Pieces and Pictures.


As of late, the main job at the farm has been finishing the shop.  “Finishing” has included a hectic schedule of demolition and renovation that has lasted approximately five months.  The job was done alone, and perhaps because of the concentrated reno-work or simply because of the single-handedness there has been an intimate relationship with almost every piece, pipe, and plug in the place.

Now the newly installed floors are being sanded.  Every nook, every cranny, every crack and misplaced joint has been stared down.  The largeness of the job has become a singularity of pieces of a puzzle that is much larger than it seems.  Perspectives change without us knowing.

The fields are unmowed and the barn is filled with “stuff”, seemingly forgotten because of the total concentration on the shop.  However, perspectives change.  The sanding and preparation done, the floors are ready for finishing and the time to broaden perspectives again is now on the horizon.  Perhaps, with a little luck, the farming will come into view soon.

Perhaps soon the nooks and crannies, the cracks and crevices will be forgotten for different puzzles and pieces.  And one day, perhaps, all the pieces will be placed; standing back the picture that was always there, in pieces, will be in full view.  Perspectives change with the pictures that we create.




Slowly, but surely we are rebuilding our farm.  New starts, sometimes, require new starts and such was the case with us.  So much in two years, but all necessary; difficult but necessary.  At least we have our hens back and they’ve started laying.

Every morning I turn into our dirt driveway and look forward to opening the hen house and watching the girls (and Bentsen the rooster) pour out.  There are always a few girls in the boxes.

At the end of the day I go out to collect the eggs.  This is the ritual.  The day begins, by the way, with scrambled eggs and often at dinner we do a southern favorite: deviled eggs.  Of course, we always have a supply of hard boiled eggs.

The other morning I just couldn’t do eggs (I just couldn’t!); yogurt instead.  And the girls kept laying as hens do.  Happy hens picking around on the farm all day finding ticks, eating grass and taking dirt baths and laying eggs.

We have about five dozen eggs in the fridge as I write this; we eat eggs almost every morning and now my favorite childhood treat, deviled eggs, is starting to lose its luster.  This is just not right!  More eggs tomorrow.

And the hens keep laying; happily clucking away after they do. And the thought came to mind: this is why people began bartering.  Not because they wanted a profit: because they got tired of eating eggs every day.

Don’t get me wrong: fresh eggs are a wonderful thing that sadly many people never experience (other lost experiences include fresh, self-slaughtered pork and chicken, and unpasteurized milk).

Eggs are wonderful, and hens are wonderful.  There is a downside to happy hens: lots of eggs.  In big cities these are premium: $5-7 a dozen, but out in the country people just grin at such prices.

“I’ll trade you some eggs for some of that homemade cheesecake?!”

Well, some things you just can’t turn down.