5/20/2006

Welcome To Windridge

This was the introductory letter to readers included in the premiere issue of Writings From Windridge:

Like a first letter to a long lost friend, it is difficult to know where to begin. There is so much that has happened, so much to say, so much catching up to do. Images swirl faster and faster in my mind, and I cannot decide what to write about first.

The longer I live here, the more my life seems ordinary. New experiences and learned information become a part of our selves so quickly it is easy to forget that once we didn't know them. And so it is hard for me to remember a time when I couldn't vaccinate a sheep, or keep a woodstove going all night, or bake a crusty loaf of French bread. But when I leave the farm, I am soon reminded that not everyone lives like I do, and the people I talk to are often interested in hearing about my rural adventures. (You were attacked by a ram? What did you do? Were you scared? Do you milk the cows? You make your own dill pickles? How? What exactly is a llama?) Thus the impetus for creating Writings From Windridge.

During the first few months we were here, we acquired two cows, a flock of sheep, a woolly llama who guards the sheep, numerous farm cats, and enough stories to fill several journals and notebooks. Over the last two years the stories have continued to unfold. But like that letter to the long lost friend, I think that it is imporant to first get caught up on some of the details. So I will start by introducing you to the farm and letting you know a little bit about how we got here and what we've been doing. I certainly hope that you will join me on the farm in future issues as I recount my adventures with Rex, my blackberry-loving 95-pound Airdale/Rottweiler; Ollie Cat, who thinks she is a dog; Ollie's fearless daughter Molly Doodle (aka The Doodle), a 4-1/2 pound feline terror who runs the house and loves to put 14-pound Gretel in a headlock; stubborn sheep whose agendas don't always match mine (and who look awfully silly trying to eat tomatoes); Rolling Thunder, the prima donna llama who passes judgement on all of my clothing; hungry deer with a penchant for organically grown lettuce; and even an angry armadillo.

You'll also hear about what's new in my organic orchard and quarter-acre garden, savor mouthwatering descriptions of homemade country food, and even learn how to put up hay and mend a barbed wire fence. Two special features, "In The Garden At Windridge: Easing The Strain On The Environment & The Wallet" and "Journal Entry" will round things out.

There is always something new happening on the farm, which is one of the things I love most about living out here. Farm life can be hilarious, heartwarming, and even harrowing. It is often very difficult, but it is definitely never boring. No two days are ever the same as I move between my many roles as cook, gardener, shepherd, farmhand, veterinarian, surrogate mother, baker, wildlife specialist, midwife, and undertaker. Sometimes I laugh at myself, sometimes I cry for the animals, sometimes I curse at the absurdity of it all, but most of the time I'm just thankful for the incredible experience of living here at Windridge. I look forward to sharing this experience with you.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Liz said...

"The longer I live here, the more my life seems ordinary."

Exactly. I'm only a few years down this path but find that what used to scare me (what? rats in the cellar?) now seems so easy to handle. Although we're building our farm slowly, my former suburban life seems so distant and strange. I enjoy having friends stay here because I get to see our place through their eyes and realize that my life is anything *but* ordinary.

Oh, and same thing when you announce you're moving to Maine: people think you are crazy, and act as if you're relocating to the Arctic Circle. I say, let them think that... it keeps the state from being overrun! :D

5/23/2006 4:13 PM  
Blogger taynnee said...

I am in love with your story! I haven't read it all the way through as of yet, but I will.
I actually grew up on a farm and did the opposite, moved to the city. Now I miss the smell of fresh air. And yes, when you say that you are moving no matter where people asked that question, "Why?". It gets old.

8/10/2008 1:24 PM  
Anonymous Desiree said...

You write beautifully. My nickname is Doodle :)

2/14/2009 11:23 PM  

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