Sharon December 27th, 2009
Even though I love my farm in many ways, I have some worries about it. The biggest one is that I’m fairly far away from many of our “centerpoints” in life – my family (Eric’s is more spread out, while mine is clustered in one area), our religious community and closest friends from synagogue and a few other things. We have a great community in our neighborhood and region, and hope eventually to find good housemates, but I sometimes wonder whether we shouldn’t move closer to others, even if it meant giving up some of the land, privacy and natural beauty we have out here. I’ve never come to any useful conclusion on this, but there’s a part of me that thinks that if the right arrangement could be constructed, we’d consider moving, trying to recreate what we have on a smaller scale in the city or the ‘burbs.
Well, one of my ongoing jokes (and I’m not sure I’m joking, but I think everyone else is) with some close friends from synagogue is that we ought to form a kibbutz near our shul, buying a decent-sized piece of property in suburbia with a couple of houses or a potential duplex and moving in together to share childcare, land and garden, religious life and food. We were talking about this after skating on Christmas morning, and I was again, half-jokingly, selling the case for starting our own commune (with private abodes, I’m not insane ).
Joe could see the case for it – for more hands and more spouses (doesn’t everyone need a wife ?), but without actual partner-swapping, which besides being not our thing seems like a lot of work. Plus, he pointed out, there the ducks. See Joe’s father was chinese and Joe is big on duck. Kosher duck is almost impossible to come by, and while I’ll raise it, the cost of getting a schochet (ritual slaughterer) out to my farm raises the cost of the duck into the astronomical range. There have been mutterings about teaching someone to slaughter, but there are ritual complexities (I was shown how once and do our own, but only for our consumption). Ducks, Joe declared, would probably seal the deal for him (again, we’re joking – there are other complexities).
Well, after a morning of ice skating and a lovely brunch of cranberry bread, coffee cake and waffles (starch and sugar heaven!) we were ready to head home to spend the rest of the day relaxing. We waved goodbye to our friends and drove home. We were just getting the woodstove running when Eric came and said “there are ducks out there.” I thought he meant wild ducks, but no, Eric meant six large, white Pekin ducks, all waddling in unison through my yard, quacking enthusiastically, and checking out the turkeys.
The ducks stayed all afternoon, and then disappeared again. They were friendly and took corn from the children’s hands. I don’t know where they came form, although several more distant neighbors have ponds.
Now if I were of a pre-scientific mindset, I’d be inclined to suggest this was an omen, but being a modern sort I haven’t exactly placed my house on the market . If Christmas were my holiday I could probably sell a pretty cute story to some magazine about the miracle of the ducks. As it is, all I can say is that the world is a strange place, and sometimes you get what you expect, and sometimes, you get ducks.
Happy Holidays, Folks!