I woke up, late, from a dream that I was visiting a friend who committed suicide several months ago. I felt weird and unsettled … and rushed. I couldn’t get my clothes on right-side-out and had to turn on the light, which made me feel irritable. I got downstairs and realized I didn’t have time to do my barnyard chores and get breakfast made and get lunches packed so I felt more rushed and irritable. Nicky tried to help, but kept getting in the way and I was having a hard time not letting my irritation show. I doubt I was successful in that. Eventually we were all at the table and had a few minutes of strained togetherness before I got up to do the undone chores, the kids got busy with tooth-brushing and backpack-packing, and Niek walked the dogs. It was raining and I had more chores than usual because it was time to haul down new grain bags. The inside of the barn was as muddy as the ground outside. Even hanging out with the animals didn’t curb my foul mood. When I came back in the house, Arden was being sweet and funny and Niek had made hot coffee and I tried to let go of the negativity that had been building up inside me. Then Arden and I walked to school, and we bumped into two friends who were also walking a little boy to school so we all walked and laughed and talked together. At Arden’s school, I came across another friend and we made a date to get together next week. The simple joy of talking to friends … that was something I missed so desperately in Holland, where although I had friends, they lived in other parts of the country. It was rare to just bump into someone and have a conversation, make a date, shoot the breeze, etc. I thought about that while walking back from Arden’s school. I found a few late-season apples that had fallen off my neighbor’s tree and landed close enough to the road that it didn’t feel like stealing to pick them up and bring them home for the animals, who were very grateful for the treat. I found a warm brown egg under one of the hens. Emily gave me ‘breathing therapy’ – insisting on being nose-to-nose for much longer than usual today. When I came inside to check my email, I stumbled across this blog post and it said everything that I want – that I want to say and do and leave behind when my days are over – that I have to share it with you.
Tuesday is market day – I take in the eggs the girls have gifted us with, and pick up a variety of locally-grown goodness. It’s always exciting to see what’s in the offering, and meal-planning becomes especially interesting for a couple of days while I experiment with things new to me or simply enjoy old favorites. This week will include a bit of both because I came home with a gigantic blue hubbard squash (we all love it) and a small array of fermented foods that includes kimchi and ruby kraut. Niek and I are very partial to sauerkraut so I’m sure we’ll like these more adventurous additions. If the kids also like it, I’ll invest in the supplies necessary to begin fermenting foods here at home. I’m amazed at the nutritional benefits and it’s yet another way to stretch summer’s goodness through the year. I also came home laden with milk, cream and butter produced in Lubec and Edmunds, both just a piece up the road as my grandparents might say. I’m amazed by the diversity available in our diets once we look outside the box a little bit. Eating locally in the winter months is getting a whole lot more interesting! And brings me to today’s ‘thing of beauty’. Am I the only one who thinks that fresh peeled beets are utterly amazing? I could look at them for hours, I think. It’s like psychedelia without the substances. But they are very hard to photograph, especially when your family is looking at you like you’ve finally lost it.
After my marketing, I found that Niek had forgotten to empty the mailbox and our envelopes were well on their way to disintegrating. He’s forgiven though – he took me out for lunch today, simply to brighten an otherwise dull, rainy day. After I helped the cards out of their soggy jackets, I found a wonderful card and gift from Ruth that I want to thank her for right away. I love the snowy bird (it reminds me of my Charley Harper charts!) and the GAST colors of Geranium and Piney Woods are absolutely perfect.
There has even been a bit of stitching today! I’ve started The Goode Huswife’s Primitive Bird for my neighbors, who are held hostage to the sometimes very noisy chatter of my ducks, geese, Guineas and chickens (particularly the roosters!). I thought the verse might hit home: “Don’t the little birds set their tongues in motion as soon as the day has dawned. They never stop their thanks.” It’s an early start, but at least it is stitching.
And thank you so much for your kind words about yesterday’s exciting accomplishments. I don’t think I’ll top that for awhile, but I hope you’ll keep visiting me as I count down these days till Christmas in a mindful manner.