Life on the Farm: Vol. 14

Life on the Farm this spring has been weird. It feels like we’re all in limbo- just sitting around waiting for the sun to come. And in a way, we are. It’s been so wet the farmers can’t hardly go out into the field without getting stuck. They can’t spray, they can’t fertilize, they can’t even mow between rows because everything is so darn wet. We keep saying things like, “the rain has to let up eventually,” but it just hasn’t. We’ll get a day or two of clear skies here and there, and Taylor will all but disappear, and then it’s back to regularly scheduled programming, aka rain showers every 30 minutes or so. I’m starting to wonder if we’ll even have a summer this year, or just go from spring rain to fall.

Now that he’s toddling around quite well, Emmett and I have been trying to dash outside in between downpours and revel in the glorious spring blooms popping up all around our house. He helped me sow the second half of our garden seeds last weekend, and it was so fun watching him concentrate on getting the seeds out of my hand and into the hole we’d dug. He pushed the dirt back over the rows and patted them down, just like he saw me doing. Biting his little bottom lip in concentration all the while. He is at such an awesome age right now, I just can’t get enough of him.

Since Taylor’s schedule is so unpredictable right now, and completely reliant upon the weather, it’s taken me a while to figure out a new rhythm for this season, but the last week or so it feels like we’ve made it there. This wet, rainy spring is all about slow mornings, good meals, keeping up on chores everyday (which Emmett is more than happy to help with, much to my delight) and reading lots and lots and lots of books. Both me and my little guy.

I’ve had my nose stuck in The Hidden Life of Trees, Cut Flower Garden, Farmer Boy, The Book of Joy (the latest read in our Homesong book club) and later this week I’m hoping to swing into town to pick up Molly on the Range from the library. Emmett has been especially interested in My First Basketball Book, Hello, Peter! and Planting a Rainbow, just to name a few, and anything and everything with an owl in it. We usually find ourselves settled in to the couch at least once a day, reading through the entire basket of books that sits in the living room. I read him a story everyday before nap. And most nights he and his Dad work their way through the box on the bedside table before bed. His vocabulary and memory have taken off in the last few weeks and it’s amazing to watch him identify things, say their names or make their noises. His little absorbent mind is an incredible thing to witness and I am more than happy to oblige him with all the reading he desires.

Between moving the TV out of our living room, making an effort to leave my phone plugged in most days and keeping our schedule slow and simple, I feel like I’ve had the freedom to fall in love with reading again. And I can’t believe what a difference it’s made in my daily outlook. There is something so powerful in slowing your mind, focusing on something besides yourself, putting yourself in another person’s shoes or story, and taking a break from the stresses of your daily life. Taking the time to read everyday  has helped me survive these long, rainy months and I’m so grateful for it. Hopefully soon we’ll be taking our books outside to bask in a little sun.

In addition to daily reading, I’ve really been trying to transform the way I go about making meals. Last month Emmett was cutting four of his molar teeth at once (he’s still working on two of them, actually) and the hours of 3-6 p.m. were suddenly quite miserable for the both of us. He would hit a wall come three o’clock and be permanently fixed to my leg for the next few hours, whining, whimpering and wanting to be held constantly. As you can imagine, this didn’t make for the loveliest (or easiest) dinner preparation, and was right about the time we got some nice weather, so Taylor was completely unavailable to hang out with Emmett. In desperation, I turned to take out and we wolfed down chipotle, pizza and tacos a couple nights in a row. After a week or so of feeling a nasty combination of frustrated, stressed and guilty, I decided something had to give.

In addition to simply trying to be organized about my weekly meal plan, I’m penciling in at least one night a week for takeout (usually Friday nights) to take a bit of the pressure off. At least two days a week, I’m breaking out the trusty crock pot and prepping dinner in the mornings while Emmett is still feeling good and able to entertain himself. Nights that I know I’ll have to spend those witching hours in the kitchen, I’m keeping it as simple with dishes like my trusty Sheet Pan Pizza or Pasta with Roasted Veggies, and trying to get Emmett involved in helping as much as possible. And when all else fails, I’m turning on some soothing music, pouring myself a healthy glass of Rose, scooping up my whiny boy and dancing through dinner prep as best I can. Because babies don’t keep, you know. Soon enough I’ll be begging for the days when there was a babe attached to my leg. So ya might as well find a way to enjoy them, right? Even in their whinier moments.

I used to worry that I wasn’t doing enough. I wasn’t getting involved in the community. Pursuing some sort of creative career goals. I used to fear that I didn’t know enough people, or have enough friends. That I was turning in to some kind of weirdo hermit lady, lost out here in my little life on the farm. But none of that feels true anymore. I’m really quite happy with this simple little life and this calm, quiet season at home with my babe. Soon enough, the day will come when life will require us to be busier; summer’s not far off, after all. Those blueberry bushes are positively bursting forth with sweet, pink blossoms, and blossoms mean bees, and bees mean berries. And berries mean harvest. So for now, I’m just going to revel in the simplicity of it all. Read books with my babe. Cook meals, drink pink wine, pick flowers. And pray for some sun, because GOOD LORD enough with the rain already. Am I right?

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