Our homestead story and our love story are hard to tell apart.
So many people have said to me, that solar power is the first thing they would have done. How did we manage to go two years without it? But we didn't really want to install solar power. It wasn't something we already knew how to do, and it also wasn't in either of our categories of Things We Love. No sawdust for Nick. No green leaves for Esther. No familiarity for either of us to lean on, nor the kind of eclectic individuality that we so love because it covers all kinds of faults.
I've been feeling something wrong with me lately. A little hard to place, just...something off. Maybe I ate the wrong thing at breakfast? Maybe I had a bad dream? Oh! I haven't blogged in nearly TWO WEEKS. That's it.
I'm not writing from my yurt, today. Turns out I am in Atlanta, Georgia, with the magnolias and the mosquitoes. I had my first taste of real Southern grits this morning. But don't ask me what I think of that quite yet. I'm a slow study. I rolled it around in my mouth and thought about it.
This is a story about a marriage. It begins with a divorce lawyer, and it ends in a yurt on a rugged hillside in Idaho. Off the grid. And with no running water.
I think my neighbors might have actually heard my frustration today. It wasn't really directed at the kids. And it wasn't directed at the goats, which are, sort of hilariously, also called kids. It wasn't entirely about my health issues, which are back like a stray dog. And it certainly wasn't about the chickens, or the other chickens, or the weeds, or the coolers that don't work as well to cool the food not that the heat is up, or that I was so tired that objects were literally falling out of my hands.
Isn't it funny how you can know someone SO WELL from a blog post, but also not really know anything about them? I have bared the depths of my soul here the last few weeks. (Honestly it's hard to say whether that's the reason or the counter reason why my stats have doubled. :) ) Anyway, we skipped all the getting to know you stuff!! And I love the getting to know you stuff. I'm going back to pick it up. Here are some things you might want to know about me.
Y'all. I am learning something right this minute. Pay attention. It's not one of those easy, check it off a box kind of lessons. It's a deeper, more vulnerable thing, like Eustace when he gets his dragon skin peeled off by Aslan's claws.
I lost my words this weekend. I am sorry. I wanted to be here with you. I wanted to say at least hello, if not deliver something really wonderfully inspirational and encouraging. Maybe with a remarkably wise spiritual lesson tucked right in at the end like medicine under sugar. It's not like I set high standards for myself or anything.
My son has named this month "The Happy Month." I agreed with him first, and then, much later, asked him what it was that made it so happy, anyway. #1: He got past the pit of the Sarlaac in his video game, LEGO Star Wars Saga. #2: There were two birthday parties. His mom's (mine) was okay, but the one he really liked was his classmate's because there was candy. #3: We had pasta AND sauce for dinner last night. That's it. I asked him twice. That is, apparently, all it takes to make a whole month "happy."
It was a summer more than twenty years ago, when my sister and I wore flip flops to watch the Perseid meteor shower from a mountaintop above a lightning storm. We were camping nine days across the Rockies. I was 11, she was 19, and we each felt the other’s company was riches. It was that one last decade before the emergence of electronics, and we had nothing else to do with our vacation but use our fingers to trace the squiggly lines on paper maps.
I am not, under any circumstances, never, ever, not even in my sweetest fantasies, going to take any Major Awards for parenting. I mention that because this story is going to be about parenting, and I don’t want anybody to think that I don’t notice that it’s coming from a rather questionable source.