Today I am composing my 1,000th blog post. My posting stream over the years has ebbed and flowed. Sometimes it has nearly dried up.
Many things have changed in the eight years, four months and twenty-two days I've been blogging. When I started, our kids were all teens or pre-teens. Now they are all adults. All of them are gainfully employed, own small businesses, and/or are working on a degree. There are still some piles of dirty laundry, smudges on the refrigerator, and a few pair of shoes to trip over--but these are fewer than they were eight years ago.
Instead of being a stay at home mom who homeschools her kids, I am now employed part-time as our township clerk and work on the farm in my free time. I just finished parting with the last of the expendable homeschool materials, though I have kept many of our favorite books for future little people who may come to visit.
Over time we have transitioned to organic farming. We added beef cattle and dry beans to the farm rotation, and have stopped raising chickens. We now attend farmers markets on a weekly basis, and still open our farm once a year for shearing day.
We know a lot more about the importance of soil health and its relation to animal and human health than we did at first--yet we are learning new things all the time. We still joke that every year we find new ways to screw something up.
Some things, however, remain the same. We're still farming. We still love what we are doing and are grateful for the opportunity to grow food for animals and people. And we still try to live out those verses that made an impact on our lives so long ago:
"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."
We have tried not to be dependent on anybody, but we are indebted to our parents and our children, who have helped us so much over the years. We certainly aren't wealthy, but we have enough.
As Emily Dickinson penned,
"The Products of my Farm are these
Sufficient for my Own
And here and there a Benefit
Unto a Neighbor's Bin."
Thanks for journeying with us, friends.