A month ago I might have mentioned that I was never leaving the farm again. Ever. Even in the event of the zombie apocalypse (which actually makes total sense because the exact place you want to be post-apocalypse is on a farm. Unless there are chicken zombies. Then you pretty much want to be anywhere else in the world. Take it from this kid.)
So, funny story, I totally left the farm. And not because I was being chased by an army of chickens.
I had a few days off work last week that were originally meant for a trip down to Atlanta, which ended up being far to much time and coordination to manage with the farm, so instead I opted for a much shorter trip up to see some fantastic people in Northern Michigan.
My mom, because she is such a trooper, agreed to spend her weekend up at the house, farmsitting.
Just to give you an idea of what type of chaos I usually live in, I had to take two full days off work just to clean the house so that it would be physically safe for someone else to sleep in.
Uh, what? You don’t think it’s exciting to lay on a bed next to a precariously stacked tower of boxes that may fall on your head at any moment while you sleep? Weird.
This is just the spare bedroom guys, but feel free to extrapolate what the rest of the house looked like from here.
And, while it’s not important for me to live in a clean well-organized space at all times, I do feel strongly that a guest in your house (especially one doing you a huge favor) should be comfortable. Or, if not comfortable, at least not be in immediate danger of contracting tetanus.
So I cleaned. A lot.
I did all kinds of things that normal people do when they clean: laundry, dishes, removing rusty staples from the upstairs hallway. I also made the bed for the first time in… a decade? Maybe a decade. At least three years. As you can see, I excel at bed-making.
Fine. Whatever. Not my gift. Let’s talk about something I am good at though… before I left for up North, I learned the that the property I was staying at was in need of some old barn wood for a sign, and oh, hey, look at what I’ve got…
As far as I can tell, this was part of the old hay loft in the barn I’ve been picking up piece by piece over the last year. I was actually considering dragging it over to the burn pile just to get rid of it– because it looks real classy just leaning up against the side of the barn like that– but it caught my eye when I was looking for some good sign wood.
With a couple of old 4×4’s to beef it up…
I don’t know what most people pack in the car for a road trip, but I take a bunch of barn wood, two tool boxes, a bottle of bourbon, and maybe a toothbrush.
And then I left my mother on the farm, with nine animals and two bottles of wine, and really hoped the chickens wouldn’t stage a revolt while I was doing this…
People totally underestimate the beauty of Lake Michigan.
I’m not a big fan of “cottages” on lakes that are crammed next to each other like sardines, but this place was perfect. No neighbors to speak of, lots of farm land, cherry trees, wild raspberries, isolated beaches…
And, of course, a goat farm just down the road.
So. I probably need that barn. And a couple of goats. And a little green-roof structure like this for them to run around on.
And, as it turns out, my fears of coming home to farm-related chaos were totally unfounded. In fact, my mom and the Nuggets managing to do something I’ve been unable to accomplish for the last two months…
Reclaim the garden from weeds.
And dammed if those chickens– the ones I’ve nurtured every single day of their feathered little lives– didn’t decide they liked my mom better, and all started laying eggs for her while I was away.
It was a great weekend with awesome people, and I’m especially grateful for my mom, who, as far as I can tell, is the best farmsitter ever.