This afternoon I came home from the Farmer's Market and Wal-Mart (should it be legal to write those two in the same sentence? My loathing of Wal Mart shall be saved for a different post), and found the chicken brooder wide open. No husband or son in the back yard working on the shed. Bad feeling.
Open the door, shout Stephen's name, he answers, rather weakly, and I say "Are you okay?" "Mostly," is the reply.
So I walk in, find him lying on the couch, he has hurt his back, and hammered his thumb three times. He is stoic about it. He grudgingly puts a bag of frozen corn on his thumb and asks "Why are you always trying to make me feel better?"
Mostly I think he is sick and tired of all the setbacks on the shed. And he is DEFINITELY sick and tired of hardy plank. He told me that he has become convinced that after Satan's incarnation as a serpent in the Garden of Eden, he became hardy plank. Stephen even composed a song about hardy plank, and how it is the source of all his problems. He recorded it on his laptop. Maybe I'll see if we can that up on the blog. It is a thing of beauty.
This morning I'd joked that we might name the farm, or at the very least the shed, "Snafu." Snafu Farm. Snafu Shed. Snafu Chicken House. ;-)
The big snafu for me, now, is that we are expecting an ever expanding list of guests tomorrow; my house is 1/3 put away, 1/3 in boxes, and 1/3 strewn on the floor; I am baking a monstrous flower cake as requested by the princess, spaghetti sauce from scratch and the other assorted preparation one must do for such things; I'll need to to supervise the farm chores so that Stephen does not further injure his back; I've got a bunch of craft projects and activities to set up for the party, not to mention decorating; and everyone except my brother and his wife are coming for the first time to the fabled and long-awaited Brown Family Farm, so are expecting the grand tour. Deep breath
Here's the thing: I AM SO HAPPY HERE!!! :-) Really! I am not the world's most organized person, so my house is a mess, but I am a person who really likes the fact that she has to put on her boots at 9:00 at night and go out and check on the chickens. And when I do, the beauty of the stars makes me catch my breath. No eclipse, no shooting stars, no Mars glowing red. Nothing special, just the dark night and the stars, like most people over the course of time in all the world have been able to see, but most of us only get to see on a ski trip to some tall and remote mountain. We have gained so much in these years, but indeed, we have lost much too.
When I was pregnant for the first time, and we were exploring the possibility of a home birth, Stephen observed what an odd thing it is that people would choose in advance to dull the experience of perhaps one of the most pivotal moments of their life. That has stuck with me, the notion of living life as a flat line... by avoiding the lows, we somehow restrict the highs.
We are so afraid of pain, of loss, of the unknown. I am basically a fearful person. But I believe I am a recovering fearful person. Part of it is because I have had to face some fears by them coming true. I discovered that I am stronger than I thought, that God is bigger than I understood, and that the saying "If it doesn't kill you it will make you stronger" is actually true.
All this philosophizing isn't getting my house any cleaner, obviously, but it does help me focus. :-)
I've always wanted to have a home that is wide open. I love to have people over, I love to share what we have, and it seems that lots of people want to come over now that we are on the farm. This so exciting to me! My prayer is that I can grow enough to have a home and heart that are welcoming without fretting. I have learned that the little things can make a difference, but some little things are only nurturing when they have been thought out and implemented BEFORE your guests arrive!
On that note, I'd best get to work. Hi ho, hi ho.....