Dean and I drove out to one of the nearby trailheads in the Olympics this morning for a hike and just as we were setting off from the parking lot, the bright sun burning off the last of the morning fog, I thought, “I’m glad we took time to do this today, we’ve been head-down working on the homestead so much lately.” And immediately realized that we had returned home less than eight days ago from a week-long vacation. Across the country. Sort of disoriented, I mentally reviewed the dates again, sure that there had been at least one weekend in between that I missed, but the calendar continues to insist not. That one week just felt like a month.
The days are certainly full. We are settling into daily routines, fitting the new pig tasks into our chicken chores from prior years. The pigs are still endlessly entertaining to us, but we’re figuring out their habits. We know the hollow under the blackberries where they retreat to for a nap after a good meal. We know which one is the bully, and Dean gives him lectures on manners and such. Dean has been shocked enough times that he didn’t do more than wince silently this evening (I’m still waiting to find out what that feels like).
The garden is coming along. It’s certainly later than we’ve ever been, but things are growing (granted, the weeds are outpacing the vegetables, but at least they have some competition). By next weekend, we should have everything in the ground. The water spigot that got installed last winter is fantastic. With a series of hoses, we can reach every part of the garden with a hand-spray nozzle. No more stepping up onto the tailgate of the truck to dip the watering can, then back down again to walk each two-gallon load to its destination. The satisfaction of being able to make our lives easier in those small tangible ways is hugely gratifying.
I walked around the orchard this evening, and it’s overgrown and looking rather neglected right now, but the trees have grown noticeably in the last couple months and look healthy. And it’s not too far down the list for a little TLC.
Which is the story of just about everything around these parts – could use some attention, we hope to give it some soon. Including the mountains, because the homestead list will never stop. I’m looking forward to swimming in a mountain lake and sleeping under the stars soon enough. It feels like another lifetime since I’ve done that but it will be here again soon enough.