"Hopefully, before the snow flies!" has been our answer to a lot of questions this year. When will the construction on the addition be done? When will Gram move in? When will the winter shelter be ready? When are the last of the animals joining us for the year?
Friends, the snow is flying now.
So too is construction. Though there's still so much more to go, we can at least see the finish line. A glimpse of it anyway. I have lost track of who is here at any given moment - though I know there are a whole lot of pick up trucks in my drive each time I come or go. Contractors for the addition, deliveries of more lumber or another fixture being made, friends here to help for an afternoon or three days with the 'barn' construction. I am feeling blessed with all the people and energy going into these projects here that honestly, I have very little to do with besides answering questions, feeding whoever lands in my kitchen around mealtime, and herding children. At the beginning of the day, I try to get a grasp on what decisions I need to make right now (today: flooring for Gram, stanchion placement for the barn), and at the end, I walk around and marvel at just how much happened in a day.
I have a strong suspicion that this time in our life is one we're going to look back on and laugh about for years to come. When butcher turkeys, transport pigs, put on the rafters, choose all the light fixtures, go to press on the magazine, get to ballet (every night), and feed and water all (the many) living things, falls on a single daily to do list, and we're doing it in the middle of a construction zone, with my washer and dryer unplugged and an oven broken, and oh - there's a hole in the side of the house!.....well, there's a whole lot of cause for laughter right now too. Sure, there are moments of doubt and overwhelm. But for the most part, the fullness of our life right now is quite comical. It really is.
With dinner in progress last night, and five children playing so miraculously happy together, I slipped quietly out the door. Back in the pasture, Steve was working by headlamp on the barn, thankfully not on a ladder (or at least he wisely hopped down when he heard me coming). Alone enough to have a conversation for the first time all day, we both were well aware of how many important things and timely decisions we should be discussing. But we stood there in silence for a few minutes instead. I could hear the chickens settling in for the night, and we could see the sheep just along the rock wall. The smell of woodsmoke wafted by from the chimney, and a muffled laughter was coming from inside the house. And music too - the kind of music that I know those kids intend to be the start of a dance party.
We stood there for a moment longer in the quiet, taking it all in, catching our breath. Then we went inside to join them.