Monday, August 18, 2014

Cheers and Tears

The week began with tears.  

Last Monday, we had to sit down with the Boy and really drive it home for him that we are going to be moving.  He doesn't want to leave:  he's going to miss the farm, the fields, his school, but mostly the chickens.  I assured him that Country Kitty agreed to keep the chickens, and I was certain we would be able to come out and see them.

His tears hurt both our hearts a little.  All three of us have grown accustomed to the farm, and all of us will miss it in some way.  The Husband will miss it more than I will, since this is his dream.  However, the farm has grown on me.  I'll admit there are things I've come to like about living in the country.  But, we have to find a place to live until the right opportunity presents itself.  So, we are looking at places both in town and in the country, if the commute for the Husband won't be any worse.

In the meantime, we are all determined to enjoy life here to the fullest.  The Boy and the Husband cleared out the upper field on Saturday.  The Boy has been spending even more time outside, playing frisbee and unfortunately chasing the chickens:  he loves the sounds they make.  I've just suggested to him that maybe he ought to record them, so he'll have the sound forever.  Big smiles.

white peaches
The peaches in the barnyard have come in finally.  White peaches, sweet as can be.  I don't know if I am going to have enough to attempt canning any.  Sad, that.  But the pears are also coming in, and we all shared a beautiful but tiny apple.

fixing a broken handle
Early last week, the chicken waterer appeared to have been knocked down.  Alas, the red carrying handle had broken somehow.  I found a suitable object to set the waterer down on, but wasn't relishing having to buy a new waterer.  I grumbled about it for a few days, and was working up to a new one, when it occurred to me that I could fix it!  I found some heavy wire, a few plastic corks from wine bottles, and went to work.  It is really cool, and way more comfortable to carry than the other had been.  I haven't rehung it, however, as I am not certain if the wire will keep its shape if it is holding 5 gallons of water underneath.

Sheila, the Eastern black swallowtail
We are not only raising chickens here on the farm.  All our work to preserve some butterfly habitats paid off!  The boys discovered tons of caterpillars in the fields this weekend.  We captured one (now called Sheila) and put in the Boy's Butterfly Habitat.  Sheila didn't do anything much on Sunday, but this morning, I found a cocoon!  Very exciting...
rat snake skeleton
The boys also uncovered the remains of the snake we killed:  nothing left but bones.  

The bones make me think about what we leave behind, how we affect the world and lives around us.  We've been here a year now, and I can see signs of our presence here:  the reconstructed chicken coop with its big pen, the white laurel, the new path through the woods, Katt's grave, all those funny trails in the lower field, the trees we've trimmed from the paths, the new lawn near the sunroom.  

But, the farm is also leaving its own trace on us.  The Boy identifies plants and bushes, where once he asked if everything was poison ivy.  He has no fear of wild animals now, and indeed recognizes that the cute fluffy bunnies are evil beasts from Troll Planet X, and that the majestic eagles we've glimpsed are a danger to our chickens.

I've learned how to use a riding mower, and how to dodge potholes.  I automatically climb into my muckers when I leave the house to chase down the dog or check on the chickens.  I rarely leave the house without my phone, so I can snap pictures of cool spiders or weird scat or an unusual footprint.  Heck, when I walk into a spider web, I don't even shriek anymore.  
Well, not as much, anyway.

The trees are beginning to turn, and leaves are falling already.  My garden is past its prime, and I've been considering planting a fall crop of greens and maybe broccoli.  At every task or observation, I now remember fondly how I handled it last year.

Memories fade.  But I did two amazing things last year, and will benefit for the rest of my life from them.  First, I agreed to try this whole living-in-the-country thing.  Second, I decided to create a blog so Country Kitty could see what we were experiencing.  I've recorded many of the big experiences, and more importantly, lots of little ones.  I'll have this forever.

But, in the meantime, I have two more months to live here.

And I will be living it.

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