Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ok, here's what's happening with me

I haven't been here much.

By "here", I mean on my blog. And by "much", I mean that I'm writing maybe one post a week. If that.

I've had some stuff going on. Not just the physical, day-to-day farm stuff, but stuff in my life and inside my head. And my heart. Stuff that I don't normally go into too much detail on my blog.

For anyone just wanting a simple Critter Farm update... here you go. As is the norm for farm life, quite a lot has been happening here.

My pal, Marcee, came and helped me paint Pete and Reggie's goat house:

She brought me freshly picked apricots from her apricot tree in eastern Washington. Twelve of them were lovingly nested inside an egg carton:

I had a magnificent strawberry harvest this year:

which allowed me to make strawberry jam for the first time ever:

Virtually swimming in raspberries, I made raspberry jam, too:

I hung a tool rack by myself (look how pretty that freshly painted goat house looks!):

I italicized "by myself" because this task required measuring and leveling and finding the correct (unbroken) drill bits. I'm not much of a measurer (math is stinky) and our garage is a mess, so finding stuff is always a challenge. Then, ever since we moved out to the farm, every single 1/8" drill bit gets broken almost immediately. What is UP with that?


I've harvested the first of my three varieties of garlic. This is some of the Early Chinese Pink:

It has been such an odd and delayed growing season this year. My Music and Oregon Blue garlic are still not quite ready for harvesting. I harvested all my garlic during the third week of July last year.

I've also harvested my first-ever broccoli:

Yes, I know, a portion of it had started to bloom and I wasn't going to eat it, but as I was walking through Trader Joe's last week, their organic broccoli looked just like this! (look at those grubby hands!):

All of it was incredibly delicious.

And so, here's the part where I will, briefly, delve into Danni-personal. And only because I'm hoping it might make me feel better. (I'll keep you posted on that.)

In a nutshell, things are changing around here. My family's changing. My responsibilities are changing. I'm changing. This is not to say I'm going through "the change" ...nooo...not yet.

I'm just, well, feeling very sad. And a bit unbalanced - not in a crazy way, mind you (though some would disagree) but in a... hmmm... a fragile way. I don't really consider myself a fragile kind of gal, so this is more than a little surprising to feel - and to talk about.

In the last two months, my youngest son, Aidan, has graduated from high school...

...embarked on a 2-week trip to Europe and returned just long enough to tie up loose ends before departing on his 10-month volunteer assignment with AmeriCorps in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

4:30am on Monday found me saying goodbye (again) to my son at the Portland airport.

This goodbye felt different somehow.

Is this what "empty nest" syndrome feels like? It's such a busy, happy, the-world-is-my-oyster time for him, why do I feel so miserable?

Everything feels slippery to me. I can't seem to hold on to anything tight enough. I can do nothing now but watch what happens for (and to) him... and witness the results of the good (and bad) decisions he will make.
I have no control.
I can't keep him safe.

I've been giving myself stern lectures that include hard doses of perspective about how wonderful my life is, but all the good around me seems to be intermixed with uncertain and scary.

I just don't feel comfortable with my place in the world right now.

And that pretty much sums it up. That and I miss my babies. The ones who are now 18 and almost 22.

I'm guessing that when I begin to feel a little better, and less like I'm falling down a very steep hill, I will blog (and comment on blogs) more frequently again.

Until then, let me just mention that Vicksburg, Mississippi is 2,456 miles from here.