A Season on the Farm, November

The first frost and first freeze have come and gone, and now the warm memories of the summer mix with the fond hopes for next spring.  A sense of thanksgiving for the harvest, and a foreboding sense of anxiety for the winter to come figure prominently in each days activities.  Wood is being chopped, gardens are being cleaned and seed orders are being put together.

A friend made a statement on social media which has caused me to reflect in this time of giving thanks.  The comment – “you are truly loving and living the good life”.  My first thought is a hearty amen, and then I stop to think of the details of that, and wonder if really I appreciate it, whether I love it as much as I should.   

This comment has come in several forms from friends who have known me before we started this journey.   It usually sounds something like “You look so at peace”, “You look much healthier” and “it must be great to leave the rat race”.

Dried Flower Bouquet

As this season on the farm is nearing its conclusion,  there are a number of lessons that have been learned.  One is that while this is a tougher life than the city life, this is nothing compared to what our great grandfathers experienced.  Its that lesson that clouds the response to you are truly loving and living the good life.

You see, in studying patterns, and learning about the older times, the common theme is that as progress came to the country, inevitably the choice was to take the progress.  As the country came out of the first world war, there was a song How ya going to keep them on the farm.  Here is the chorus:

How ya gonna keep ’em down on the farm
After they’ve seen Paree’
How ya gonna keep ’em away from Broadway
Jazzin around and paintin’ the town
How ya gonna keep ’em away from harm, that’s a mystery
They’ll never want to see a rake or plow
And who the deuce can parleyvous a cow?
How ya gonna keep ’em down on the farm
After they’ve seen Paree’

While we all remember the family on the Walton’s fondly supporting each other around the old homestead, the story ended with most of the children moved away, and the parents moved away for health reasons.  

Frost Flowers

So while I dearly enjoy what I have been doing, and am very proud of the transformations, both personal and on the land, I wonder about the shelf life of this lifestyle.  So many people have made a go at this, and without fail they point to the simplicity and enjoyment of the life.  

We have no plans to pick up and move away, as a matter of fact we are digging in deeper, committed to making a go of this.  We are thankful for the opportunity to live here, and to have the time and opportunity to do this work.

So to complete the thought – you are truly loving and living the good life – Yes – we are living the good life, and loving it.  Like most folks, there are days when a big screen tv, 150 channels of television and a nice recliner would be a nice change.  There are days when my truck finds itself in the city,  even though there is work on the farm that needs tending.  Those are the times and days that I feel dishonest, thinking that these were not choices that were available to early settlers.  

Late Afternoon Light

That is the time that the reality and the dream kind of conflict, and I realize that it is ok.