Seasons on the Homestead
How is it August already? How has it been three months since I’ve shared a homestead update? I have beans to blanch and freeze, a whole shelf of cream in the refrigerator to churn into butter, a puppy to train, and a chapter to read to my girls from “The Harvester” before bed, and, with the exception of the latter, I’m letting the work go to catch up with you tonight.
I’ve said from time to time over the past couple of years that life feels like a rip tide pulling me along, but every year the current pulls more swiftly somehow. Sitting on the balcony, overlooking the Kitchen Garden with a few empty beds standing in stark contrast with the dense growth of others, either marking my faillure to invest the work they need, a conversation I had with a friend a couple of weeks ago comes to mind. She had said she loves having babies, that she is confident, and knows she is a good mama to her tiny ones. I resonate deeply with the sentiment. I’ve raised three children to adulthood, a fourth is 15 months outside of joining them and I will be halfway “done.” Yet, I still feel like I’m floundering, trying to keep my head above water. I just do so poorly managing a household with so many people going in all directions. Everyone is so busy, yet the same mouths need to eat (even more) food. The same chores need to be daily done. Truly, I would be lost without my planner to continually course-correct me throughout the day. I can’t help but wonder, is this why all of the mommy bloggers I used to read for encouragement while nursing my own peanuts seemed to simply vanish? The “teens aren’t that bad” crowd has a way of shaming those of us who struggle with it and, while my “teens aren’t that bad,” the 13-15 spread is a whole different beast than 16-19. I love and appreciate each stage but I won’t pretend this isn’t a challenge. I don’t want to pretend I’ve got it together or disappear and allow you to draw your own conclusions. I’ve spent too much time in the quiet of the laundry room wondering if I just suck to fake otherwise for an online back clap.
So with my riptide-struggling-life-of-late-teens-mom-trying-not-to-vanish self in mind, I share a most stumbling and humbling summer update.