This morning I baked 6 pumpkins, simmered two chickens for potpie and broth, made a pot of chai, made Char a lunch of chicken salad, hayed all the sheep, helped Char move the horses, hayed & watered the horses, took care of all the fowl, and drove back and forth to her school(half hour one way.) Oh, I forgot, I fed the dogs and the cats and stopped for gas for my ever-running Ford Focus.
And it’s 8:30.
You see, I haven’t got much time this day. I’m all about having dinner ready and being able to relax at the end of it. So in order to get what needs to be done so that I’m on schedule for tomorrow, the day after that and the day after that’s events, I’ve got to keep busting, busting, busting in order to get it all in. My son is driving, as I type, Highway 81 north from Virginia and we’re hopefully all settled in at 6:30 or so this evening with a nice family dinner. I don’t know what that dinner will be yet, but it will not be chicken because he texted, “please, no chicken.” There will be broccoli, though, because he texted”let’s have broc.” I will make a nice baked apple recipe with vanilla ice cream and homemade caramel sauce for dessert. This, I know. Any ideas for the main entree, send ’em to me!
Last night we had a hard frost. The first one here in Southern Vermont. Well, you may already have read by now about my wonderful gardening, ahem, jungle-keeping skills. So there were no worries about covering any late fall crops. No, the weeds take care of that. It was indeed beautiful to wake up and see the grey and frosty veil covering the fields, the sheep and turkeys silhouetted against it. And then beautiful, again, to drive north and see the rolling hayfields and cornfields with the light of day on them, beginning the process of restoring their daytime colors with the gauzy film of freeze rapidly dissolving.
Well, enough of that reverie…The farrier comes at 9:30 and then I’ve got to fly over to New York where I am meeting my new student, an 8 year old homeschooler named “Hickory”, for some lessons. Then to the grocery store, unfortunately, where I spend too much time, and back to the house to drop off everything and finish anything I’d left unfinished. Then to pick up Char, then a quick pit stop at the house, then to Bennington where she and I will sing with the chorus she is in for 2 hours. I love that part of the day -no complaints here.
I begged off of choir rehearsal. Last night I called up the director and told her my son would be home and I wanted to be here -she was in total understanding! So that saved me some time today.
Tomorrow, oh tomorrow, and then the next day and the next…I’ve got a humongous list. Barring some sort of breakdown, I’ll get it all done.
I’m happy, yes, in case you wonder, but not only that, I am ecstatic. Today one college kid comes home, tomorrow another -the whole family together and some great celebrations on the weekend including more family, friends. It is a good life. The animals are all healthy, and the coops are all clean. I’m heading out as soon as this is done with my overalls and boots to clean the sheep stalls and put some fresh shavings in the hen’s laying boxes. When Tim, our jolly farrier arrives, it will be good to shoot the breeze with him while tending to the ponies’ toes. He’s a positive and inspiring man.
Mostly, though, I am ecstatic because I am here, right now, able to do these things and more. I have the time. Steve Jobs died yesterday and his time here is over. I think, 56? I’m only ten years away from it! So I make my mental bucket list because if I had only ten years left, what do I need to do to be satisfied that I’d not frittered any of it away. But though I didn’t know Steve Jobs, I imagine that as productive and driven as he was, he must’ve felt the same way sometimes. And this is where I stop myself to get a reality check. I think about my Grandma Brown who did the best she could with each day she was given. She had a peace of living which I will never forget. Now is the time for that kind of peace, whether the day ahead is full of everything else it shall be full of or not.
I need a reminder, now and then, of what the good book of Ecclesiastes tells us:” To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”