January 5

I’ve been thinking a lot about intentional sacrifice lately.  We had dear friends over for dinner last night and that was a main point of conversation.  We were thinking back to the people who lived in our home before and during the civil war, grandparents or parents who survived the great depression, those who simply had little financial means to have any more than the bare necessities-and maybe not even that much.  Nathan and I are a pretty good match when it comes to living on a budget-having done so out of necessity first.  I think the best way to learn to live simply is to be forced into it.  The habits you develop along with the unexpected blessings make it something you cling to for the rest of your life.  Then, when you are able you can intentionally sacrifice things because you know the reward of having less clutter, more time, more space far outweighs whatever it was that you wanted in the first place.  Part of the most recent lessons for the kids has been “explaining” what we do to manage our money well and helping them manage the money they make during their “school” lessons.  Over and over again Nathan says, “whenever possible-just don’t spend it“.

This has been a very unique day.  Lilah and I have had the day entirely to ourselves.  Nathan took Elizabeth and Adaline to the Fruit & Vegetable conference in Lexington.  This will be Adaline’s first conference as we talked about it and thought a good old-fashioned “conference training” might be good for her.  The other kids had already been to several “must behave” events by this point and putting it off any longer wouldn’t be good for any of us.  Carter went to Tappaw’s for a couple days of rabbit hunting and hot dog meals while Lilah stayed behind with mama.  We’ve had the most lovely day relaxing, cleaning up, and she even got to break out her first ever art set.  I have to admit that her design is beautiful and so complex.  After she was finished she sighed, shrugged her shoulders and said, “I needed that” and then went to lie down.  Love that girl.

Our day has been as peaceful as possible outside of the barking of dogs as we drove to the end of the road and back.  We’ve named one of the neighbors dogs-that seems rather fond of our farm-Stonewall Jackson (after the civil war’s General Jackson) because of his awkwardness as he stands back and observes only to be ready for the attack when you least expect it.  We know a few people in real life like that too.  Thankfully, for our barking Stonewall Jackson only other neighborhood dogs and truck tires seem to be his daily targets.  Speaking of the civil war-Nathan lit a candle and had a quiet moment of silence on the evening civil war soldier Joseph W Richards (buried on our farm) passed.  January 2, 1863.  While we’re still not sure what brought Richards to be buried in the family cemetery (mostly Dodson’s and seemingly no Richards) we are in the process of doing more research to find out.  Cannot wait to dig more into the history of this farm which was established in 1829.

While Nathan’s gone I’m the one “on call” to observe the high tunnels (an important task as they hold the plants that sustain three different CSA’s-Farm Fresh But Already Fixed, Think Little CSA and our farm members).  But at this point it really just means sitting back and watching them-and hoping for the best.  This watching reminds me of observing a mama in labor who just needs more time.  Intervening, invading, or any other sort of interaction would only mean taking from it what it needs to finish the job.  So I just sit, observing from afar, and praying for the best.