Friday, February 11, 2011

Nostalgia on My Mind

This morning I’ve got nostalgia on my mind; not Georgia, nostalgia. I’m beginning to think that nostalgia is an affliction from which some of us suffer and others don’t. I used to think of it as a rose-colored-glasses kind of thing. Something I choose to feel as part of my optimistic tending personality. For instance, I choose to fondly remember my childhood on the farm and remain blithely unaware of the hard work and brutal nature of farm existence.  I’m now thinking it’s more chronic than that; it comes and goes but never completely leaves me.  Allow me to illustrate, when considering whether we should have dairy animals on the farm again we (my mother and I who suffer most greatly from this affliction when it comes to the farm animals and work) excitedly scoured the local ads and found a beautiful pair of Saanen goats and East Friesian sheep to bring home. Last fall we blissfully reveled at our fantastic finds and got just enough milk to make some soap and fabulous fresh chevre. “This is going to be so wonderful to have animals back on the farm again,” we thought. We were dreamy-eyed about the cheese, milk and soap bounty we would have the following year with three nannies and one ewe in milk.  Now fast forward to the present, we are in the middle of lambing/kidding season with one of the worst winters since I was a child on the farm. While we are still enjoying it and excitedly await every new arrival, you are more likely to hear us mutter, “What the hell were we thinking?!” Gone is that lovely pastoral image in our heads; in our face is the blowing snow and under our feet is the crunching ice from the last storm. Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining about winter or having these animals to tend.  I love winter, particularly the snow which is blowing about this morning. I’m just slightly less nostalgic this morning as I stumble out the door into the biting wind to hay the animals, make sure everyone survived the night and break the ice from their water for the third time in the last twelve hours. 

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