My living room looks like the cockpit of a plane. Lights flashing, beeping, little annoying lights where our home computer, business laptop, large laser jet printer from the shop, the cable television and all its lit up glory line the wall. Not at all in line with my wannabe Amish decorating style! We run our business out of our home, and my husband has the few things (like television and internet) that he won’t give up, so the simple farm life meets the new age farm life. I guess I’ll have to deal.
Every year we take the kids up to the mountains and stay at a dude ranch. It is a lot of fun and there is no cell phone signal, no internet, no television, no nothin’, but the sound of the roaring river rushing through and wildlife. Horses whinny in the pasture and cows low. It is the epitome of rest and renewal on vacation.
If we lived that way at the house, we could have a home phone, we could go to the library for internet, we could go to the sports bar and watch Bronco games…..But I digress, the internet (even if we go off grid) is here to stay.
I suppose even with all my fussing about it, I enjoy it. I am not on it all day, just in the morning when I get to sit down in my bathrobe with a cup of hot coffee and write this blog. I love it when people respond and I love the other writers on this site. I feel like I know Bill, Deb, Stephane, and so many others personally, and love living through their stories and visiting their farms via screen.
I can check Facebook and see what my friends and family are up to that I would really never see or hear from normally because all of our lives are so busy.
The internet does (I will have to begrudgingly admit) foster community, and I believe in community. A gal yesterday was perusing sites when mine was recommended to her. She “liked” us on Facebook and realized that she passes our farm every day on her way to work! She texted me and asked if she could come straight over. She was enthralled with our place and took pictures and posted them on Facebook so that more people could see us! Her pictures look like a storybook and I was so pleased that my vision for this place is coming true. These four pictures are the ones she took.
We created a farm in town so that people could be inspired to start their own elaborate gardens….and to invite people to stop, ask questions, visit, and foster more relationships within our immediate community. People drive by and smile, wave at us, stop and point to the pumpkins with childlike wonder. Gardens make people happy and that makes for a better community.
Our own personal community is made up of close knit friends. We love our biological families, but our time is spent with our adopted families, our dearest friends. We have family dinner every Friday with Emily’s boyfriend’s family, Maryjane’s other grandparents. Their family and our family trade off houses each week and make dinner, relax, enjoy Maryjane, and catch up on the week. We think this will be really good for Maryjane knowing she is so loved and has such a large family that get along.
Every Saturday, we have family dinner with our closest friends, who are not biologically or common law related at all! But our family, nonetheless. And with much commotion, laughter, karaoke singing, eating, drinking, crudeness, compassion, and love, we enjoy the evening with Pat, Rod, Rod Sr,, Kathy, and Mark. Maryjane never smiles more than when she is around all these folks. She laughs with everyone, gets completely spoiled, and I know will believe these are her grandparents, aunt, uncle, cousin, as well. And that’s okay.
Of course, we have Nancy and her family, Monte and Erik, and so many people that fill our lives with fun and…community.
As we go to this funeral with such a heavy broken heart today, may we all remember that community is what lifts people up, gets them through, cheers, enlightens, and makes life worth living. Brighten someone’s life today. We are all community.