Thursday, November 28, 2013

TNT on the Farm: Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving Day, a chilly 22 degrees, our first snowfall of the season and this is the beginning of life on the farm in the winter.... where it's usually very cloudy, grey and cold. The trees have lost every tender, green, red or golden brown leaf and things appear lifeless and still. Charlie now walks from one side of the pond to the other....

The grasses are brown and will now be covered under a blanket of white for months. The lawnmower will now be blowing the white stuff from the drives, instead of throwing grass to the side. 

BUT, we are thankful. Thankful for so much.... 
  • Thankful that we were able to take much of this year to walk amongst the other vagabonds along the Appalachian Trail, discovering more about ourselves and our life together.
  • Thankful that we have such an amazing family, that supported that dream and prayed for us and encouraged us along the tough road.
  • Thankful for all the incredibly strong, determined, interesting and unusual people we met along the way... some of who just this past week, FINISHED the trail... almost 8 months later and 45# lighter. (Karma, you're inspiring and amazing!)
  • Thankful for the life we have back here in Michigan, on the farm. We live a simple, pretty private life, without much glitz or glamor.... and we like it that way.  We are comfortable with that. And since hiking, are even more comfortable just being alone. It's a good thing, as "Martha" would say.
  • Thankful for our health. Even though we're getting along in years, we're still pretty healthy and have lofty goals of getting back out to hike on the AT again in the spring. Hopefully, Socks' knees will hold out!

We are truly thankful for the life we live and the many great blessings that have been bestowed upon us, even though we are so unworthy. Only by the grace of our great God, we have been given these earthly riches and hold onto the faith that one day, we'll meet Him face to face and enter into Heaven to enjoy true riches of eternal life. Until then, we press on... doing our best, loving completely, giving wholly and rejoicing in all God has for us.

Life in the winter here will be comprised of mostly Dreamer working outside.... 
He has big dreams of getting both orchards completely pruned. (A HUGE job for the west orchard. Trees here haven't been pruned for 15 years and are HUGE! He'll need a big ladder for this one!)

WEST ORCHARD- apples, peaches and pears

He's creating a path around the property that he and our granddaughter, Lydia can enjoy this coming spring. He's clearing a 10' swath around the perimeter of the 17 acres, meandering through maple groves, along the back of the pond, over the creek in back and even creating berry picking patches along the way. He's made a picnic spot, where they will take a sack lunch and visit on their walks. It's a huge undertaking, but he's made great progress and enjoys every chilly minute he's out there chopping and clearing brush.
He's clearing some dead trees and creating lots of brush pile for the bunnies to enjoy all winter long!

As for me, Socks.... I've put my gardens put to bed for the winter. Finally dug the last of the red beets from the frozen ground and said good-bye to the soil for another year. The gardens are all covered with leaves, manure and compost, ready to be tilled into commission in the spring. 

I will spend most of my time during the winter, cozied up by the wood stove, knitting socks or working on some sort of handiwork project or cooking in my lovely, comfortable kitchen, creating some delicious, but simple meal from our pantry/cellar of canned goods.

When we moved to this place, some 30 years ago... we dreamed of being self-sufficient and worked towards that goal initially. We had sheep, goats, chickens and ducks. We had an orchard and grape vines. We had solar heat and all the land we needed to grow whatever we wanted. BUT, kids came along and life got busy and complicated and those things fell by the wayside for convenience and necessity.  BUT now, time is all we have. We can again, move in the direction of being self-sufficient. When the weather warms, little chicks will again bring life to the barn. The green shoots of plants will begin to emerge from the black soil and life will begin again. We'll enjoy the fruits of the labor of winter, as we watch the apple and fruit trees flourish with life and the pond begin to again show signs of turtles, fish and muskrat.  

Until then.... all is quiet and we are thankful. So VERY thankful.