It’s Hard To Be

It’s hard to be vigilant when things feel comfortable and convenient. – Matt from mustbethistalltoride.com, Diagnosing Relationship Failure is Not for the Self-Assured

If there is one thing I have learned about living out on a farm it is that the convenience of living in the city was hard won by those who came before us. But at the same time we take most of it for granted.

It takes twenty minutes for us to get into the nearest town. Just to get to town, not the store or the gas station or a specific place, just the outskirts of town where the first houses are. And that’s if the weather’s good and there’s nothing wrong with our car. (The car wouldn’t go over 60 mph for a while there without overheating within 10 minutes. In hindsight, it was only a matter of time before it died and we had to get the truck.)

I grew up in a small city. I have to call it a small city because  to most people that’s what it is. It’s not a small town because it’s bigger than that, but if you compare it to any other size city anywhere else (including Denver, Colorado, just one state over) it really is just a small city. But that didn’t mean it didn’t have it’s conveniences just the same. I grew up being able to walk to a 50 cent and then dollar movie theater, a community swimming pool and a public library (although that last one was a bit further away and up a very steep hill that was more a part of the mountain we lived right up against.)

Now the only library that’s convenient is the one that I’ve spent my whole life compiling. The movie theater is what movies my niece buys at the thrift store to go with the old VCR that her brother found at the same thrift store (those VHS tapes are the sturdiest things outside of a nokia phone, I swear) and we try to visit one of my sisters who live in an apartment at least three times during the summer to go swimming there.

But we have our own animals that have helped supply a good portion of what we would be getting at the store: milk, eggs, cheese (we have to make it), sour cream (ditto), and meat. We try to grow our own vegetables, but something always goes wrong. (It’s funny that the garden that had goats and pigs getting into it actually fared better and gave us more crops than the one that three chickens got into. The irony.) We gather wood and straw for the winter and have to repair the shelters and sheds that we use for the farm ourselves.

I have learned things that I never thought I’d learn (how to midwife for a goat is always the first thing that pops into my mind).

But while there’s a lot less convenient things out here, it’s also the place I’ve been the healthiest and happiest since I was a small child. It’s hard work, but it’s work that I have found to be very satisfying. Most of all, I’m happy here.

(Though I will still be grateful that the store is less than an hour away.)

Challenges – Thankful Thursday

Sometimes, God puts you on your back so the only place you can look is up. –Skye Alexander, What happens when the fearful finally listen? Peace.

image: martha0stout's phone
image: martha0stout’s phone

Today I am grateful for the challenges in my life, without them I wouldn’t be who I am.

For my constant headaches which have taught me tolerance and empathy.

For my constant dizziness and vertigo, for letting me dance without moving.

For my early morning waking up to walk Sissy because I can watch the sunrise with a good friend.

For my constant spraining of my ankles as a child because now when my nieces and nephews do so, I know what to do and have wraps and splints saved in good condition.

For my funny reaction to sugar, because it can make my niece laugh even when she’s been bullied horribly at school. (Note: this happened several years ago, she’s doing much better now.)

For my being unable to drive, because it means I appreciate my family all the more when we run errands together.

For the nights spent trying to get baby nieces and nephews to go to sleep because now I appreciate all the better the hours that I get to sleep when they’re older.

For the loss of a my cat after moving because if I had not had recent experience, I would not have payed as much attention to missing pet posters.

For all the years with clothing not fitting properly, because it made me more eager to learn how to sew from my mother to fix them.

For all the sorrows in my life, because they have made more willing to give someone who is late or doesn’t even show up the benefit of the doubt when life happens to them too.

I am grateful for my life trials because without them, I would be a very different person than I am now and I like who I am.

Make sure to check out the original Thankful Thursday.