My paths lately have been full of constant reminders of how fragile life is and how fickle man’s plans are. Just the other week, I was greeted by an overturned semi on the same on-ramp of the fatal rollover a couple of months ago. Last week I drove by several farms hit by either a tornado or strong winds from storms. Barns collapsed onto two brand new harvesters. Metal strewn across large fields. On my way to work today, I passed by a head on collision involving two cars on the highway. It was a mess and both cars were no doubt a total loss, but everyone looked fine, so I passed by the scene. Emergency responders were on their way.
I guess those scenes make me appreciate those meaningful moments as a family, like last night, bedtime stories around a bonfire, birds singing, playful children, and a bright rainbow overhead. Those moments, I will admit, are too few and far between at our house. They are also fleeting and hard to hang on to. Do you know what I mean? Life shows up in one form or another to squash those cherished moments. Examples are abundant, children’s’ teeth in need of brushing, rushing to complete several “time-critical” projects, like planting grass after a septic install to ensure it will get a good start while we are still in our “rainy” season, or ordering the children to pickup a mess after they had been, once or twice, kindly asked to pick up.
I guess those moments add to the overall story of our lives, but I would hands down take that bonfire with the family over picking up the house or mowing the lawn.
This weekend we all got out and weeded the garden and picked strawberries on Saturday, before another dose of rain hit. I think we have officially found and reclaimed much of our garden! The goats enjoyed every bit of it as we tossed the weeds over the fence for them to munch on.
A quick tip. If you are freezing strawberries, pre-freeze them (at least until the outside of the berry hardens) on cookie sheets before putting them in freezer bags. It will make using them in the future much easier, trust me!
Once the rain hit, I worked hard at nearly completing our central vacuum installation, nearly… Now I have to frame a wall to attach the central vacuum unit to. I also need to complete the vacuum lines up to the attic. Okay, I have a ways to go! This project led to another project which then led to another… I ended up working on some ductwork, installing speaker wire in our family room, and lots of other miscellaneous odds and ends.
Once nice weather hit again Sunday afternoon, we headed back outdoors. What better way to spend an hour on Fathers day than at the butcher table, right? Ok, without a question, there are more exciting or relaxing things to do, but, the farm doesn’t wait for the farmer. My two youngest boys were eager to be at my side as I processed three rabbits for a total of 12lb of meat. They manned the hose and spigot to supply me with all my water needs. They also had to do the obligatory “little boy” things, like looking at and touching the rabbit teeth, whiskers, and claws. Although I think they are still too young to fully understand, I tried to explain to them that we treat dead animals with respect, as they died for our sustenance so that we can live. It’s crazy really, a beautiful picture of Christ, right here on the butcher table. Anyways, I am sure they will get to hear my spiel again next time, and next time, and eventually they will understand. Unfortunately, this is a concept that is lost or taken for granted by most in our modern society while eating that chicken, pork, or beef for lunch or dinner. At one time, that animal had to meet a similar fate, although I am fairly certain it did not receive the same level of respect any of my animals receive.
(Frozen rabbit and strawberries)
Getting even messier, we got a new septic put in last week…
As you can imagine, it gave our boys hours of entertainment. On the soapbox for a moment.. For those that think there is no difference between the sexes, our girl had no interest at all in what was going on outside the window in our yard, ZERO. Skid steer, front end loader, dump trucks, septic pump truck… ZERO interest! The boys however were glued to the windows. We didn’t train them that way. Same environment. Same toys. Same computer access. With our house in its current state, even the same bedroom!
Needless to say, as nice of a job as the contractor did at putting the yard back together again after the new septic underwent inspection, it was still a mess. We picked rock, raked the rough patches, and put some grass seed in the ground. Once we get the hay off of the field, I am hoping the regular rains continue so I don’t have to run the sprinkler. What are the chances of that? Around here, rain seems like a guarantee whenever we are in the middle of a roofing project or cutting and baling hay. Kind of like how the dry spell we were having a few weeks ago suddenly ended the moment our neighbor cut our field! According to my forecast predictions, we are in for torrential rains the week of July 4th (the week I start work on our roof and cut in our dormers) 😛