the evening before
A. The peeler was broken, and
B. Why didn't he go outside and unload the truck first?
I nodded. Soon after he was out amongst his workshop area and such, Brian and Christina arrived. Now I have never met these people before in my life, but I knew they read my blog and had offered to help. So when the two came to the front door, I think the first thing I asked them was "How do you feel about livestock?" and within five minutes of walking in the front door of their weekend vacation destination they were feeding 15 Swedish Flower Chicks new feed and water in the mud room. Poor guys, at least Brett knew what mess he was walking into.
After Brett Tara arrived, fresh from her afternoon in Cambridge and a sturdy nap. She was glowing, and seemed willing to help me peel apples by hand. All I had to offer these guests was hard cider by the pint bottle, a crock pot of chili, and some homemade bread. We worked and ate, polishing off four pies by the time Raven and Mikaela pulled up to the farm in their rental from the Albany train station. I was finally calming down in this fray. The pies were on their way, the guests fed and tolerant, and everyone seemed to excuse my rudeness as nerves (which it was). I'm not worried about public speaking or having a house full of strangers make themselves comfortable. I am however, terrified that they won't have a good time or not have enough to eat. There's a lot of pressure knowing you're one couples 17th wedding anniversary weekend and another couples pseudo honeymoon... Did they know how much chicken shit was in that yard? It just didn't whisper tender memories to me. But hell, maybe they knew something I didn't know?
All night the brave volunteers helped. At one point everyone was in the kitchen making apple pies and baking loaves in an assembly line Henry Ford would have winked at. Eventually all 9 pies were cooling on racks and shelves and we had consumed enough cider to render us useless as quality control. I called it a night. I thanked Tara, Christina, and Brian and told them I'd see them tomorrow.
By 11PM the only people in the house were Brett, Raven, Mikaela and I. They had the two bedrooms upstairs and I would camp downstairs with the woodstove and pack of three. I don't think I fell asleep until 1:30, and my alarm was set for 4:45. Everyone would be getting up early with me to tackle farm chores, cleaning, and workshop prep (as well as bake 4 quiches and run to town for donuts). I fell asleep eventually, between worries about enough vegetarian options and canning jars.
Tomorrow at 10AM the first guests would be arriving and first annual Antersiock would officially begin...