Should Be a Good One

It was nine below zero this morning, the air stone still, the ground draped in the fleece of new snow that fell over the weekend. I milked hurriedly, anticipating an ache in my fingers that never came, and I recalled the old adage that dry = warm. It’s true, as old adages tend to be. My hands have been colder milking in a 40 degree rain.

Pip was haltered to an apple tree in a section of the orchard we’re slowly converting to pasture. We’ve installed two strands of barbed wire, using cedar posts I harvested from our stand, hauling them out of the woods two at at time, a shoulder for each. We set the posts in the early days of December, racing the frost, but it’s taken until now to finish running the wire. We can’t quite seem to get traction on all the projects needing our attention – siding the house, firewood, cleaning the barn, more posts for more fencing in the spring, saw logs, and so on – but I’m getting better at accepting the occasionally-floundering nature of this life. Or any life, I suppose.

I don’t have much else for you today, except to say that the comments in response to last week’s post reminded me yet again of how gracious and insightful my readers are. I consider it an honor that you visit here. Thank you.

Oh, and for the locals: Whiskey Myers is playing Higher Ground on Thursday. For twelve bucks, no less. Should be a good one. And Drive-By Truckers next Wed. Whew.

17 thoughts on “Should Be a Good One”

  1. Ben, I enjoyed your talk on Saturday in Concord. Was the day’s best. I did stop by the Green Fair afterwards to say hello, but you had just left.

    1. You were there? Damn, I wish I’d known. I’m pretty sure I can imagine which one you were – in the hat. Thanks for coming out, sorry we didn’t get to meet.

  2. The old adage can come quite handy on a hot summer day if your beer is warm & no refrigeration is at hand: saturate a towel in water, wrap the towel around the golden brew, place all in a breeze (if necessary use a fan), wait fifteen minutes and PRESTO your beer is deliciously chilled!

  3. You guys are pros. I flounder permanently. Maybe it is all about what we tell ourselves we enjoy.
    Does the bucket of milk freeze into ice cream at that point my kids would ask. šŸ™‚
    We watched Guy Pierri and his son help sheep farmers in Greece hand milk 300 sheep!! Good thing they do not get -9F.

  4. This post & your writing are a breath of fresh air. The visuals I get make me feel like I almost get to experience these rituals/tasks/chores that I’ve never done before. Maybe some day

  5. I can’t even remember how I first stumbled upon your writing (I think it was 5 or so years ago but it seems it has to have been longer…in a good way) but I do know how blessed I feel to have done so. It is a privilege to be a reader of yours. Peace!

  6. Make a plan for every day. Prioritize the ten most important items in the plan. Work the plan. Carryover to the unfinished items to the following day. Repeat.

    That is the distillation of the Franklin-Covey management class that I took in 1993. Plan, prioritize, work, repeat. Simple, obvious, trite, but it works if you commit yourself to it.

  7. I recently came to a fairly obvious realization, that no task gets attention without another one being neglected. Consciously embracing this condition was oddly liberating and, I think, helps me with productivity overall.
    Amazing how the obvious can remain out of sight for years.

  8. When one is ‘conscious’, farm life is as much a bow to the sacred as any church building out there. I love it and know how much you do also. We are so very blessed, aren’t we?

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