, water buckets and water bottles, scrubbed out and stored the water fonts used for the meat ducks, swept the front of the barn of cobwebs and dirt, cleaned the kitchen and thrown in two loads of laundry. I didn’t work at a frantic pace, I’ve had enough of that lately, but I worked steadily, moving seamlessly from one task to another like a dance of persistence and determination. As each chore was marked off the list I could feel the chaos and stress fade in my body and my mind.

A short break and a much needed glass of Mason Jar tea gave me time to regroup, figure out my next step and, of course, add to the list. The sun was reaching high in a crystal blue sky and it was getting warmer, no sign of the storm reported on last night’s news. Some of our chores would need supplies which meant a trip into town. We were also low on chicken and sheep feed and I had a few errands to run too, so I decided this would be our afternoon break with lunch thrown in as a treat.

I love living in a small town. I never have to go very far for the things I need. Some people think it’s boring, no energy and nothing to do, but there’s a different kind of energy in a small town. It’s steady and constant. I like it.

When I had unloaded 300 pounds of livestock feed and put away the proceeds of my errands I set about repairing a water hose blown out during the duck butchering. Nothing goes to waste on a small farm, if it can be repaired.

The worked continued…mow the lawn, clean the rabbit hutch, refill nesting boxes with bedding, bolt together another raised bed and fill it with cleanings from the barn and coop along with a healthy dose of garden soil and compost, a new home for salad greens and root vegetables. As later afternoon came we began to wind down. A late afternoon snack and drink, and a call from my sister inviting me to the movies brought our day’s work to an abrupt end. So much had been done and life was beginning to look normal again. After a quick shower and a change of clothes I’m off to see “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”. I think I deserve it.

Besides, as Scarlett O’Hara famously said, “tomorrow is another day”.

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