Monday, December 25, 2017

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Winter has definitely arrived on the farm.  While we don't have much for snow this year, the temperatures are currently below zero (Fahrenheit) as I write this and there isn't much relief in the ten-day forecast.  There may be some snow later in the week.  In fact, we hope it will snow, since it seems silly to be cold without the snow.

We don't have much for Winter pictures from this season so far, but we have some pretty nice ones from years past.  So, as part of our efforts to celebrate the Holiday Season, we thought we would share some of the beauty that nature brings us.  While Winter may be cold and harsh, it is not altogether devoid of kindness, joy and love.  And life is always stirring just under the surface.

Tammy and I have had the privilege to work together a good deal over the past week once she completed her grading and commitments for the Fall Semester.  It's been refreshing for me because it's been a while since I've had anyone helping on the farm.  So, there's a renewal of purpose when there is someone else involved in the farm work.

Of course, I also like her a LOT, which is part of the reason we got married in the first place.  So, it is extremely nice to get to spend more time with her over the Holidays - even if significant portions of that time is spent scooping out the hen room.

Others who work in education can probably relate to this.  After all, the approach of the end of a term that also coincides with preparations for holidays at the end of the year is always on the edge of frantic.  We won't say WHICH side of frantic it lands on.  But, it isn't the side where sanity usually lies.
We were able to make our final CSA deliveries of the year together - mostly.  We actually ran out of time trying to clean everything so I zipped into Waverly while she cleaned a few more dozen eggs.  She was able to arrive about halfway through the Waverly distribution, but she was there for the entire Cedar Falls distribution.

Tammy is important for the success of the Genuine Faux Farm, but it can get difficult for her to see that as the semester wears on and she becomes more and more removed from our operations.  While I cannot say that our frantic day of CSA prep was relaxing.  I also cannot say that every moment was enjoyable.  There are only so many carrots and eggs a person wants to wash in a given period of time.  Yet, we were able to feel the accomplishment that comes with fulfilling a contract to provide good food to people who appreciate what we do.  And, we were able to feel that accomplishment together - as the team that we are.

Once the CSA season is completed, we typically have a ridiculously long list of things that we want to do before we have to begin doing things for the new semester and new season.  We were hoping/planning to do some house repair work during the two weeks around Christmas.  Here we are with one week gone and it was spent doing all kinds of outdoors work on the farm.  The good news?  Some of that work actually forwarded the work on the house.  But, I am afraid Tammy will head back to school and we'll both feel that we didn't reach any of our goals for the break.
It is tempting to say that we will have failed.  But, the truth is that we could do nothing for the rest of this week (which we won't) and we should feel a sense of accomplishment and be at peace for what was.  We took on difficult tasks and completed them.  We enjoyed time with people we care for and reached out to others.  We dealt with commitments in a manner that hopefully left those to which they were owed feeling like they were treated kindly and well.  We even played a few board games and let the cats get some of the attention they so richly deserve.

Busy lives with heavy responsibility and daily puzzles that need solving can be a bit like the Winter.  The relentless weight of the cold can numb your senses and turn your thoughts toward negativity.  There are only so many days that a person can work long and hard to accomplish all that needs doing only to find that the effort wasn't enough.  It can just as demoralizing as the upcoming windchills we are looking at for the next few days.

But, there is still that life stirring just under the surface.  And once you open your eyes there is beauty to behold.  Even in Winter.

We hope that everyone who reads this has the opportunity to be reminded of the good things in their lives.  May you have the chance to celebrate life and love as you see fit, whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa, Solstice, your own birthday, a long life well-lived but now past or the latest snowfall that made everything look now once again.
May we all remember that there are many who are struggling and need help.  We wish for us all the strength to break the ice that holds our wills still so that we can act in ways that make things better.  We have the ability to bring a little warmth to others in big ways and in little ways.  Let's see what we can accomplish in the spirit of this season.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Rob & Tammy
Genuine Faux Farm

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