This weekend we worked our way up to downtown Seattle for a little adventure. We started out in the International District and accidentally ended up celebrating the Lunar New Year and stumbled upon the best Won Ton Soup I've ever had in my life. We shared dinner with friends and then, on our way out of town, stopped at an adorable ice cream shoppe. The street was lined with shop after shop of delectables and curiosities, each one more appealing than the next. It was easy to see why so many people choose to make their home in the city.
We've been feeling a little anxious about the coming season lately. When we look back on last season I'm honestly not sure how we even made it through. I had a full time job, Matthew worked 4, 12 hour shifts a month in the ER, we had a 3 year old, and a newborn, we milked twice a day, we made cheese every two days, and we did 5 farmer's markets. Oh yeah, and we had no idea what we were doing.
No really, we can joke about it now. Because it's true.
The amount of mistakes we made. The cheese we threw away. The equipment we broke. The money we paid to fix the broken equipment. I mean, really, what the hell were we doing?
Maybe it's because we were still in the honeymoon phase of our relationship or maybe it's because we really are perfect for each other, but truly, the only thing that got me through last year was the sense of humor that Matthew and I shared on, well, everything.
At one point in our season I stopped being able to tell if Mathew was delivering a joke or if he was really telling me something had broken because we just started delivering news like a really bad punchline. (In case you're wondering, he was never just telling me a joke, things were just breaking. all.the.time.
We ended last season a little traumatized. Whether it was the lack of sleep, the lack of sleep, or the lack of sleep, we'll never know, but, I think it had something to do with the lack of sleep.
Of course, some of that was Banzai's fault. Because he is, after all, a baby.
And the rest of that was just the nature of being small business owners, and, double whammy, farmers. So not only do we have to make the product we also have to sell it.
Oh yeah, and starting a goat dairy with no prior hands on experience. Trial by fire doesn't even begin to explain it.
So understandably, we're feeling a little anxious about how all this is going to go down in about a month when babies start dropping and goats come into milk again. And, even more understandably, it's easy to feel a little wistful about what our lives would look like it we lived in the city. More free time, more expendable income, a much more secure path towards retirement...
As we drove away from Seattle, the buildings all lit up and the construction cranes decorated with blue and green lights for Seattle's beloved football team. I asked Giz, "Do you want to live in the city someday, or on your farm?"
She said, "I want to live on the moon."
"Then you're going to have to learn how to fly yourself there," I said.
"I know," she replied, "I will."
And then in a sleepy voice, "I want to live on my farm."
"Me too," I said. Me too.
The city is amazing and perfect in so many ways. And I love that we live right outside of it so that day trips up to Seattle in the off season are easy. There seems to be art everywhere in the city, and the diversity, and the grit that people wear on their shoulders. It's different then the grit we wear as farmers. And that's okay. We need all sorts of people in this world...those that live on farms and those that live in cities.
We didn't watch the news this weekend. Both Matthew and I have been so entrenched in what is happening in our country that we felt like we needed a break. We spent the rest of the weekend on our farm, digging for worms, playing with the goats, and fixing some fences that the asshole pigs have started taking advantage of. Just one day of being outside with these animals and my soul felt rejuvenated.
We need farms...not just because they feed us physically, but also because they feed us emotionally. But we also need cities. We need citizens who value their surrounding farmland, who understand that the real cost of food isn't cheap, and more importantly, who understand that their buying practices can save the world. Without cities Matthew and I are just running a really expensive homestead, prepping for what feels like the inevitable apocalypse.
Because even though sometimes the world is too much, it's the only one we have.
How lucky we are to share it with goats.