Tuesday, July 3, 2018

New Friends and Old Trucks

I had the most lovely weekend with guests traveling between Canada and Maine this weekend. Their names were Sarah and Danielle, Both of them writers I met online through mutual friends. One hails from Portland Oregon, the other NYC, and for two amazing days of heatwave they were co-farmers and river rats with me. They got up early and helped with chores. They shared meals from my farm and my friends' farms. They suited up for the Battenkill and posed like mermaids on rocks when the 96-degree heat made us worthless to the world as creative people. There was roast lamb, Creamery ice cream, and most precious to me: long talks on the hill overlooking the farm at dusk.

A large part of our weekend was spent at Patty and Mark's farm, Livingston Brook. Patty took us for an early morning carriage ride with her team of Percherons. We had lamb for dinner there Saturday night. Danielle and Sarah got to play with the Old English Sheepdog puppies Patty bred and spend time around summer day with barn swallows, horse tails, puppy breath and roast beast!

I needed the long weekend without the strain of deadlines and design files. I was so glad to just farm, talk, swim, and absorb the heat. And to see this place not through my daily eyes jaded by to-do lists, past mistakes, and apologies for a house with plywood floor - but as lovely piece of earth I care for. They didn't notice dust or cobwebs, they noticed Bette Midler the lamb toddling up to them. They noticed Benjen coming inside for a morning scratch with our coffee in the living room.  They noticed the distance of the river and neighbors and the fact that good beer is imported from the west coast. They showed me this place through fresh eyes. I am grateful for that. You can see so many pictures and tweets about our visit on my Twitter and Instagram.

If you don't see me writing here often, which has been the case this summer, it is because of being so absorbed by the work of holding onto the place and keeping it going, and the worry that constantly posting about struggles like today is getting tiresome to readers. My truck is in the shop right now to get power steering pump replaced, a surprise during a simple muffler repair today. I thought I was leaving with a reasonable bill and my truck but the freak failure means more money out the door while being bound here for the holiday. No parades or fireworks or anything fancy, but that's fine. I didn't really have plans besides being with friends at the lake. I am happy to start a campfire and roast something defrosted from the freezer with some sparklers.

The upside to these recent truck repairs: they're still so much cheaper than buying a new vehicle and paying a car payment and high insurance. I don't regret having this old Ford at all. I adore her. And if I ever need to make a longer trip I would just rent a car. But for town and country living like I do that work horse has been fantastic. And the title is in my desk drawer. It feels good to keep her going, and she's almost at 500k miles!

New friends and old trucks, what a thing. We all keep going best we can.