Archive for May 21st, 2009

Quiet…too Quiet

Sharon May 21st, 2009

Just FYI, don’t expect much from this blog until next Wednesday.  Will I be spending Memorial Day on a road trip, packing the dog, four children and the goats into the back of our Ford Taurus as we seek out the best of the roadside snake-related attractions?  No thanks!  But friends of ours are doing the road trip thing, and coming here, and there will be 13 people, including 7 kids ages 9 and down racing around my house, and between that, cleaning, and providing meals, accomodations and fun for the guests, and the usual springtime farm craziness, something has to go, and I fear it is the blog. 

 So go read the folks on my sidebar.  Play “clown car” yourselves and cram as many living things as possible into a small vehicle for entertainment.  Or best of all, go out into sun and plant some food.  Enjoy the weekend!

Back on Wednesday!

Sharon

Sunburned…and Happy

Sharon May 21st, 2009

“Thus goes everyone to the world but I, and I am sunburned.” - Beatrice, Much Ado About Nothing

“Can we go outside now?” That’s the first morning song here – each day my children, as I sleepily open their bedroom door, greet me with “Mom, when can we go outside!”  This morning we managed a record – 12 minutes from door opening to the children settled on the front porch, awaiting their oatmeal.  13 minutes until Eli was covered with mud up to his ankles ;-) .

There is nothing like spring in the Northeast, after a long, pent-up winter.  There is nothing like the joy of green after white, and then a period of greyish brown.  There is nothing for small children who have lived swathed in sweaters and jackets to arise in the morning and race outside in shorts and t shirts – and some of the time even those get tossed aside, as the kids go off to play in the creek or we put on the sprinkler.

And their parents follow them.  In spring and summer, my deepest housekeeping inadequacies are on display – there’s so much to do outside, how can I possibly worry about the fact that the sink hasn’t been wiped down since the bronze age?   Who even goes into the house? After a long and uncertain spring, a period in which there were days, even weeks when it is tempting to put in the tomatoes, and yet we knew that there would still be one last frost, well, the frost came, and the forecast calls for nothing but net from now on.  

Spring here is a long period of “nope, too wet, nope too cold, nope, more wet…oh, crap gotta get everything in today!”  So out we go, Eric to dig the new garden, me to fill the beds that aren’t already crammed with plants further.  Me to haul the old straw, him to clean the barn again, me to plant the fruit trees and herbs, him to rake the beds.  We come back exhausted and filthy, no filthier than the children who have been hunting toads, climbing trees, building things, planting and hunting eggs in the barn. 

They are merely tired at the end of the day, and exhilarated, as they tell us of what they found and where they’ve been (we were there, but it doesn’t matter, the best part of life is the story it makes).  We, of course, are stiff and sore, because we’ve spent the winter being lazy.  But the reclamation of our bodies from winter, the shifting from pasty white to brown or pink, the exhaustion – these are part and parcel of happiness.

So is the sense of never getting enough done – I was in the garden 9 hours yesterday, planting and digging, lifting and hauling.  By 8pm, I could think of nothing but excuses for not doing the dishes or sorting the laundry.  Today, I could work another 9 and another and still feel that there was far more to do – but the dishes will call me…and I will resentfully come in.

In late winter, I find myself envying people for whom spring comes earlier.  But by late autumn, I always long for winter – cold, white, but merciful – time enough to return to my long neglected house for some much needed rest.  But for now, I’m a long way from wanting winter.  I have seeds galore to bestow upon the ground, and transplants calling me. I have soil and manure and mulch to tend to.  I have sun and warmth and rain to absorb, as though I too could photosynthesize.  And I wake up each morning thinking, too “how long until I can go outside?”

Sharon