Monday, August 20, 2018

The Goats Are Gone

Yesterday all the goats were picked up by fellow New York homesteaders Jo and Sam. They have a farm south of Albany and are active in the draft horse community. They were lovely people and took all four goats (three generations of Alpine ladies and Benjen) back to their farm. I helped them load up the goats in the back of their pickup in a safe enclosure and handed the doeling to Jo, which she named Millie. I'm so glad all the goats are staying together and found such a fine homestead to belong to, but good gods does it hurt.

Selling the flock of breeding sheep was a hard step, but since the lambs were still on the farm, still grazing on the hillside, the pain slid off and went back into the work of keeping the farm going. But the goats no longer in their paddock by the barn makes this place seem so quiet and still in comparison. The energy and life of goats is firecracker intense. Their absence is noted like an action comedy switching to a blank screen in a theatre.

So this morning Friday and I headed into the woods for a 4 mile hike in close by Vermont. I got a magazine gig writing some product reviews of outdoors gear and all of it has to be tested on the trail. I worked on illustrations the night before so I at least had covered my AM desk work, hoping that a guilt-free hike would balm my sadness over the goats.

And it did help. Getting outside and getting my body moving always helps. We hiked up to the Lye Brook Falls which were amazing! 125ft cascade hidden in this magical place. The trail was insanely packed for a Monday morning but I couldn't blame the other day hikers. The view was stunning.

I do not regret the choices I've made to scale back. The bank just sent someone here to see if the house is occupied and that fear of getting out another house payment soon as possible growled inside me, solidifying the actions of yesterday. I needed to make these changes and go into winter with less expenses and responsibilities. And as every day creeps closer to September I am reminded both of the import of the decisions I made and the fear I won't catch up. I still need to pay for firewood and get it stacked, which was supposed to happen sometime this week but can't just yet. First thing is keeping the bank a safe distance from the threshold.

I have ten days or so left in the month to get some firewood stacked and mail off a mortgage payment. Here's to figuring it out, fast delivery of freelance checks, new sales, and the luck to manage it all. Hoping for an abundant fall without the scramble against snowfly. Here I go.