Monday, May 27, 2019

Small Adventures

photo by tara alan
Ever since the electric wire was set into the horse pasture, Merlin has stayed put. Almost a week without his rogue grazing in the lawn and that is a tiny victory! The lambs are still being bottle fed three times a day and the pigs are being very pigish. I have a lot of nettles and scrub to clear this week and a house to prepare for a friend/writer coming to visit later in June. So my day-to-day has a lot more weed whacking and dusting than usual - but all of that is for happy reasons - a farm coming back to life as summer grows stronger and friends are taking time to visit. It's a nice feeling, for sure.

I'm still trying to save up for a mortgage payment, which I am about a third of the way there. Four days to make it happen before the bank can pull the ripcord on a possible foreclosure. Every month until I can make a double payment, that is the race I am running.

Mark my words, some day these worries will be behind me. I will figure out how to be successful as a writer, an artist, a farmer and a person in general and I'll have it easier while still having what I fought for: this farm. That, or I'll try as long as I can. And I am a very stubborn woman, so I am hoping it's a while longer that the try still roars.

To end this post on a happier note: I got to do something every special last night. My good friend Tara and I have been hiking and slowly working towards the goal of going on small adventures together. Last night we got to do a trial run here on my mountain! A neighbor with a lot of land and trails permitted us to hike and camp on his land, which was only a half mile from my farm. So I was able to hike all afternoon, set up camp in a beautiful meadow, filter water from a stream, cook dinner, prepare a campfire - and then walk home to feed the lambs and check on the farm before returning to the mountain Hobbit Homes we had made. Training Wheels Backpacking, but I'll take what I can get.

We stayed up till nearly midnight by the fire making smores and catching up. We watched the stars and hoped for fireflies (Not yet, it has been such a chilly dark spring) but it all felt like a real adventure to me, all of it. In the past eight years this is the second time I didn't sleep in my own bed. I know it was only a camp site a half mile away but it is emotional and physical distance from the place I haven't been able to leave in years. With the downsizing of livestock, learning new fences, and making time to do things like this camp out I get to feel adventurous while still being a farmer at heart. And to wake up in bright meadow at dawn, heat up water for some coffee and oatmeal and watch the mountain wake up...

It was wonderful.

And I need this kind of activity to keep me from sucumbing to anxiety, to keep me on my toes. Backpacking is free - at least once you've gathered all your gear (most of mine was loaned or bought used or part of my gig doing outdoor gear reviews for magazines) but once you have that a vacation is just sweat, gas money to the trailhead, whatever snacks you pack AND I can bring the dogs. To some it may seem even more isolating that being on the farm alone - but to me it is a chance to explore a wide world that has been getting smaller, get back into my summer shape (15lbs to drop yet) and learn to love this region of the world I call home all over again, from a wilder eye.

So I'll farm and I'll hike and I'll hunt and I'll ride and hope that the work I am doing will end up in an easier life on my nerves and never on my heart. 


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