I know, I know…the date is wrong.
I got waylaid, side-tracked and distracted.
You know. Pretty much the story of my life.
After I missed the deadline for a “Sunday Walk-about” last week, I
fully intended to post this to mark our twenty-third anniversary of living here
on the hill. Our “farm-iversary” I guess you’d call it. (that was Tuesday the 14th) I get a little
nostalgic this time of year when I look around and see all the changes that
have taken place since that final inspection was completed, the final check signed so we could spend the first night in our new home on the hill and continue the
adventure of a lifetime. (a short-ish version of the story is here) https://homesteadhillfarm.blogspot.com/2017/07/to-be-continued.html
Even a cursory glance from the top of the drive reveals the
transformation. However, the more significant changes are often subtle and
overlooked. The struggle to grow and thrive doesn’t leave a mark upon the
landscape like other things might, say building and gardening. But, over
the years, we re-built our lives, developed a business, watched our children
grow up and fly the nest, we welcomed sons-in-law and later grandsons, faced
life and death situations, frightening diagnoses, major surgeries…all the while
raising food and animals and selling at the Market. It has been a busy and
productive life and we hope to keep it going for a while longer albeit at a
|ewes on a summer day|
I was very nearly finished with that post when I realized
the beans needed canning, the cucumbers needed pickling…and oh, dear god…I
forgot to water in the hoophouse! There would surely be another dozen or so
things calling for my attention as I hurried out to grab the hose in order to
avert certain disaster.
|the potato beetles are UNBELIEVABLE this year!|
|they are eating the plants before they come out of the ground!|
|they are even eating the tomato plants!|
(did you know potatoes and tomatoes are related?
They are both in the nightshade family)
It’s definitely “Life in the fast lane” in the summertime
|a trip to process lambs takes us up the interstate|
|...but, it always looks the same...|
|Karma working hard|
(could you BE any more in the way?)
|WE DID IT!|
always glad to get to the bottom of the haywagon
But, I’m pretty sure Don Henley and Glenn Frey of the Eagles
didn’t have farming or gardening in mind when they wrote about “everything…all the time”.
(and, yes, I know I used this theme at least once before…https://homesteadhillfarm.blogspot.com/2012/06/life-in-fast-lane.html
|beets ready for harvest|
|pickles and relish|
|pretty Walla Walla onions|
|green beans ready for canning|
|looks like it's gonna be a hot one|
The strawberries in the hoophouse were finally ripening and I could almost taste a batch of jam.
|the first berry|
Then...they started disappearing. I thought it was my imagination. I thought it was the Boss (a snack is not unheard of). Could it be birds? the cat? a groundhog? My questioning and obsessing about strawberries had me convinced that I had finally turned into some weird version of Captain Queeg. (surely you've seen the Caine Mutiny
|this is all that was left|
We tried bird netting, mousetraps...I finally caught a teeny, tiny mouse in a rat trap.
But, we got jam!
|strawberry freezer ham|
Seriously, I can assure you that all the weird happenings can
“surely make you lose your mind” fairly
frequently. (and I'll stop with the Eagles' lyrics now)
…but, that’s exactly where I was going originally...mental health and stress…so, other
than taking the scenic route…here we are.
We’re always talking about being so busy and stressed and
losing our minds like that is a good thing. But, stress can do a number on our
bodies and our minds. Not a good number, either. Personal experience speaking here, y'all.
Any health professional will tell you that getting out in
nature is beneficial to your well-being, both physical and mental. Personally,
I think that the sheer amount of time spent outdoors that this life demands is
perhaps the main reason I can make any claims to being “well-adjusted”.
(although I use the term lightly) Life on the hill has been a challenge. It has
also brought moments of infinite beauty and extraordinary achievement. But,
throughout it all, we are surrounded by nature, that if nothing else gives us
something to focus on besides those things that are testing our wills and
trying our patience.
And, there certainly seems to be a lot of trying and testing
lately. Worrisome times indeed. It is easy to get caught up in the distressing news and even easier to give into despair.
Which, I suppose makes the whole getting out in nature deal
a whole lot more important right now.
I can’t offer any solutions to any of the concerns of this
world. I have no great ideas how to make anything better for anyone. Some days it's all I can do to keep going myself.
This week the world lost someone who devoted his life to making the world a better, more equitable place, often at great cost to himself. While it does not speak of getting out in nature, it does address the need to persevere. So, I will leave you with his words that have been shared countless times across the internet as a tribute. Something to think about as we face a new week...
not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is
not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a
lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble,
-Rep. John Lewis 1940-2020
Thanks for reading…come back and “visit” again soon!
|the promise and possibilities of a new day|