Thursday, May 15, 2008

While I was away

Our little farm was in excellent hands.

It's a much different event to go on vacation now than it used to be. Since January, we no longer live on an 11,000 square foot lot, with neighbors 20 feet away on all sides, in an urban neighborhood only ten minutes from the heart of downtown, with only a small dog and a rabbit to care for. We now live on 7.5 acres, with a dog, a rabbit, 12 chickens, a newly planted garden, and many, many new things to pay attention to.

My Jim and I were concerned about how we could manage this, even considering that it perhaps wasn't a possibility to leave for a week so soon after moving in with so many new things to attend to.

Yet without a moment's hesitation, my mom and step dad volunteered for farm duty, not just willingly but excitedly...anxious to give farm life a try (and ease their daughter's worried mind in the process).

I always thought the two of them would do "ok" out here, but, still, I worried, wrote pages of detailed directions, left yellow post-it notes stuck to walls and cupboards with various instructions, and, of course, called as often as a could. In the end, I don't think any of it was necessary.

I came home and found:

Thriving, happy chickens:

A garden completely redesigned by my step dad...

...the shelling peas were thinned and staked:

...the radishes were thinned:

...the snow peas were planted and this beautiful handmade trellis in place:

...a huge new planting bed was dug and prepared with compost and chicken manure:

This is clearly a lovingly tended new garden:

While Bill tended to the green, growing things (and when the two of them weren't chasing chickens around), my mom was incredibly busy in my kitchen. Two loaves of wonderful EARTH BREAD were baked, a huge batch of homemade chocolate-chip cookies was made, and a wonderful pot of beef soup was waiting...each with its own little yellow post-it note attached:

They left us so many wonderful surprises. I'm worried they didn't sit down once the whole week they were here!

I wish I had pictures to post of the two of them doing all this, but I only have the signs they left behind to use as proof that they were really here.

Shortly before the trip, I was thinking about people's reactions to our whole changing-up-our-lives events these last few months. Beyond anyone else, it has been my parents who have been the most supportive and excited for us. Now that we're here, they delight in coming out as often as possible.

Our lives together have not always been easy. In fact, there have been many painful, scary years, but we seem to have gotten beyond these. I am relishing the now. And I delight daily in my mom and Bill's presence and support in my life.

How lucky can a girl be?
Thanks for taking such loving care of the farm, Mom and Bill!


  1. We are leaving for a few days in June, will they be free to house sit in Michigan?

  2. Reading this warmed my heart and also made me miss my own Mom. You are blessed.

  3. This is wonderful! They must have needed a vacation after your vacation. The garden looks beautiful.

  4. How lucky are you to have a Mom and Step Dad that would leap at this challenge!!! And then do so well with it. I bet they needed a vacation to recuperate from your vacation! LOL

    I work my Mom like crazy when she comes to visit too. I think they like being needed!

  5. Hurray for your Mom and Bill. It looks like they did a wonderful, wonderful job.
    Now you know who to call when the donks come and you want to head back to Mexico. When are the donkeys coming?

  6. Looks like the farm was in wonderful hands while you were away. Moms are great at leaving little notes and pick me ups! Sounds like you have a great set of parents.

  7. Uh oh, now you've done it!!! We're all going to be clamouring for you to rent out your folks for our vacation needs!! ;) Looks like they did a wonderful job, I bet they enjoyed themselves too.

  8. That's great. I think they must really enjoy your place as much as you do. The contribution to the vegetable garden is nice since so much of that is timing.

  9. Wow! I wish I could find such great farm sitters. We are going to need multiple gardens put in after we move.

  10. and her Mom said,
    That was a beautiful post.


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