We've been working...hard. Gone are the lazy days of summer. This Old House and her 1 1/2 acres of land can pile up endless chores, especially when the days are long with sunlight. My brother and his family come every Friday and help with the garden. We have rows of corn, tons of tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, plums, pears, apples, melons, squash, pumpkins, lettuce, beans, sugar snap peas, grapes, and a rhubarb plant that has been cooked into many a pie, crisp, or jam. We honestly don't know what we are doing. It's more like trial by fire. Between the best choice of composting, to chasing, literally, herds of deer away from our food, Aaron and I are worn out. I wonder if there will be a day when I don't look dumbfounded at Wilco? My hands are cracked and lined with earth. Our backs a little more sore. But all of these hard parts evaporate like morning dew when the littlest sister and I walk up and gather berries for the perfect breakfast. The plunk of dusky purple orbs filling our buckets and a smile still wide with baby teeth make me stop and rest and wonder at all of this good. Makes it worth the work and then some.
About four days ago we set up our big tent in between the birch trees and covered it with white lights. The kids then went to work making it a home...they have an outdoor sink, clothesline, and (I'm not kidding) a nighttime potty. They say they plan to spend the rest of the summer up there...and, to my surprise, they haven't slept inside since.
AbbySue decided to share her balloon art at the Marion County Fair for 4H. She demonstrated on how to make (two volunteers from the audience) into a fairy and a viking. Chattering all the way through and throwing in some comedy along with her routine, she made us all smile and earned herself a blue and purple ribbon for her performance! Way to go Suebee!
Last week Aaron had planned a corporate dinner/get together at our Old House. I strung white lights all over the back porch and herb garden swing and set the table up next to our little waterfall. I'll admit, I'm not the best at small talk or mingling...but this dinner party turned out to be a true blessing. Not only did the people Aaron works with have the chance to meet the kids and I, we all connected on a personal level and that made what Daddy does closer to home for us all. My favorite part of the evening was just before we started eating, someone suggested that we pray. It wasn't familiar to everyone, but it was truly special to Aaron and I. I think we felt touched that another person would understand how important prayer is to our family and respecting our faith by stepping out of their comfort zone. I won't forget that.
The week before that we had a last minute worship team potluck in the backyard....there had to be close to thirty friends here, laughing the night away. Our driveway looked like something out of Father of the Bride.
We have more busy today (cousins sleepover, Aaron's in Boston) and more on the way...Family Camp, family coming... and I can hardly catch my breath. Most of the photos will be grainy ones from my archaic phone, but it's better than nothing...right?
I'm grateful and exhausted.
Now I know why the farmer looks forward to winter.