It’s been a winter to remember and it’s not over yet. We’ve had snow on the ground since 18 December and more expected this week but not the two plus feet projected at last weeks’ end. Everyone is tired, weary and to the point of exhaustion. Farmers in our valley are struggling to get out every day, twice a day, and feed livestock. In the worst of the weather, farmers are out no later than 8:00 a.m. and it takes them until close to noon to feed. They go home, ostensibly for lunch but, more than likely, for a toes up so they can recover and be out by 2:00 p.m. to feed again. It takes a lot of hay and silage to keep cattle, horses and sheep fed when the temperatures are below freezing and the wind chills at, or below, zero. In the last few days we’ve had a respite and weary hearts are grateful. We even had sun on Sunday but, true to form, we’re back to overcast, gray skies, rain and, no big surprise, more snow expected all week.
Forgive me for what may seem like complaining; truly, it’s not meant to be whining. The stark reality is folks all over our valley are physically tired but, thank God, not sick and tired. We seem to have escaped the influenza that’s been going around and haven’t had that particular drain on our resources.
This winter has been slow living at its best -smile-. Most of us have moved at a snail’s pace, slower than usual, in order to keep our feet under us and stave off injuries due to slipping on snow and ice. Those ski poles my brother gave me have sure come in handy this winter and it’s rare I venture off the back porch without one and, sometimes, two in hand.
Lately, I’ve been running across the words slow, deliberate, movement and the like. It appears what was old is new again and, in this case, is a good thing, a Very Good Thing. Year’s past, both Dave and I worked in corporate America and have done our stint to help earn someone else money and to promote the agenda of others. We’ve had offices in DC, NYC and Richmond, VA but they don’t hold a candle to our home office on the farm. I was raised in a lifestyle that promoted family, community, church and friends. We ate meals at a family table, went to church several times a week and the only time I heard the word “hurry” was in conjunction with meal time or going to church. “Hurry up and wash, it’s suppertime.” “Hurry and get your shoes on, it’s time to leave for church or school.”
There’s nothing wrong with music lessons or sports but it seems families are in such an all fired hurry these days. Rushing hither and yon, trying to cram thirty hours in a twenty-four hour day, leaving too little time for things that matter – family meals, church, chores, sleep. So many children are cranky and ill-tempered, fed a diet of sugar and caffeine and expected to be at the top of their game. It’s difficult enough for adults to keep up but to expect children to keep up is insane.
For curiosity, I searched the words “slow living” and came up with some interesting hits. I already knew about my friend’s daughters’ blog, Appalachian Feet. Anne, or Eliza Ann, as she’s now called…lovely name, btw, but I’m imprinted since I knew her when she was but a gleam in her Daddy’s eye, and will forever and a day think of her first as Anne…is an urban gardener and writes a mighty fine blog about the process. She has some exceptional links, useful information and is quite informed about her topics. She doesn’t have a friends column on her blog so, for updates, you’ll have to cut and paste to your own sidebar. Do visit Appalachian Feet and bookmark; it’s a keeper.
You’ve heard about the Slow Food movement, right? It’s a great place for information about happenings of interest such as a Canadian dairy farmer winning the right to sell raw milk. Yeah, that’s right…he had to fight for sixteen years for the legal right to sell his farm product. It’s illegal in most USA states to sell raw milk and all because government employees and officials think they can guarantee food safety. Lord A-Mercy! Only God can do that but leave it to government employees and officials to push God aside in their quest to control the populous. I was raised on raw cow’s milk and milk products and firmly believe it gave me an edge due to the good bacteria it provided. Not to mention the flavor; OH MY GOSH, the FLAVOR! Even now, every so often I’ll obtain raw milk and churn butter, make buttermilk and all sorts of good stuff.
It seems the Slow Movement begun in opposition to a proposed McDonald’s being built on the Spanish Steps in Rome. No, this isn’t a joke and it’s not remotely funny, imo and although McD’s has had some brain burps, this ranks among the most severe. How could one possibly imagine placing a fast food hamburger joint in such a location? The mind positively reels! However, from those humble beginnings, the Slow Movement now encompasses Slow Travel, Slow Money, Slow Parenting, Slow Art, etc.
Elaine Marie Lipson, Red Thread, has coined the term Slow Cloth and started a group for those who enjoy the process. Others, including Just Enough Time, Jude Hill of Spirit Cloth, quilter Beth Ferrier and Sharon B. all speak to the Slow Cloth way of doing things. Good reads all, thought provoking and the eye candy is icing on the, proverbial, cake.
This past weekend I was able to leave the farm! Yes, it’s true…I went to A Likely Yarn‘s Yarn Camp and had such a lovely time, met some truly nice folks and thoroughly enjoyed myself. For the weekend, I lived a little faster than normal but, more than likely, still lived slower than most. I knitted a simple hat, part of a set of scarf and fingerless mitts as gifts for my Be-Loved Sistah. I didn’t do all I wanted to do, I forgot to ask someone to show me how to cast on a Moebius and how to repair a Orenburg shawl that’s had a bit of moth damage but good times and good memories are still mine.
Essentially, all this talk about slow this, slow that is about living with intention and deliberately with passion and process…at least this is how I think of the whole slow thing movement, in all its forms. It’s getting back to
our my roots, keeping to the path, living joyfully and mindfully, enjoying the journey and not worrying, so much, about whether something is done perfectly or even correctly. After all, aren’t those merely words that mean different things to each of us? For me, it’s knowing I’ll never be finished…not in the sense I’ll complete all the work my hands and heart want to complete. If I die at a thousand years, there will still be wool to be spun, yarn to be knitted into shawls to gift a heavy heart, a quilt to warm a body, a meal to be cooked, shortbread to be baked, life to be lived, puppies to walk, kittens to nuzzle, babies to hold, a lover to cherish, sunrises and -sets to be savored…life to be lived!
Blessings ~ slow living ~ slow food ~ slow craft ~ slow movement ~ slow cloth ~ slow ~
Thanks for visiting Thistle Cove Farm,