of kits and goslings
To be in her beautiful farmhouse drinking coffee near her woodstove while her new Lab chewed on a rope toy on the floor-felt wonderful. As we sipped our coffee and went through some fiber books I brought over, I couldn't help but look around her 160+ year old home. Mel was living my dream. A loving family, her own farm, a good dog, and a barn and truck outside the door. I used to look up to famous graphic designers and Iditarod mushers as my role models. Now I look up to people like Mel. Everyday people who made their lives what they wanted. People who raise children, go to work, and come home to make sure the pipes don't freeze. Fame or fortune doesn't prove self worth to me like it once did. There is nothing more extraordinary than what happens every day when people choose to be kind. Amen.
When the truck was loaded, and hugs given: I drove home to Sandgate. The back bed was loaded with bedding straw and feed bags from an errand on my lunchbreak. A six-pack of hard cider was chilling between the bales. Up front in the warm cab I was singing with a backup of mandolins and banjos on the radio while three young geese honked in a box. I was wrapped in wool, from my socks to my scarf. In the Vermont dark, my Ford's headlights beamed across the birches and faded red barns. My eyes scanned for deer and suicidal cats. My head was warmed by the Jacob hat. I had just spent an hour with the animals of my farm being selflessly watched by a friend. Soon I would reintroduce children to their parents—to the place they were born where I held them as babes in one hand.
The concoction of emotion was thick. The drama of wanting this farmhouse and the nearness of it all makes my heart race. But the peace of this life as is, and how far I'd come to feel this way, was so comforting. The fact I was already a farmer—yet so scared and uncertain—made me break down and cry as I winded up the notch to West Sandgate. I want to know how this story ends so I can begin another. Sometimes it's too much.
It is hard to cry very long when your passenger seat has french geese children in it. Their honks made me smile.
I wish I had more to update you on, but right now it's a waiting game. Waiting for the score to rise, waiting to weigh all the financing options, waiting to show the farm to my parents when they come to visit next weekend. They're happy for me, but want to see the place for themselves. My dad has fatherly concerns about insulation and fuel consumption and my mom is convinced if I buy my own working farm I'll never meet a man. Both are valid concerns, but the house is sound and believe it or not—I've met more decent men since getting involved in agriculture than I ever did in the city. Between sheepdog trials, workshops, clubs, and trips to feed stores, you get to tip a lot of hats.
And last, thank you to everyone who helped out last post. Your many small efforts have saved this process. I am now prepared (at least on my end) to step inside this new farm. My own farm. There are still obstacles to overcome, such as getting approved for that loan, home inspections, and the logistics of transplanting all the animals—but as far as being sound in the bank - I am. I could not have done it without you, and I thank you with the echoes of a thousand future lamb's heartbeats.