Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Every dog has his or her day!

I love our life.  I love the farm, the family, the work.  BUT, I also love a break.  Seeing many biblical precedents for taking off periodically to recharge, this wife, mother, teacher, baker, gardener and milker of cows went online to Priceline and got a last minute cheap ticket to Texas to see my mother!   Called her up on Wed, said, please pick me up tomorrow and lets pack the camping gear and go to Big Bend.  So, my wonderful mother cancelled everything else on her calendar, picked me up at the airport in Austin, and off we went to Big Bend National Park for a long weekend camping trip.  

Philip agreed to man the farm and the fam for a few days.  What a guy!!!  I think he must love me or something!  He and Rose milked Coco.  The bucket was kicked over a couple of times, but the world didn't come to an end.  The girls called me on my cell phone as Mom and I drove through Fort Stockton and Marathon in West Texas to ask how to make butter.  They were very successful.  Kids prepared meals, did chores and took care of each other.  

I got to spend some time with my mom.  It was great.  We remembered all the other trips to Big Bend, 25 years of visiting our favorite park in the US.  So many memories.  Eight years ago my mom was still using a walker after a head on collision with drunk driver ten years ago.  I was pregnant with Rose.  Mom, a professional artist, had not been painting for some time, due to head injuries, chronic pain, what not.  I kidnapped her and we headed to the Big Bend, a national park on the border of Texas and Mexico, 100 miles from the nearest little town.  We cried together as she "hiked" her first hike, post accident, post being told she would never walk again.  It is one of the most painful and beautiful memories of my life.  

Mom and I have escaped down to the park, now, every year or so.  The kids and Philip have learned to love the desert, the mountains, the stars and the borks(Patrick's name many years ago for the javelinas-they look like wild boars and pigs).  
So, when the winter drones on and my Texas bones crave sun, I am ever so grateful for the opportunity to head southwest.  What a good trip.  Mom and I drove around and took pictures and saw sunsets.  Ate yummy food.  One of my favorite pastimes is cooking camp food.  For you foodies out there, here are a few examples!  Roasted butternut squash with red pepper, onions, and garlic.  Roasted okra with peppers, onions, cilantro, cumin garlic and butter.  Oh, that was sooooo good.  And the piece de resistance, the venison medallions stuffed with blue cheese, wrapped with bacon and grilled.  New favorite, right there.  And of course, all meals eaten in the shadow of the mountains, either under stars or beautiful sunrise.  

Wish you could smell the smell of creosote and pine needles.  One afternoon I hiked to Laguna Meadows and found a soft grassy spot to read a book and take a nap.  Next day hiked to Lost Mine Trail, prayed and wrote.  Felt silly, healthy and strong to run down at least half of the  3 1/2 miles down the mountain.  

The flight to Texas and back offered great reading opportunity.  THE UNSETTLING OF AMERICA by Wendell Barry is a must read for you farmers out there, or you people who live, breathe and eat food.  Written in the 70's.  Very prophetic.  Very relevant.  Very hopeful, in that so many people in our little circle and many other parts of the world are taking note and adjusting our lives accordingly.  Read THE KITE RUNNER and SANCTUARY by Wm Faulkner.  Had an all day layover in Chicago O'hare and wrote drafts for reviews for both of those of those books.  Guess that will have to be another blog! 

So what does all this have to do with the farm?  Lovely goats ready to start kidding season, garden ready to be planted, hog ready to be butchered, chicks and duckies ready to be brooded, mom much more ready for spring.  I hope that whoever you are, reading my thoughts, will make sure and take time to take a walk, be still, see beautiful things and pray. 

 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."  Jesus, Matthew 11:28

1 comment:

Debbie Millman said...

Sounds wonderful...SO glad you got to do that. And call me the next time you have an all day layover at O'Hare. I'll be there with bells on (of course you wouldn't get as many books read).