My blog, for the most part, these past few years, has dealt mainly with life here on Almosta Ranch. Now, like most blog writers, my main source of enjoyment is reading the comments I get whenever I write about everyday life around here and the adventures of the various animals that inhabit our world. Ever so often, however, I find myself worrying, as I read those comments, that I may be giving the wrong impression of life here on the farm.
Every entry gets at least one comment telling me how lucky we are to be living what seems to be such a perfect life. When I read these comments it causes me to pause and wonder if I may be painting an unrealistic picture of farm life. Perhaps it is my habit of trying to put a good spin on life that has caused me to offer up a flawed picture of life here.
The reality of it is that life here on Almosta Ranch is no better or worse than the lives led by all my readers whither they live in small towns or big cities. There are days that just grind you down to dust and then, without warning there are days that lift you up, renew your spirit, and make you say: "It is well, with my soul."
There are days, sometimes in the dead of Winter when the snow is blowing and the temperature has plummeted well below zero, that I am overwhelmed with the feeling that I am just too old, too sick, and too tired to complete the dozens of day to day chores that a farm like ours demands of someone. Days when there is no way to put on enough clothes to keep warm and days when my feet and hands are numb and my face is frozen and I KNOW there is at least one break in the back fence that has to be fixed. Days like that leave me feeling weighed down with hopelessness that I'll never get it all done.
Then...there comes a day....still in the dead of Winter, when the snow stops falling and the temps rise above zero and I walk out onto my porch with my morning coffee and, looking back toward my back pasture, I see a sight like this....
The sheer, stark beauty of the ice-encrusted trees, coupled with cold blue skies just washes over me, lifts my spirits and makes me rejoice to be a small part of the naturally beautiful world around me.
The Summer brings its own set of challenges to us here on Almosta. Neither of us are able to stand the heat like we did twenty years ago and once the temperature climbs over ninety the heat beats us down and makes even the simplest of tasks seem like a Herculean challenge. Still, the chickens and the pig, the rabbits and the goat and the horses all need to be fed and cared for so we struggle onward.
It seems that, when we are just about at the end of our rope and our bodies and spirits just want to give it all up.....then.....there are days like this. The sun is setting on another hard, hot day. We are sitting on the front porch sipping glasses of ice tea and we are presented with this gift....
The thing is....it is...it is always a tiny bit better the next day and so we hang in there. Our old house is a ramshackle old farm house that most people wouldn't want to spend the night in, but it serves us well and maybe one day we will be able to fix it up. We live on a fixed income and every month we struggle to stay within the limits it imposes. In short...we struggle, but we also overcome and we carry on and we are, from time to time, rewarded by those days....those wonderfully perfect days.
So you see, life on Almosta Ranch is no better or worse than the lives each of you live every single day no matter where you live. But....it is perfect...for my sweetheart and me.