As you know, on the 27th we commemorated Pretending to Farm’s one year anniversary. As I discovered the significance of the date late in the day, I did not take the time to say what writing this blog has done for me and the unexpected surprises and perks that have come along with it.
First of all, I have proven to myself that I can do something consistently, persistently, whatever-sistently for a year. I didn’t know I had it in me. As you know, I bore easily and have a challenging time with repetitive activities. Yet, I like to write; I really and truly enjoy it. Who was it that said “find something you truly love to do and you’ll never work another day in your life?” Well, for me, that something is writing. (Psssst… publisher man, send a few greenbacks my way, would ya’?)
What has surprised me more about creating this blog, however, is the circle of friends, cyber-friends one might call them, which I have met through my writing. They include knitters, shepherds, animal lovers (a big shout out to the Giant Schnauzer rescue contingent), and a plethora of miscellaneous readers who, as the others, I have never met personally but with whom I have developed an unexpected kinship.
Beth in Wisconsin, knitter and just-about-anything-else crafter, and I email each other nearly every day and get silly quoting “The Backyardigans” as we both have young children at home. Just before Easter, she sent me wool from a yarn swap she organized with treats tucked in amongst the Lopi, an Easter treat for Pint and super yummy chocolate cherry chip cookies. Beth has dreams of some day living on a farm herself and I vacillate between encouragement and its-not-all-bouncing-lambs-and-fresh-eggs lectures.
Melanie in New York State emails me as well. She has a Wee Farm as she puts it and raises Shetlands just as much for their love as their wool. I adore shepherds who view their flock as more than a commodity. (Most do but I have come across some who do not through the Shetland email list and it mouth-agape astonishes me.) In late winter/early spring, Melanie and her husband tap the sap of maple trees on their property and cook it for hours over a fire until it turns to syrup. Then they bottle it for their own consumption and for sale. When I asked her how someone living all the way in Arizona could purchase some, less than a week later a lovely maple leaf shaped glass jar full of the most delicious, smoky maple syrup I have ever consumed arrived on my doorstep accompanied by a lovely note. I was truly touched (and not just in the head).
Situated in the more than lovely Willamette Valley of northeastern Oregon at the base of Mt Hood is Michelle of Boulderneigh. As with Beth, Michelle and I email each other almost every day and she is full of caring, advice, concern, encouragement, and prayers. She is a much better person than I, or at least her morals exceed mine exponentially. She does wonderful things like pray for me, research my dumb disease which currently is trying to rear its ugly head, and send heartfelt but funny snail mail cards to me. We are currently hatching a plan to meet in person at the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, OR in late June which awesome David the Husband has okayed but pesky logistics remain to be solved and sorted. Such as…
…Kathy of Sheep Thrills up in Flagstaff and her troublesome back issues and is she sharing the ride? She is another I have never physically met but has offered friendship and shepherding advice plus I think I have mentioned that she and her husband brew their own beer so she is definitely a-okay in my yet-to-be-completed book.
There are so many more, Carrie down in Tucson, Ali G in NYC, Julie in Surprise and even occasionally the Yarn Harlot or the Mason-Dixon girls. There are Margery and Karalyn and the other Beth, oh my! The list grows and I love it, that and the kinsmanship which was the last thing I expected yet the thing I love most about writing Pretending to Farm.
It’s 8:30 am but pretend it’s well after cocktail hour has begun and picture me standing before you weaving and slurring (it shouldn’t be hard to imagine).
I love you guys!