The Discombobulated Farmer

SAM_0483

I can’t seem to wake up at dawn anymore.  I hear a rooster crowing from down the street.  I hear my goat, Isabelle, yelling for food at her new home two blocks away.  I try to push the pit out of my stomach.  The heaviness will not lift.  I turn over and fall into listless sleep.  I find myself falling asleep in the car, crying suddenly, and feeling hopeless.  I guess I am experiencing a bit of depression.  Without a to-do list I feel bored and useless.  For the first time in my life I do not have a job that helps people.  I do not have a job at all.  I wonder if I fell off the face of the earth would anyone notice.  I am not feeling suicidal, just struggling with who I am without a purpose, a to-do list, a goal, a dream, a busy life.

We used to dream of these days.  We would read and write and walk and be on a kind of vacation.  However I am struggling with my own identity and fate and rewriting the chapters has proven more difficult than I imagined.  To be fair, it hasn’t been that long.  Perhaps I will fall into a gentle wave of security.  The characters in the novel I am working on introduce themselves and create themselves in times of silence.

We need to finish up at the house that destroyed me.  Giving all of my possessions away has been an interesting venture.  Folks that were in the very same situations as ours gather replacements for things they lost to give homesteading another go.  Our goal with the farm and homesteading school was to encourage folks to be more self reliant and to try homesteading.  And in a twist of fate our final chapter was to give people what they needed to set up shop.

For years Doug and I have given things away.  Given gifts.  Given medicines.  Helped people out.  Helped wherever we were needed but now that the tables are turned, so to speak, I find that it was easier to give then to receive.   To receive a blessing is to be humbled and thankful.

Our friends have opened their home to us and our cats.  As cat people they know that giving away our felines would be the final knife to me.  To lose my cats is unthinkable.  I struggle with feeling awkward in their home, with being in the way, with being a nuisance.  Rodney and Pat took us on a trip.  Monte and Erik took us out to dinner.  Kat and Rod bought us lunch and helped us move.  Sara helped us move the cats.  Kim and her family came and cleaned out the dreaded refrigerator at the near empty house.  Thank you.  It is not easy to be in need.

At a particular low point we pulled into the library and to my surprise my girls happened to be there.  Those three smiles can brighten my day.  Friends out of nowhere showed up and invited us to an event.  We have been visiting.  Grandma broke her knee and is recovering well in a rehab.  Thompson had a heart attack and two strokes.  He, too, will be alright and it was nice to visit him.  We saw our son, Andy, and his girlfriend yesterday.  Our schedule is free to reconnect and visit with folks.  I must open my eyes and see the blessings before me.  To humbly accept.  To be grateful.  To embrace this new path into the unknown.  To free myself of this heaviness and enjoy the greatest blessing, LIFE.

Finding Hope in a Winter Wonderland

IMG_0483

IMG_0481

The morning rang promise.  The air outside twenty degrees and the inside of the house had warmed to forty eight.  But the sun shone so brightly, so gloriously this morn and I found that the prairie’s cold edges had been softened by an overnight snowfall that left the spance of barrenness now dancing with tiny diamonds, facets of crystals, sunlight, and festivity.  I let out an exhale.

IMG_0480

Have you ever had those evenings when you blow out the oil lamp beside the bed, huddle under the covers, and pray to wake up in Hawaii?  When discouragement and nit picking sadness won’t leave you but rather leaves you weary and desperate?  Such a night it was.  The feeling of insurmountable and never ending happenings start to take on its own unreasonable aura.  For all the dreaming and praying and begging and planning and succeeding at finding our dream homestead, if you had told me that the house in an arctic blast would never get over fifty degrees, I would have said, “Oh, hell no.”  I don’t stand outside when it’s in the forties, I am going to stay inside in it too?  Yes sir.  I have let go of all the souls that passed on this year but the sadness remains.  I understand that it is tough times for folks but I went to bed wondering if I am being foolish with what I do.  Healers don’t exactly bring in the big bucks, and sometimes they don’t bring in the little bucks either!  We are here to help people who choose not to go to the doctor or hospital and there is absolutely nothing we cannot help with.  But we have received more inquiries on social media about our old house and whether it’s for rent than for remedies.  Our friends visit doctors who give them medicines that make them sick.  Should I go get a real job and give up?  Do people really need me?  Should we move back to the city to somewhere that has heat?  Should we….and then blissful rest overtook me until the dog heard something at one in the morning.

IMG_0482

But then I awoke to this scene.  The house feels warmer somehow.  An older gentleman that has been battling severe nerve damage for many years in his foot is coming by for more medicine because it’s working for him.  We are getting ready for a craft show tomorrow where we will see friends, perhaps help some folks with our remedies, and get excited for Christmas.  We will get by and I should be thankful that we have a home, food, and some heat.  This lifestyle may not be for everyone but it is certainly for me and Doug and I am thankful for those new beginnings, new mornings, and snow covered fields that remind us of all we have.  Homemade gifts are in the works, hot coffee in the thermos, and life on this homestead goes on and is certainly sweet…if not a bit chilly.