Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year

How funny?  I wrote a post last year and never hit publish.  So here is is.  A full year late.  I don't think I was done actually, but here it is.  Parts of it seem like a lifetime ago.

Happy New Year! But I want to revisit 2012 before I move on. Around this time last year, Scott M came to help out AT2 (http://at2.mountainalliance.org/)and we started up as a real program. It was pretty amazing to actually be becoming what we were heading for... perhaps a theme for the year. However, it wasn't easy - time got pushed to the limit for me and other things began to suffer. I stopped doing much of anything for myself and my family and day to day teaching felt the pinch. Oddly enough I got to be golden teacher boy last year - just as my concept of teaching really began changing - I feel like I am becoming what I am headed for and that is not someone who should win a bunch of traditional teaching awards. Of more significance than all that was that 2012 was the year of the outdoor shower:) I built a solar shower the year before but we plumbed it for hot water this year. Holy cow... I can't believe I went most of my life without realizing how rich life could be... another 2012 theme I think. Cold, snowy, rainy, hot, clear, cloudy, dark, sunny, meteor-showery, windy, calm, thunder-stormy... perhaps we are inside too much, but that few minutes in that hot water tonic actually feeling the weather, has been good for me to say the least. I paid attention to spring more last year. I searched for Morels for the first time and I identified some plants again... basically opened my eyes to nature more than I had in too long. We continued our experiment in trying to homestead a bit - we moved a bunch of garden to around the house (edible landscaping) - started a few new beds - gave up on our main garden earlier than the year before (will do better this next year... hopefully:) - birthed goats, and a cow - sold goats - raised some huge turkeys - milked - and are now starting into rabbits. The experiment started with Jon and Carole is still going on and still really sublime. We bought some land up on the mountain near everything I hold dear - the AT, a great clear river, tons of public land, the Creeper Trail.. and I spent some of the summer reclaiming it - our goal was to build cheap... as in practically indigenous - but we are finding ourselves torn between this little up and coming town and being way out there. For instance, Zoe rode to the library a few days ago by herself - checked out the book she wanted and zoomed back. That is rather sweet. And Glade Spring is really moving in a great direction - focusing on local, sustainable products and artists. So our plans are in limbo. Another theme? The children have grown. I am not sure how to think about this. Zoe is riding horses now and working some at her trainers barn - she reads constantly and has a vocabulary that blows my mind. She is at that twilight of kid-dom.. I just hope it lasts as long as it can - it was just yesterday that I feel like she was just a baby. It just goes by so fast... Adia is a rock star diabetic. I couldn't be happier. Her A1Cs have been mid 7, she never complains ever when it comes to testing or taking shots. She complains about everything else:) but why not complain about diabetes? I am beyond grateful for that... I almost can't feel that hole in my heart every time I pierce her skin. But Adia is way more than a diabetic - she is my risk taker, and she seems to be teaching herself to read rather quickly... she is an artist and list maker... but she draws the lists (christmas list, grocery list, to do lists)- that is just too good. Esme is no longer a baby and now the baby phase of our lives has passed. That is both a relief and a little sad. Es is the one who is, as they used to say, "full of spirit". She's a fighter and a lover. First to swing and the first to notice when someone is hurting. She sees no difference between herself and her sisters - so she is always trying to do what they are doing .. and usually accomplishing it. Loove. Then winter came and sleep went away with the day length. I always thought I knew myself or that I was "already there" or something stupid like that... well the universe has taught (is teaching?) me that I am still becoming what I am heading for... and because I don't really know for certain what I am heading for, its causing me some issues. Perhaps it is just some sort of mid-life thing, but I really feel like my eyes are opening. The problem is that my eyes seem to be opening a bunch at night:) Oh well - I wouldn't trade it for anything... even a good night's sleep. So we are finally at the last day of the year and after I spent the morning organizing stuff (which does not put me in a good place), my mind was a mess and so I went for a 10 mile run. I hadn't done that in a year and a half and I returned feeling much better. The kids and I then went to TN quick to pick up some fireworks and all was well. Then Ash found a chicken dead in the field. I went up to look at it and the back of the head was gone as was the bottom of the legs. I went to check the other chickens... 9 of 17 were mising. It gets better. Charlie - our livestock guardian dog - was going nuts that night and I went out twice to yell at him... something on the order of "CHARLIE!! if you don't shut up.. I'm gonna..." He was at the gate to the field. I almost went to go let him in but then because I am an idiot and it was freezing cold and the 30 feet to the gate seemed like a long way... I just went back inside. While we are searching for chickens...Ashley's mom had gone home quick to feed her cat and then found the cat dead. Ash and I found that cat 17 years ago while on a run... back when Ash ran and I really just went to be polite. It was time for ol Chloe, but the timing was impeccable.