Good morning from the first day of July and the last few days before a big milestone. Some of you have been reading about my life in since I was 25, a young farm-curious closeted weirdo. Can’t say I wasn’t stubborn enough to stick it out, because when I made that old blogspot account and named my rented-Idaho backyard Cold Antler Farm, I had no idea it would lead me here. I'm about to turn 40.
I don't mind the number. I don't feel any different, but I do feel better turning 40 than I did turning 39. I've been focused on the farm, this new book, making bills and keeping up with the work.
As I write there are four piglets napping in the barn, and a fifth will join them in the next few weeks. (a runt the breeder wanted to hold on to and make sure was healthy enough to sell before handing him over). There are meat bird chicks in a brooder section of the coop. The horses have access to better gazing thanks to better pasture management, so do the sheep and Cade the goat. The chickens are laying 9-16 eggs a day, keeping egg customers well stocked. The lawn is mowed and kept. The gardens are watered and weeded. New additions like the potato patch and corn/pumpkin patch are recovering from the groundhogs and geese. Besides losing a bunch of young sunflowers, this place is looking better than it ever has.
I still haven’t paid the June mortgage. There’s a couple hundred bucks in my checking account, not enough for a successful 39-year-olds car payment, and while it doesn’t sit with me the way it used to. It doesn’t feel as safe nor do I feel as endlessly motivated to figure it out, I know I will be okay. 15 years of my adult life finding my home, myself, my truth (as corny as that sounds) through farming has been the wildest adventure of my life. Wilder than anything stamped on a passport or paid for with a credit card. I’m still here, something I always say because it always surprises me. Ten years of working from this place and all the lows and highs that came with it.
I'm writing this book, about 30k words in right now and it's mostly a mess of super personal essays about how I ended up here. What I was running from. How terrifying and lonely and magical and lovely the past decade has been. About horses and hawks, about sheep and sheepdogs, about girls and love and sex beside flicking hurricane lanterns during summer thunderstorms. About leaving and finding family, home, and getting over addictions to alcohol and eating disorders. About finding out who I am without a credit card, guru, or world travel. That's where I have been writing. That's where my brain has been. Selling my story is what I feel is my last hope to make this farm a creative safe haven. To keep it going. I'm 10 years out of the workforce now, this is my shot. This is what I want to make happen. So that is where this same stubbornness and hope is being dumped: into my own story, again.
I may not be posting here often, but you can't get me to shut up on Instagram. Feel free to find me there. I promise anyone who keeps up with my stories will feel like they're back in the old blog posts again: all romance and hope and trying. That's what I do.