Anticipating the End…

Sharon March 30th, 2008

No, not of the world as we know it!  Right now I’m fixated on two end points - first, the end of winter.  I know a lot of you are all done there and have been a while now, but this is rural upstate NY, and on Friday we had six freakin’ inches of snow.  It is melting - slowly.  But the reality is that spring does not come in March, but is solidly a product of April here - and usually mid-April at that.  But while I know that in my head, in my heart I-AM-DONE-WITH-WINTER!!!  It need to leave…now.  So I’m looking at my daffodils, which have been up slightly since early February, and praying they get bigger faster, and that their growth somehow magically destroys the snow.

 The other thing I am finally anticipating is the end of the Book Marathon.  Last year in March, I committed to writing two books in 15 months.  On June 2, I will finish _A Nation of Farmers_, and can I just say “Hallelujah!!!”

The thing is, we live the way we do in part because it means we have a reasonable life pace.  Eric and I did the two career academic thing for about a year after Eli was born, and then promptly said we’d never do it again.  We hated racing around all the time, and the sense that we barely saw each other and our kids.  So we decided that we’d work as little as we could and get along - no more than one full time and one part time job, and that was gracious plenty with family and farm.

 But that hasn’t been the case this year - this year I’ve worked full time and more, while Eric has had his own full time job and picked up my slack, doing the majority of the homeschooling and an enormous amount of additional housework.  I’ve done less of a host of things I love than I wanted to - and that isn’t going to change between now and June 2.  But more, we’ve been running to keep up - and while we can do this, it isn’t what we dream of.  I miss that I had the time to hang the laundry the slow way, with a toddler hanging on my ankles and “helping” instead of frantically hanging it while saying “go play with your brothers.”  I know that’s a reality of motherhood sometimes, but it feels like we’re cutting corners we don’t want to cut.  I’ve had to scale back spring garden plans, and other ambitions - and these are the things I honestly care most about in my life.

I know it is for a good cause - it is more and more urgent that we relocalize our agriculture.  The recent 30% overnight rise in rice prices and the announcement that many nations are restricting exports or raising tariffs means that it is especially urgent that we build local food systems - and not just in the developing world.  I believe in this project - but I still wish it was over, and my family could go back to a slower pace.  Again, I’m ready for it to go away - but it will only do so in its own sweet time - like winter, the book will be done when it is done.  Me jumping up and down and screaming at it won’t help ;-).

I wrote 34 posts in the month of March - my guess is that April and May will have many fewer, most of them about food, as I work through ideas for the book.  So expect a quieter blog until June comes.  Knowing me, I won’t be able to resist writing about other things sometimes, but I’m going to try and keep it to a minimum. 

I do have one request of y’all, or anyone with free time and the relevant skill set.  _A Nation of Farmers_ will include more than a dozen interviews with people with important stuff to say about food systems in a lower energy world.  Some of them are famous: Richard Heinberg, Bill McKibben, Albert Bates,  Alice Waters, Gene Logsdon and some of them are not, but have a lot to say about growing food, or cooking it or eating it in a low energy world.  We’ll be including recipes from each of our interviewees - don’t you want to know what Richard Heinberg thinks we’ll be eating when the gas pumps run dry ;-)?

 Writing this book is, shall we say, not a high paying proposition (I think I’m showing a net loss so far ;-)), so we were hoping to find among my readers or Aaron’s one or more volunteers who would be willing to transcribe our interviews for us.  Each one is about half an hour long.  The only payment we’re offering is a. a chance to read the interviews before anyone else, including me ;-), b. our gratitude and acknowledgement in our books, c. if this is a profession for you, I’ll run a free ad on my site for your transcribing services for six months and d. a free copy of the book.  If you are interested, email me at [email protected] or Aaron at [email protected].

 Edited to Add: Thank you all!  We actually now have more volunteers than we have interviews, so we don’t need any more.  But wow!!!  We’re so appreciative of all who volunteered and all who would have!

Ok, off to write another book.  More soon!

 Shalom,

 Sharon

5 Responses to “Anticipating the End…”

  1. Rosaon 30 Mar 2008 at 12:24 pm

    I’d be glad to transcribe for you, Sharon, esp. if you can email me the audio or stream it online somewhere.

  2. Lisa Zon 30 Mar 2008 at 12:32 pm

    I would also love to do this! Let me know if I can help with some of it. Lisa (I can email you too, but in case I don’t get to that, here’s my offer earlier…)

  3. catskillmamalaon 30 Mar 2008 at 1:20 pm

    I hear you!!! I love reading your stuff, but I often wonder how the heck you can get it all done (and still sleep sometimes).

    Here’s to taking a slower, more deliberate path in raising children and being families.

    I find myself jettisoning large pieces of “career building” work so that I can make homemade bread or water the seedlings. I’m trying to take a longer view of what will really matter to me in years gone by–and it’s not racing hither thither.

    I spend a tremendous amount of time (through board meetings, hearings and other professional responsibilties) spending time with people that I do not enjoy. I’ve been thinking that I’m going to “change the world” and “make a difference” but I see that my impact is so darn marginal, meanwhile the missed family dinners loom large.

    I respect your calling it in to channel energy to your family! And I know it will make you more productive in the end (perhaps not in # of blog posts, but by some other measures).

  4. Sue in the Western Great Basinon 30 Mar 2008 at 1:24 pm

    Just sent you an email — will be happy to transcribe for you. And, although winter has long been my favorite season, I too am ready for spring this year! While it’s not sticking anymore, it’s still snowing here too, and windy, and brrrr!!

    Sue in the Western Great Basin
    http://dogslittleacre.wordpress.com

  5. sachon 31 Mar 2008 at 8:35 am

    Hey Sharon -

    Congratulations on seeing the end of the tunnel! I am knee-deep in a dissertation (and teaching myself to knit, can, preserve and container garden along the way) and I am most certain the only light right now is from the train that is coming way to fast. Can’t wait to read the books!

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