A crescent moon is suspended like and empty bowl over the hills to the northeast. Temperatures are warm, it was up to 70 today and there should be no rain.
Stars are bright and the evening feels velvety. Moist. Alive.
I am tired and don't feel very alive right now. Just got home from a trip up to New Providence, NJ, to purchase a used commercial oven, a hobart mixer and stainless steel table. Equipment that will enable me to increase the volume of our bakery offerings and decrease the man (woman) hours needed to get it done.
Thomas, Maggie and I borrowed a friend's truck and trailer and drove up yesterday, met up with former church friends and neighbors who helped me deal with the monstrosity. Seems like every single day we are made aware of our need for the help of others, and the beautiful provision for that need through the loving generosity of friends.
I wanted to be excited about our purchase. I wanted to be thrilled with the opportunity to continue the dream and the vision Philip and I shared for so many years.
I felt sad and grieved. I wept in the arms of my NJ friends as we missed Philip.
I didn't even think about how hard it would be to drive up to our old town, the place where Philip grew up, where we buried his mom and dad, where we walked our kids to school and shared many holidays. The night before we drove up I couldn't sleep for thinking of the night of Philip's death and the CPR and the mouth to mouth that would not breathe life into a non-living body. As we drove up, we listened to a book on cd, A River Between Us, by Richard Peck about the lives of family in Southern Illinois during Civil War. Driving into Madison, the story described the young men dying in the camps and I had to turn it off. I could smell the death and see the death and felt nauseous.
I wanted to process going back home, without Philip, but I had to negotiate and maneuver and decide. After our dear friends got the heavy equipment loaded, we went back to our former neighbors' home and shared dinner together and sat around the table for a very long time, them listening to me talk about Philip. They let me cry.
I couldn't really sleep last night.
Everything is different now.
The drive home was uneventful. The load remained securely fastened, we finished the Civil War story, listened to Copeland's Appalachian Spring, then picked up a Mary Higgins Clark mystery at Cracker Barrel.
I wanted to be thrilled and excited about the new to me oven, but I felt tired and old. And sad.
Three weeks ago tonight everything changed.
Don't get me wrong. Every moment isn't sad. Sometimes we laugh, joke and feel happy.
But as I get very intentional about expanding our business and getting serious about making it work, it makes me wish Philip were here to fasten the straps on the load and to pull out his wrench and channel lock to undo the stove and put it all back together.
How grateful I am that there are others who are lending a hand.
Rachel Banks stayed home with the other kids and managed the farm for me so I could go.
She deserves a medal, my father-in-law and mother-in-law would have said if they were here to say it.
Unfortunately, we are having sheep and fence problems. Rachel and the kids have had to bring them back from the neighbor's property almost every day this week. We thought they had found the vulnerable spot and gated off that pasture, but alas the woollies have found another way to get to another weak field. So tomorrow we have to address the issue.
I guess they are so happy about the greening pastures they got distracted.