It seems appropriate that we purchased the farm a few days before Thanksgiving because we have an annual reminder to take stock of our progress and be consciously thankful about all of our blessings. Simply sitting around a campfire and enjoying the peaceful sounds of nature instead of having city sounds encroach into our house and lives at all times of day and night is wonderful. Lying in bed and watching daybreak without feeling the need to jump up and start working is even better. It’s not that we don’t have plenty of things to do here, we just have a different mindset once we leave I-20 and start our drive through the country to the farm.
Of necessity, I put groceries away when I arrived yesterday, but once the perishable goods were safely stored, I put my boots on and took a quick walk around. It was only 60 degrees, but there was a steady stream of bees in and out of every hive. Some bees even had huge bags of dark orange pollen. While there are still some yellow-jackets and flies, they are fewer in number, although the traps don’t seem to have contributed much to the reduction. Still, we’re thankful that we can step into the bee yard without having to suit up and even more thankful that the entrance reducers are keeping the invaders out. Best of all is that the bees are doing well.
We have decided to move the hives to a sunnier spot over winter break as we have one corner of the present apiary where hive beetles just thrive. I may start leveling out some of the ground where the hives will go this weekend. That brings me to another thing to be thankful for: the tractor. We have the best neighbors and family who have loaned us equipment over the two years we have owned this land. We would not be where we are without them. However, being able to buy our own tractor has been a game-changer because we have unlimited time to use it when we’re here. Our neighbor is always willing to let us borrow equipment for as long as we like, but we don’t like to take advantage of his generosity. While we still have some of his tractor implements over here, we are not getting in the way of him being able to bush-hog or do all of the other things a tractor helps with.
Sitting here with an old computer that is trying to run a month’s worth of updates over a cell-phone hot spot makes me thankful that we get away from technology (to an extent) while we’re here. While our computers at home and at work are faster, they do have a tendency to run updates any time we’re in a hurry to get something done! I spend so much time looking at computer screens that I could no longer read student essays on the computer after the first hour last week and this. Last night was the first night in a long time that my left eye did not throb with eyestrain. While a new pair of bi-focals would probably help alleviate that problem, looking at trees solves it! I’m too much of a geek to ever abandon technology completely, but too much time in front of a computer is not physically or mentally healthy.
That said, it’s time to put on some boots and head outside. It’s a beautiful, sunny day and temperatures are just right for doing manual labor. The dog is so clearly having fun that we can’t help but smile to see her cavorting about. I honestly don’t know what we’d do without the stress relief that the farm provides, or the friends and family that it brings us closer to, or the dreams for the future that become more tangible when we just stop and make plans. I hope all of you have a relaxing and stress-free Thanksgiving holiday and that life is as good to you as it is to us.