Sometimes life on the farm is like a rustic european painting: soft mountain hues, gentle breeze whispering , table set with cheese and wine.
This afternoon is not one of those days.
We had another livestock escape problem yesterday. I delegated the chase to other members of the famiy. It was not done in the way I would have done it. Thankfully cattle are back this afternoon, but I will honestly admit I am perturbed at others not embracing the urgent sense of responsibility I wish they would.
Thunderstorms have been rolling through the last couple of days. That is how I feel. One kid sighed just a little too dramatically when asked to help unload the farmer's market supplies. The gates through which the cattle escaped were still not wired shut (cattle can figure out how to open some gates). Then I went out to the freezer on the deck where we keep produce, bread and some of our meat. Apparently the door had not been shut for hours. Over half the meat was completely thawed out. A duck, 3 chickens, a big roast, livers(well, not too sad about the livers). Many quarts of cherries we painstakingly picked, pitted and put up. Many bags of peas that took me hours to shell. Six or eight dozen pita bread I made up just for our famiy to have on hand. Hamburger buns. Homemade. Several jars of milk put up so if we were ever in need we would have some. I don't know what else. I am crying as I write this. I cussed. I threw things. I threw a big temper tantrum because I felt every minute of hard labor and waiting that went into the making of all those foods. I had plans for them. I was so angry at the loss. It doesn't even matter how, or why or who. That doesn't matter at all. Just that it is gone and wasted.
So, I will cook the meat tonight and we will eat it this week. I am tired and was planning on working in the garden, not cooking a lot of food, since I just finished cooking I don't know how many hours yesterday and this morning. We will refreeze the peas and cherries. There will be a loss of quality and taste, but we still have food. The chickens get the pig liver and the pigs get the chicken liver. The chickens and the pigs get a whole lot of bread. The pigs and chickens will drink the milk. I realize it is not a total loss, and for that I am grateful.
Food has become significantly more valuable to me now that it costs so much effort to bring it to table. We do have three freezers and try to keep things balanced out so that in situations like today, we won't lose everything. We have an energy efficient light bulb plugged into the same outlet as the downstairs freezers, so if the power down there goes off we have a warning. We have much more food growing outside. We will not go hungry.
But it still makes me cry to lose food and have to throw so much work out to the pigs.
And to have to cook a bunch of food when I am tired.
"As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
"But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children--" Psalm 103:13-17
I think I am going to ask for a big hug from my Father God. I could use one about now.