Quiet Days on the Farm
I started writing my blog about ten years ago at the prodding of my former boss and current friend, Nicholas. He would chide me regularly, “When are you going to start writing your blog?” One cold March day in 2008, I sat at my kitchen table, dispensed a shrug and answered to myself, “Perhaps, now.”
The nature and purpose of a blog can certainly reveal itself as a sticky wicket. Do I want to promulgate a fairy tale, an over-the-top perfect life, or do I wish to connect and share some honest moments, a couple laughs, and a few snapshots of beauty in the everyday (which would include multiple images of beefy bulldogs, pies and flowers, no doubt). Hopefully, it’s evident that the latter option was my obvious choice.
Over the years, I’ve come to recognize and avoid blogs that seem to make me feel bad about myself, where each entry is an amalgamation of accomplishments shy of curing cancer, building a suspension bridge, and hosting a UN delegation for brunch. Some days I just want to get one thing done—just one thing. I want to look back on the last 24 hours and say, “I put in a good day.” That has been my goal with Tall Clover Farm both online and off. Some days there are road blocks and roundabouts, but never rumble strips of doubt that I made the right decision about leaving the city and relocating on Vashon.
Though in the last year, I’ve slowed down a bit. My get-up-and-go, kind of got-up-and-went. And managing and working a rural property weighs heavily on shoulders as they age. For the first time in my life, I’ve felt a little geezerly. Granted, my mind is that of an anxious 28-year-old, but my body is quick to chime in, “not so fast.” My voluntarily long day is fueled by a brief nap, or a coffee break or checking in with a friend who undoubtedly rues the day I finally acquired a cellphone.
In essence, I have gone from hare to tortoise, but if the parable proves anything, slow-and-steady is the way to win the race, which in my case includes just finishing the race without regard to how I placed.
Things do take longer now, as much in execution as in actually getting started. Pondering plays a big part of my new reality. For instance, it’s taken me about six months to consider repairing a plumbing problem in my old farmhouse. I quit using my upstairs bathroom and opted to trundle down stairs nightly to use the guest bathroom rather than to address the issue before me, under me and around me: leaky pipes.
I am now in the middle of opening up walls and ceilings, and repairing that plumbing problem, one brought on by a rodent that chewed rigid drain pipes with the ease of shaving milk chocolate. And now that the pipes have been replaced, the reattached vintage toilet has decided it’s not happy with the new arrangement. Time for a new flusher!
So I guess what I’m saying is, I’m still here, happy, and plugging away (toilets notwithstanding), and I’m still loving my life at Tall Clover Farm. And while my blog posts may be less frequent, I have confidence that I will get back to my regularly scheduled writing, eventually. And besides, I’ll try to spare you from the minutia or regularity of my day: i.e., Buddy farted at 8, 10, 2 and 4; I weeded for 6 minutes; cursed a nettle patch; picked out a paint chip; and had a tuna melt for lunch (riveting stuff).
When the day seems worth sharing, I will do my best to put pen to paper, or in this case, finger to keypad. So for now, time marches on with me bringing up the rear, and I do my best to put in a good day. And please know that the connections I’ve made here are indeed one of the best parts of that good day.
Later my friends…
PS- I do tape a weekly radio show on Vashon Island’s station KVSH. Anyone, anywhere can listen online: http://www.voiceofvashon.org/ondemand/tall-clover (updated each week).