What Now?

June 26, 2012 § 5 Comments

The current stretch of rainy weather has been most welcome; after nearly two weeks of perfect haying weather, things were starting to feel a bit dry, and the relief we felt as the first drops starting pinging against the tin roof above our bedroom was like exhaling a breath held two beats too long. I’ve been moving the cows to fresh pasture twice daily, and legs of all my pants are soaked from pushing through the tall grass. I don’t even bother to change anymore, and have become accustomed to the clamminess of wet denim against skin.

I suppose we are pushing hard right now, although motivation and energy levels are high enough that it doesn’t really feel like it. The list of daily chores is long and multi-faceted: Feed and water the pigs, the meat birds, and the layers. Move the sheep to fresh pasture, then the cows. Bottle feed Pip, our two-week-old heifer that Penny is intent on training to pull. Milk. Tend the gardens. In between, fell trees and mill lumber, find and haul foundation stones for the new barn. Finish splitting firewood for the coming winter. Tractor work for the neighbors. And so on.

Having just submitted a complete draft of book #3, I am allowing myself to pretend for a few weeks that I don’t need to figure out what the hell I’m going to do next. This is a bit of a dangerous game, dependent on our not spending on anything but the most essential goods and services. And even then, it can’t last much longer. Ideas come and go, I turn them over and then back again, sometimes in silence, sometimes out loud, trying them on for size. It often feels to me as if the ideas that intrigue me most are the ones that seem least likely to be salable.

But in truth, I’m pretty sure I’m just putting up roadblocks, trying to extend my working vacation to its last sweat-streaked, shit-stained, pants-soaked moment, and I’m damn grateful to be able to do so.




§ 5 Responses to What Now?

  • maggiemehaffey says:

    And it’s when you relax and don’t think about it that the best ideas come…

  • Vonnie says:

    great photo, I love the two watches at different times. A sweet moment.

    The best life is a genuine life. If you stay true to your’s, you’ll be fine. And hey, I, along with many others have ready both of your books thus far. You can be sure I’ll buy the third once it’s available…and the 4th….and the 5th. I very much enjoy your style and information without you being preachy about the passions in our lives that we share in common. Keep on keepin’ on, Ben, you’re bound to continue the successes. ~Vonnie

  • Toby says:


    I’ve really enjoyed both your books and your blog doesn’t get updates nearly as often as my interest wants it to. I for one would gratefully buy a book that was your story past, present and future. We have a small farm. I run a big co-op. we are voracious readers of homestead noir. Go for it!

  • Jeannie says:

    As a book buyer and blog reader, I hope you will continue to do both.

  • Lisa says:

    Tell me about the new book…and let’s craft a talk at the Stowe Free Library about it. We look forward to having you back!

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