Rose and I were on our own this morning as we did our chores and prepared for farmer's market. Maggie is away with a friend. Philip, Thomas, Patrick and Nora were away as well. A few days ago I called our dear friend, Sean McDermott. Sean worked for us one summer a couple of years ago. We love him dearly. Knowing that he would say "No" if he had to, I asked if he would come and milk the goats for me this morning. Was afraid that it would be hard for me to milk Coco, do the other chores and milk the four goats AND get to market in time.
Not too many friends would agree to spend their Saturday morning home from college milking four cantankerous goats. Not too many friends could do it if they tried.
God bless Sean. He did agree to come.
I forewarned him. The house is going to be topsy turvy. The kitchen is going to be covered in flour. There will be cow milking dishes out and bread making stuff out and I will be totally embarrassed to have anyone come into my kitchen in such a state.
Farming has been great for me. It requires humility. I can't do it on my own without help. Sometimes I have to suck it up and ask, even knowing that the kitchen is a mess, the laundry isn't put away and the stoop is filthy dirty. I want people to come over when the floors are mopped, the dust is gone, weeds pulled, the furniture polished and the stove shiny clean. Fact is, farming makes it very hard for those things to ever get done all on the same day. If I wait to ask for help until it is all put together, I will wait until the day I die.
So, I warned Sean. Thankfully, he has spent many months hanging with us. He has seen glorious moments, less than spectacular moments and even some very traumatic moments. He helped save Maggie's life when she sustained a life-threatening injury. A few dirty dishes and a flour-strewn floor are not going to hurt Sean too much.
Rose and I did our chores, milked Coco, checked on the animals, made sure the sheep were fine. We headed out the door at 7:30, so very grateful that the goats would be just fine in Sean's care.
Market was brilliant. Even though the rain poured down our customers showed up and bought every single loaf of bread and pizza crust and pound cake. After market Rose and I had a date at a local restaurant called Local Roots. She had chicken and rice soup. I had pita with eggplant and portabella mushrooms. It was so delicious. Not only delicious, but even Rose could tell that the chicken was "real" chicken. This place uses ingredients sourced from over 60 area farms. Sounds like a Full Circle type of meal to me! We farm, sell our goods, go eat at a place using local stuff bought from other farms. Yumm.
Anyway, we run our errands, drop by another farm to pick up leftovers of bread from the other farmer's market. Chat with fellow farmer and head home. Tired, but satisfied. Mother daughter time alone is precious. Rose and I planned to clean up the kitchen, do our chores then cook a special supper for just the two of us.
I must share that when I was a little girl our family had a running joke about the "good fairies." On the occasions we would have to leave an unfinished task at home, like a pile of laundry or a few dishes in the sink, we would wonder amongst ourselves if the good fairies had been to our house to clean up our mess while we were gone. They never did. But we always knew that they would, someday, right when we needed it the most.
We got to the house and I had fleeting thoughts of good fairies. Rose checked on the sheep in the field. I checked on the barn animals. Then we unloaded the market supplies and went into the house.
The kitchen was clean! No speck of dirty dishes, flour, pots or pans anywhere! The floor was swept, the trash was emptied. The counters were spotless.
I know Sean can't clean a kitchen that thoroughly AND milk the goats all by himself, so that PROVES there really are good fairies.
God bless them.
Thanks to the "good fairies," Rose and I were able to take care of evening milking, barn sweeping, egg gathering, muck-raking, broiler moving, turkey situating and then make a special supper.
She requested salmon.
We had sesame seed encrusted pan-seared salmon, green beans from our garden sauteed with onions and garlic, and some of the crispiest, sweetest, crunchiest corn on the cob I have had all year (courtesy of our farmer's market friends-Thistle Dew Farms). Rose asked if we could dine by candlelight. Of course I said yes. She remembered how much fun it is when the power goes out because then you have to eat by candlelight. We gobbled down our food and Rose discussed how eating corn on the cob is not very lady-like. We thought that if we had the president over for supper maybe we shouldn't serve corn on the cob. Then we changed our minds and thought that if President Obama came over for supper we should definitely serve him corn on the cob because it would break the ice since you can't help but be happy with people if you are eating such yummy corn on the cob together. Then we remembered that we had decided to pray for President Obama and his family everyday since he has to make so many important decisions regarding health care and insurance and other important stuff. So we paused for a minute and prayed for the president and his family. Then we finished up our meal and cleared our places, thoroughly satisfied.
I guess I am afraid that if other people see the real me, the one that is a terrible housekeeper with disorganized drawers and stacks of stuff everywhere, maybe they will think that I am dumb, bad, or even worse: inadequate. The truth is that vulnerability opens the door to all sorts of beautiful things.
Like being served by good fairies.
That sweet act of service blessed me. Blessed my daughter. Even blessed the President of the United States!
So thank you, dear, dear Sean, for milking the goats for us this morning. That act of service enabled me to get to market with smiling face.
And thank you, dear, dear fairies (I ALWAYS knew you were out there!), for cleaning up my mess while I worked at the market and ate lunch in a restaurant. You enabled me to be eat a candlelit dinner with my daughter and discuss important stuff with her.
And thank you, God, for putting so many wonderful friends in our life. I am grateful.
Tired, but grateful.