|Freshly laid, and soft boiled, eggs, tossed with gremolata & olive oil marinated fresh mozzarella, a most excellent way to begin the day.|
My favorite days on the farm are those in which the stark simple beauty of this life, presents itself. Today is a day like that. Today there is joy in this morning. Joy, and soft boiled eggs.
The small plot of land upon which we, by twist of fate, presented ourselves, and our midlives, is situated in, perhaps, some of the most beautiful countryside of Central Texas, in the Hill Country. Home to grand, rolling hillside ranches, wildflower-covered fields in which Longhorn cattle graze, serene lakeside communities, manicured golf courses and the lovely homes of retirees that dot their edges, there is breathtaking beauty all around. The scenery suggests abundance in every direction.
The homesteads that surround ours, perhaps, not so much.
Some of the poorest families in our county are scattered among the acreage surrounding ours, and, sadly, they, and the homes they live in, are often subject to the snickers of townsfolk more fortunate than they.
It has bothered me for some time.
I believe that any great change in our lives comes as an invitation for growth and understanding, and as a call to action. There's been a lot of action around here, chronicled, in small parcels, on the 'pages' of this blog. A small farm has been established. Goats have been delivered. Puppies have been birthed. Ribbons have been won. Gardens have been grown. Friends have been made. Lives have been joyfully lived.
And, mostly off these pages, stories have been told. Funny tales like the time I met the children from up the road, three dirty little faces in a wagon pulled by a fresh-faced, young, and enthusiastic momma, whose names, though offered by each at an equally enthusiastic volume, I could not quite make out. Each child mumbled their monikers proudly, and repeatedly, but suggesting my hearing wasn't quite up to snuff, Momma interceded and proudly proclaimed them, " Chevy, Geo, and Porche! You know. Like the cars!"
Like the time I stopped to chat with the deputy 'visiting' a recently abandoned home nearby, until then, a small hotspot of 'questionable activity' and no less than daily high-pitched, profane and colorful catfights, during which, try as I might, I could not position myself sufficiently upwind as to determine the cause. We chatted a while, much like, I imagine, a townsperson would shoot the breeze with any small town, Andy of Mayberry-like sheriff., alternately shaking, and scratching, our heads at the lifestyles so foreign to our generation. After asking where I lived, he remarked, with surprise, "Your's is the only property on this road we haven't been to…" , to which I replied, "Yeah, I aim to keep it that way."
And then there are stories that have not been told enough.
Like the afternoon when two giggly preteen girls visited. They said they'd always wanted to see inside. They asked if they could bring a cookie mix back and bake them with me, because they didn't have a working stove, and 'this feels like a place you should have homemade cookies'. We baked them from scratch, together. And they came back the next day to learn how to make marmalade with me. They even pretended they liked it, though I never knew a preteen who liked marmalade.
Later, when each of their families moved in the middle of the night, I was sad to see them go. But I was grateful, and deeply honored, to be given the chance to show these young ladies a different way of life. I believe seeds were planted in those afternoons together. Seeds planted in the minds of two young ladies. Seeds planted in the heart of one fledgling farmer.
Or the story of that afternoon, assisting, for the very first time, a difficult delivery of a kid goat with no more knowledge than that which I learned in frantic searches on YouTube, and checking in with my in-the-goating-know friend, Brenda, who answered my pleading texted questions with quiet assurance. The day was long, with many turns, and in the afternoon, an energy and resource-depleted middle-aged neophyte farmer rushed into town, between the every 2-hour feedings, for an extra bale of hay.
I got to the feed store, still covered in evidence of kidding, which is not even looked upon sideways at a feed store, and realized, in my frenzy, that my wallet was sitting on the potting bench next to the goat birthing pen. After a good laugh at my expense that I'd made it to the feed store in a compact car, with no money, to buy hay, I was sent on my way with a fresh bale, tucked into the back seat, on the house.
.....to be continued, on A Soft Boiled Morning, Part II.
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