Thursday, March 12, 2020

Cold Antler and Covid

I wasn't nervous about this pandemic until last night. In fact I've been happily avoiding the fervor and believing people were overreacting here in the US. But last night on Twitter, reading though the NBA cancelling their season and about the travel bans to Europe, things felt real and the weight fell hard.

As someone who has basically lived in a self-imposed quarantine for the past 10 years; it isn't the illness that has me worried - it's the people worrying about it.

People in a panic about money will effect this farm. People that are scared about work, child care, or their stocks don't go out of their way to buy goat milk soap in bulk or drawings of pets. They aren't thinking about summer pork or a fun trip upstate to learn archery. Everyone is closing in on their own lives and it's been really effecting small businesses. Yesterday was my first sale in five days. Without a constant hustle towards my bank account this farm doesn't stand a chance so I am doing what I always do - trying like hell.

Try like hell and prepare. I went out and bought 350+ pounds of feed this morning. I also bought two large bags of dog and cat food. I emailed a supplier about delivering more hay. This wasn't because I was worried we'd all be sick and stuck in our homes. It was because I don't know when or how I'll be able to access feed close to the farm if people dive into scarcity thinking and farmers start hoarding feed like I just did.

I don't know if I'm overreacting or not, but I do feel better knowing it is here.

I do know I have food, water, and a roof over my head. I do know I *generally* feel healthy. It's easy to read about diseases and symptoms in a small house all morning and convince yourself (or allow my anxiety to convince myself) that maybe my chest does hurt? Maybe I could cough? I ended up going on a walk outside in the sunshine just to clear my head and get away from this onslaught of bad news. I felt a lot better.

I do have the advantage of working from home. I am lucky I have a set of design and illustration skills I can offer. All I can do to fight my own fear is keep my head down and work. Yesterday I started raking and cleaning out garden beds. Today I will plant kale and onion seedlings. I am making soap after I publish this and I already mailed out art and soap orders this morning at the post office. My work is going on as it has, but that doesn't mean it will keep coming in. Not if I don't stay hyper focused on getting the word out about my business and this farm.

I sold five bars of soap this morning. So that's something. That will cover a third of my phone/internet bill. Maybe one of you will get a pet sketch or logo. that could kick in towards that or even cover some of the new truck repairs done on the brake-lines (I've paid off $263 of that $500 bill so far!). Maybe one of you will plan a fall trip here to learn to play the dulcimer or fiddle? That could save the week. Maybe you'll be temped to stay home and read and download a ebook I wrote. That all keep this small homestead in your thoughts. All of this helps! Whatever you are doing to support this place in these more-than-usually turbulent times, I appreciate it!

Now, back to work. I have soap to make and hopes to send into the sky.

Wash your hands and be kind.