There are days on our farm that end with an joyous cry of, "No one died!"
No chicks, no sheep, no tomatoes. All still accounted for and more or less happy/healthy by sundown.
Yesterday – beginning with an ER vet visit for our cat and ending with herbal remedies for my anemic goat – was one such day.
Sprinkle in me tweaking my back giving said goat said herbal remedy but still managing to deliver the goods – add some natural earache care for one kid and tummy ache-soothing for the other -and we rocked this keeping everyone alive gig.
Though, perhaps, just barely.
Yes, it's been an interesting week. I was flying solo with farm and family and work while Pete was out of town. And having him gone for a few days really helped me appreciate just how much he does around here.
Yes, there's the emotional stuff. Of course. But these days there's a whole lot of practical stuff, too.
I had to work up a chore matrix on a bit sheet of paper so nothing slipped off my radar and resulted in, well, death. Sheep, goats, meat chickens, laying hens, laying chicks, quail, ducks, garden, etc. etc.
It's a lot to keep track of.
So while "distance makes the heart grow fonder" for lots of sloppy emotional reasons, distance also sheds light on just how much energy it takes to keep our life chugging along and just how much I need that other grown-up by my side.
It's a lot to juggle with only one adult-sized set of hands.
For those of you who do this parenting or house-keeping or homesteading gig solo everyday: I'm in awe of your tenacity and spirit.
You get more done in a day than some of us get done in a week.
Truly. You have much you could teach me.
So each night during Pete's absence, despite feeling a bit rung-out at the end of the day, the kids and I put our boots on and headed down to the creek bottom to check on the sheep.
The clock whispered that it was time to be getting ready for bed, but the sheep had different ideas.
We refilled their water and did a quick headcount to make sure everyone is accounted for.
And then, no matter how tired we were (read: I was) the creek called us in.
We walked the trail through the darkening forest and listened to the night birds calling; we sat in silence beside the creek, entranced by her forever song. We watched the sky darken as the fireflies awakened from their day-long sleep.
And then we walked home, locked in the chickens, and headed for the house.
As we fell asleep I couldn't help but be full of gratitude. For Pete coming home soon, for my favorite pillow, for triumphing over a rocky day, for the novelty of clean sheets.
And yes, for the simple truth that – today anyway – no one died.
And for that I am so thankful.
No one died!
I think that means we're winning.