((Apologies in advance. This got rather wordy.))
One of these days I will remember that I mean it when I say that I don’t care what a bunch of spoiled twelve-year-old think about me. I wonder at our future when this colossal failure of a generation stumbles into adulthood. This world will end not at our hands but at the hands of our children.
Fortunately the rest of my busy is more pleasant. The little her is growing. The garden beds have been cleaned for winter. I’m attempting to tan my first hide. I pulled nine eggs out of the hen-house yesterday.
The largest piece of news is that we’ve finally heard something about the disposition of the farm. The (already perc tested!) waterfront lot has been approved by all county agencies. The only thing left was to name the driveway since this will be the fourth residence on the road. Apparently mom’s sisters have already chosen and sent in a name- without telling mom that they had the paperwork. Fuck this family. I realize that it’s a relatively little thing but… really. THAT is how spiteful they are. Mom had to contact the realtor herself and ask before she was told any of this. Please explain to me why the actual Trustee was the last one to find out? (That’s another thing they’ve apparently never understood. They are not Trustees. They don’t actually get to make any decisions but have been convinced- even verbalized as much repeatedly- that they all owned the farm now and could do what they wanted. I’m related to morons.) I can’t wait until the Deeds are signed because I want an eight foot fence with razor wire between me and the rest of them.
The only good thing about this additional layer of hurt, as if any of us can tell anymore under all these layers of insult, is that when mom called up to ask about the lot being sold, she found out that the remaining line adjustments will be done very soon.
It’s almost over.
Now is when the waiting becomes most excruciating. Knowing that it’s almost over, having so many plans for the future and desperate hopes for success… and not quite being able to do it yet.
The other half of the promising news is that, despite the best efforts of the convoluted rules of the Orphans’ Court (which I think were written by stoned opossums) mom should soon have a payout from the massive estate she’s been working to settle for a deceased friend.
I realize that I am in danger of becoming obsessed with my farm- and it will be part mine, I am assured. The parental units wish to bypass much of the legal nightmare involved in dealing with Wills by simply adding my or my brother’s name to things now, and giving us rights of survivorship. It’s kind of a morbid process but having it done brings peace-of-mind. The land will be mine, by right and by law. I think it knows.
The little stone pile in the white pines has a feeling of nervous excitement, and perhaps a touch of apprehension. It’s waiting, a bit warily, to see what I will do. I told it that as soon as I had the law to back my right I would mark my boundary with fire as of old. It responded to the image instantly and now it is waiting, if I had to guess I think that it wants to hope but doesn’t dare, to see if I will do it. It also knows that I fear for it, seeing as it is about to be bisected by boundary lines between a fragmented family. I worry that it will feel the wound.
I know that I am in danger of becoming obsessed. I have this dream, you see. I have this dream of a green grassy expanse stretched out across the gentle roll of the hilltop, neatly divided into pasture lots, in varying stages of regrowth because the land and the old folk know that rotational grazing is the best way to husband both herd and land. The goats are still my best money-maker and my favorite part of all of the work. After working through the legal requirements to make on-farm meat sales, the profit takes care of the bills, most of the rest of the income is spending money. The occasional CPR or First Aid class provides a nice boost, but most of my time is spent on the farm.There are chickens scratching everywhere, we’re getting at least a dozen eggs a day which we sell at the thriving farmers’ market. The pastures are separated from the one uncle I still get along with by a staggered stand of fruit trees. They are old enough to produce now, and with careful monitoring of crows and deer, are supplying us and the animals with apples, peaches, and pears. Between them and the grapevine in the side yard, the pantry is full of jellies and preserves and home-made wine. Bees buzz back and forth between trees and garden. The garden space is dominated by the greenhouse which is full to bursting year ’round thanks to healthy compost piles and a fine southern exposure. The other large greenhouse is on the top of the hill next to the hay and equipment barn. We eat well. The cabin we built years ago has become the hof in truth, turned over entirely to religious function and, of course, storage space. The Tribe has grown to more than a dozen full members and they keep bringing friends. We are able to celebrate most of our festivals together if we choose, and one or two are almost always around to help out with the farm work. They eat well when we gather, and are free to use the workshop to practice their own preferred anachronistic skills. They don’t mind lending a hand. The Tribe usually gathers in the hof or in the basement of the original house that mom and dad built. The folks aren’t crazy about the Tribe that calls this place their other home, but they don’t stop us. They see the good we’re doing. They live on the first floor these days, having yielded the stairs to achy joints. The basement has bunk space, the storage room and the heavy duty locking freezer units that the on-farm meat sales require. They were expensive but worth it. Days pass, goats live and die, eggs appear, gardens yield food in equal return for sweat. Gods and Ancestors and spirits are honored. Tribe is built.
Some of this dream is simply the likely advancement of time and age. Some of it will only happen with hard work. None of it is impossible.
I want this so bad it hurts.
I just have to wait a very little bit longer.