top of page

Memorial Day

Before I even stepped outside to start morning chores, I heard the clip clop of hooves on pavement. I thought nothing of it. A lot of Amish families have moved into the neighborhood over the years, and the pace of the horse was clearly a trot, so I assumed a buggy was heading over mountain. I made my coffee. I let the dogs out to pee. While outside, I looked over at the lambs, and nodded approval at them for remaining on the correct side of the fence. (Lamb escapes have ceased, thank Brigit.) I went back inside to get dressed.

That was when I heard the hooves again! I was able to get to a window just in time to see a woman (or possibly an older teenager, it was a glance) riding a bay horse at a trot uphill. Long brunette hair, a put-together horse, and she was gone within seconds of seeing her. I couldn't tell if she was a neighbor or one of the Memorial Day Weekend visitors. Feels like every other farm these days hosts a campsite or cottage on Air BnB, so I couldn't be sure. But there are few horses besides my own kept on the mountain, and I never see people riding on the road besides myself.

My own horses called out from their paddock at the passing rider. I hadn't let them out into the yard to graze and was happy about that. I didn't think they'd cause a fuss but my "mowing fence" isn't electric, it's just string wrapped around trees that looks exactly like their charged fence in the back, and if the Mare or Merlin wanted to test it to run out into the road to see a trotting mare 5 meters away, they sure could...

Anyway, it made me happy to know I live on a road where horse traffic is common and to be expected. It made me happy to see someone enjoying their animals on a cool, sunny, morning. My friend Patty, an experienced and wise horsewoman, always told me there are two types of horse women: the kind that ride their horses and the kind that buy stuff for their horses.

This gal was the first kind, and I wished I could have chatted with her a second just to ask how the road was as a trail! I plan on starting to ride Mabel more, soon as I get her where I feel more comfortable, but anyway - that was how my morning started.

It's the holiday weekend, so I haven't been spending a lot of time near town or the river. I live three miles from one of the most beautiful and famed trout streams on the east coast. I can go there any Tuesday at 4PM and have the quiet peace of being the only angler around. I don't want to join the weekend fly fisherman in $4,000 worth of new gear, drunk kayakers and tube floaters, or the people who "fish" as an excuse to build an illegal campfire and down a case of cheap beer. This is their weekend. I stay on mountain. If I get a hankering, I can go practice roll casting at the bass in my pond. There's no room to cast properly, like I do on the river. There's so many trees and underbrush, so it's a great way to lose flies and learn new curse words.

So I stay here. Yesterday I spent hours working on the gardens. I used to be one of those people who went out and bought 6-packs of everything and put it in the ground. Now everything is seeds and patience, but a lot less expensive and a lot more fun! I still have some things I set in as plants, like tomatoes and peppers, which need a better start than I can offer without a greenhouse. But mostly, I am watching the new plants rise from compost from this farm, and I tend them the way I'd like to be tended. Which means lots of attention, lots of nice words, and lots of hot gossip about everything going on with the farm animals. I tell those seedlings EVERYTHING. They know all about the failed goose nest operation, the three hens gone broody (crossing fingers they raise more layers because I am not buying in chicks this year), and of course - Mabel's attitude adjustment in process.

The pie pumpkins are doing fantastic, all of my mounds have at least two seedlings now. The jacks aren't up yet but they planted a week later, so any day now. My sweet corn needs some tending today. I need to weed and remulch them, that's the gardening task for this Monday.

Yesterday was weeding and working in the kitchen garden. Radishes and salad greens are ready to eat and enjoy, as is some kale! Snap peas are training up their lattices, zuchinni and butternuts are starting to sprout. I have morning glories, dahlias, sunflowers of every shape and size, peonies and petunias, and more I am growing! The herb garden needs some more additions, and I still need to get some peppers and more tomatoes planted, but everything is on its way!

Oh! And the potato patch is FANTASTIC this year! I plant those nightshades in an old compost pile that had melted down over the past 5 years from goat and pig hay to black soil and they are almost flowering! I hope this is a good potato year. I didn't buy a single seed potato this spring, just planted what I saved from last year that started morphing into many-eyed beasts in the shade.

The piglets are doing well! Still skittish but getting braver. I hope to spend some time getting to know them more today. I can tell you this much, it is SO NICE having a pig bowl on the table for all the garden and kitchen scraps again. When you keep pigs even composting feels like a waste, money right down the drain. Being able to gibe them carrot shavings and leftover greens and like that, it enhances their diet and feels like nothing gets wasted. By the by, these pigs do not like my breakfast radish greens, but everyone is allowed their own taste. The goat adores them.

It's not even June yet and it feels like High Summer. I can't believe I get to still have three more months of this. It feels embarrassingly wealthy. To be able to sit on my little porch with coffee and sunshine, my dogs and Bo the cat all around me, the geese in the stream, the horses enjoying their hay breakfast (Derek, my hay guy, brought the NICEST first cut I have ever seen last night!) and all in all, I feel like the richest woman you never met with $200 in her bank account, but it'll grow. I'll make some sales and figure it out. But for today, I plan on having a holiday. I'll putter with some emails and one sketch I promised a customer, but beyond that it's my gardens and my pond and enjoying this mountain home.

I hope your holiday is joyful, restorative, and kind to you! I hope you find yourself in a place with sunshine and hoof sounds, with sunlight and chattering hens, with good friends and great books, and who knows, might even have a campfire tonight with some music if my heart takes me there. Wish me luck fighting the good fight in the corn rows!


Thank you to the (10!!!) people who sent writing contributions yesterday! When I write about things like that, I never know how they will be taken. It meant a lot that some of you valued it enough to send a tip! This morning's post was a little more mundane, but a good snapshot of a holiday morning. We'll see if writing about gardens and mystery riders is enough to encourage a post tomorrow, I guess? But this is the first time in a long time I've posted for a week straight.

If anyone has questions they want addressed as a blog post, email them to me. Or send them on Instagram, where I am the most active. I'm actually too active on there, but I'm working on it. Kinda.

I just wanted to be clear that no one has to pay anything. I will still write here and it's always available for free. But if anyone wants to volunteer to venmo/paypal at least one dollar, it means I will write a post the next day. If no one does, then I'll update when I feel like it. Might be the next day, might be in a month.

Please understand, that I do not mean a dollar for every post or from every reader! I mean, quite literally, if a single person anywhere in the world sends a single US dollar, and that's all the money I earn that day, I'll write tomorrow.

Venmo: jennawog (preferred)


439 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

This is my favorite time of year. It has been since I was a little girl. September, Autumn, this whole season contains my happiest childhood memories. The ramp-up preparing for a new school year might

I broke out in hives a couple days ago. It’s a severe stress reaction, because life has been stressful lately and my body has had it. It's something that hasn’t happened since college, but hoo boy did

Grow Up

bottom of page