Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pulled From the Ribs

Last night some good friends came over to enjoy a meal, a board game, and the fireside this humble farm has to offer. After the simple meal (loaf of homemade bread just pulled from the oven, a roast chicken over potatoes, and a 4-pound slab of roasting beef we cut into steaks for grilling - washed down with some cider) we all sat around the fire in the living room, hot mugs of coffee in our warming hands. It was so cold outside and the winds pulled at the flames inside the stove, but we were full and warm. Josh Ritter was singing Girl in the War in the background, Quark the rooster was already asleep under the bench right beside us, and Gibson was sprawled on the floor with Keenan, the 13-year-old son of my friend Chris, who was worshipping his coffee with gusto and sharing it with his girl, Miriam. This moment was perfect.

Chris closed his eyes and leaned back against the bench he was sharing with the rooster Quark, who cooed a bit but didn't fuss. Miriam was closest to the fire, a fitting nest for a Brazilian dealing with -10 degree temperatures in our northern wilderness. And I was on the floor as well, happy and content and full in many ways. I sat across from this family, sipping my own special kind of rich dessert coffee. (Heavy cream whipped up with a whisk along with sugar and vanilla extract, then the hot strong coffee poured right into that blessed fluff). At one point Chris said, apropos of nothing, that he felt my home was special. That when they come here all stress and worry fades away. I took a sip of my coffee and thanked him, and I wish that thanks could have expressed how wealthy that sentence made me feel. There is no greater compliment to a homesteader than being told her home, and therefore her entire self, is special. I wanted to hug him.

Homesteading calls us in so many ways, and leads us down so many different roads. Some of us are drawn to healthier food sources or a better sense of self reliance. Some of us are called to a live with animals, and nature, and felling trees and building barns. Others just feel that deep call to home - and can't place what exactly makes it correct. We just feel it so deep inside it coats our ribs and pulls our bodies forward towards the wanting. And some of us are here for all those reasons. Some of us have ribs so sore from being pulled for so long, that we consider the ache blessed. It took me years to find my home and it takes ten times the effort of finding to keep it mine. It's a fight that requires the occasional benediction like the one Chris granted me last night. I'm grateful for this place, for certain, but words that like are magic and are needed like rain.

Luceo Non Uro. Spring will find us soon, and not find us wanting.


Blogger Michelle said...

How nice is that? I am glad he said that to you. We should all give real, true, meaningful compliments to one another. They mean so very much.

February 17, 2015 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Christina S said...

I absolutely love It when people come over to my house, and are excited to see the animals, and sit inside our 1000 square foot cabin (with loft) in the woods (without an oven :). I love making meals in the Dutch oven, outside in a hole with coals, or on top of the wood stove....I love it when people are interested in and excited about the same thing. I love, and long for that life full time ( not having to go to work for 10 hours a day, and then come home to only live the life in the evenings, and Weekends (I will be there someday :) ) ! So, I know where you are coming from...I am sure you have worked a lot harder and thus are maybe a little prouder, but I completely understand the feeling!!

February 17, 2015 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger Knit Picky Knitter said...

Jenna - Last night I had a dream that I visited Cold Antler Farm and had an amazing fried chicken dinner with you and two other people (one of which had a big beard?!) The other people were not impressed with me because I was from Chicago and they thought I talked too much. I was sooooo excited to be there though and hang out with you.

February 17, 2015 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger Sam I Am...... said...

What you have most of us are searching for so thank you for sharing it with us! I have learned though that we can carry it with us wherever we go....maybe that's the real secret. Thank you for sharing yours with us.

February 17, 2015 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger Susan said...


March 6, 2015 at 5:38 PM  

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