Every year, generally in the autumn when the planting has slowed down and the frosts have not yet arrived, my family takes a little trip to the sandy shores of the Gulf for a change of scenery. Our time of departure is swiftly approaching. To say that the family is excited would be an understatement. We are beside ourselves giddy. It’s not that we can’t wait to get the hell off the farm. On the contrary. We absolutely love the fullness of our existence here and wouldn’t change it for the world. But we have come to eagerly anticipate this short window of time each year. A removal from the familiar. A step back and a deep breath. A little separation-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder kind of time.This week, our days have been utterly filled to the brim… swept up in the whirlwind of lists and chores and packing. Our list includes such things as “prepare garlic patch” (which is at least 1/8 acre) so that when we return home we are ready to plant. And “dig half a row of sweet potatoes” (which is about 150 feet) so that when we return home they have cured enough to give in our fall CSA baskets. And harvest all of the remaining winter squashes and pumpkins (we’re talking tonnage here). And lay out twelve paddocks for the livestock so that our farm-sitters (who are absolute superheroes) don’t have to do the math regarding animal density and acreage.
And then there’s the packing, which is really no big deal aside from all of the food we take along. We always pack plenty of provisions, to keep the goodness of the farm flowing through our veins, and to keep our expenses down. Potatoes, red peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, a few butternuts, lots of butter, some frozen meat, salt, and maybe a melon or two if we can find the space in the van. And then, there’s my yarn. Ahem. I tend to be a bit overzealous in regards to the amount of wool I bring along. Probably enough to knit a hat for every person I encounter on the beach. But I shouldn’t ever get lost. I’ll have enough yarn to string from Kentucky to the ocean, a little life-line leading me safely home.
And I have a real hang-up about leaving a messy house, so cleaning has been the constant filler in between the times of working on the more major chores. Given that my three little tornadoes seem to view any clean space as an empty canvas for more of their creative endeavors, I can’t seem to make any real head-way on the cleaning front. But I keep trying! Add to all of this the normal schedule of harvest and market and, well, did I mention that the days are quite full?
But the fullness is a blessing.
And a reminder that life is being lived; fully.
And an elbow in the ribs for the reality that we are just humans and the days only have so many hours.
While it does require quite a bit of planning and orchestrating for all of the pieces to fall into place for us to take a step away, it’s all good. It’s all worth the effort. So… ready or not, here we go!