Thomas is still recuperating for his surgery last week.
After a big day yesterday of packing up books and winter clothes and doing loads and loads of laundry, I woke up tired and weepy.
Larry came over this afternoon to help finish up the deck construction. What a woman is my dearest friend Lynne who doesn't hold it against her husband to be over here working on my chore list instead of her own...
Mike showed up again.!.
They grabbed Patrick and before you know it, the deck project was completed. At least until we get it pressure washed and painted. Thomas was well enough to haul household trash and Goodwill bags out for me, then he began a pot of mashed potatoes. Extra big pot of mashed potatoes. I pulled out thawed out pork chops from the fridge for our supper. I figured that the kids have been working so hard, I wanted to fix them a nice meal, and we were blessed by a gift of the chops from the Depret-G's the other day. I grabbed a jar of green beans from the basement, a gift from another farmer friend that we canned last summer.
I turned around, and there was the Wilborne family, here to finish up a chore in the upstairs bathroom. Giant hugs were shared and a chicken was pulled out of the fridge. A chicken gifted to us by Mike on Saturday. A Freedom-ranger, raised and processed by him and some other friends.
Before you know it, the trim was up in the hallway, the bathroom shower was finished and we were all eating a delicious meal out on the deck in the cool evening air.
This morning I felt so empty, it seemed I had absolutely nothing to give, not to my family, to my friends, to God or to myself.
I prayed with a couple of friends for some encouragement and light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes it feels like that crucial moment in natural childbirth called transition. The pain of labor is so hard, I remember feeling like I couldn't endure another moment. The midwife told me that no matter how I felt like couldn't do it, the truth was that I was doing it, and there was a baby being born, and sure enough, the pain was productive and about the time I realized I couldn't go on, there was a baby in my arms.
This evening, as I looked at the beautiful new deck railing and the lovely new ceiling and trim and the working shower, I felt encouraged. And then, as the food was ready to set out on the table, I realized I had something to give. Ironically, it was something that was given to me!
Pork chops from Stewart, raised by another farmer in the area. Chicken raised and processed by Mike, an amazingly generous gift, if you have ever raised a chick into a several pound bird and put it into kitchen-ready state! Potatoes cooked by Thomas. Green beans seeded and grown and picked by another farmer friend last summer. Cool air, replacing the stagnant, oppressive heat of the afternoon.
Just for a moment, I think I caught a glimpse of something rather magical. Something out of nothing. A miracle? Tired friends, tired kids, tired me, all sitting around the table, way later than dinner time. But it was good.
And I am grateful.