Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Looking Back - Looking Forward

Thank you to everyone who sent us cards and greetings for the holiday season. Our cards are still on the dining room table waiting to be written, addressed and sent. Not that we don't think of our family and friends at this time, on Christmas Day more than ever this year we will be toasting "Absent family and friends" and wishing them health and happiness in the New Year.

At this time of the year it is customary to look back at the events and draw conclusions for the future. Well, not much to write about there - financial world went a sleazy trick too far and the world went to hell in a hand basket! But, you can sigh with relief, that is not the theme of this post. Looking back over two Christmas's to when we first bought the farm, and the ups and downs of farm life for two farming novices since then has been a major eye-opener. Sure, we had come from a small farm and a 100 year-old Virginia farmhouse in northern Virginia, with a few horses, two barns and a pond, but that doesn't prepare you for doubling the acreage and number of horses, adding hens, sheep and, finally, bred cows. Not to mention the sundry cats and dogs, both family and inherited with the farm, the run down barns and windows hanging by a thread! Just an everyday story of homesteading, with a horse rescue thrown in for good measure. Ohh, and Jorg was working full time 2 hours away, and I was still being a hot shot consultant occasionally with my old Company (thank you Sue).
Triskelion Farm was born, and we came to appreciate a lot of the grumbles that farmers have, and the time and energy needed just to keep pace with the daily work. However, nothing worth doing, or having, comes easy, and the value in the healthy life style alone is imeasurable. The quiet, and less costly, elements of rural living were key reasons for moving here. But there are many other benefits, and whatever the uncertain future might bring embracing a farming way of life was a good move. Of course that is not what I said on Monday when the thermometer said 19 degrees (F not C!), the milker wouldn't work, and I had neglected to take the hoses off the standpipes and switch on the trough heaters! Nothing brings you down to earth quicker than 18 buckets and five troughs needing the services of a strong right arm and a hammer to break through the ice. That, and the fact that we were supposed to be going to North Carolina to pick up Priscilla the new mini-Jersey. Bad words were said in abundance, but everything was accomplished, albeit later than expected and Priscilla was duly lodged in her new temporary quarters prior to being introduced to Bessie and Rosebud (more of Priscilla in our next post).

Virginia weather is being particularly contrary this Winter, with more rain than we have had in two years (it seems like) and a range of temperatures from unseasonally high to the current lows. But, and it is a big but, we seem to be a pocket of tranquility compared to large parts of the rest of the US, so we have little to complain about really. Of course if I had been better prepared.........

So we see out another year with a range of new skills, and probably a healthier body than for many a year. It's been interesting and rewarding, and we wouldn't have it any other way. We are looking forward to what 2009 might bring with some trepidation, but also with a lot of hope, and we hope that all of you have a happy, healthy and safe New Year.