It’s time to get real about this situation we all find ourselves in.
I’ve spent the last week, week and a half trying to wrap my head around this thing we are dealing with, and all the ripples it’s created. Trying to process how I feel about it. My Meyers-Brigg type is INTJ, and sometimes I can’t name the feelings I have, and I have to have time to settle my emotions before I can name them. I still haven’t really been able to do it.
I have found something to compare it too. It’s kinda like that night as Hurricane Matthew was winding down and The Husband came in the dark house where the kids and I were playing Skip-Bo. I need you to come now he said urgently, in a tone I couldn’t ignore. I put on shoes and we rode to the farm and I was shaking with adrenaline the whole time, jittery wandering what I was about to see. For a while after every time it rained the anxiety churned in my gut and I’d ride down to make sure the animals were okay at the farm. Then there was the never-ending saga of Hurricane Florence as we watched and waited and hoped. The tornado and flash flood warnings that came in the night and jolted you awake with acute fear for your family. For a little while after every time I heard the alarm I went right back to those nights in the dark, staring at the radar and trying to determine if how legitimate the alarm was, and should I wake the family. Living through this is kind of like living through that. It’s a disaster.
When this first started happening I didn’t pay attention. Then The Husband had to fly and I thought he was just being a germaphobe (he is a germaphobe). I told him, no don’t cancel your flight, you’re being ridiculous (he might have been still being ridiculous). The Monday before schools were canceled someone asked me if we’d thought about canceling We Dig It Ag Day and I laughed and said I wasn’t feeding into the panic. The stock market bombed, and my mind was officially blown. How did we get here over this thing? How did we let ourselves get worked up into this frenzy? And then the NBA and the ACC and the NCAA canceled, and the Pickle Festival, and other counties were canceling field trips and I thought…maybe this isn’t some panic induced hoax. Then I saw the images coming out of Italy and I realized it wasn’t and when we got the call that schools were canceled, I wasn’t surprised. I still don’t know how this thing got so big and all-consuming. I still don’t understand why if we knew this was coming how it got this bad. But then I think about myself a couple weeks ago and realize the mentality I had was why. It doesn’t really matter about the why. We are here, and we have to deal with the reality we find ourselves in instead of denying and wishing it was different.
The worst part for me is the not knowing. If it was just me and my family I was worried about, it probably wouldn’t be that bad. I can somewhat control that. I can stay home and keep us safe. But I have to consider the farm and make the best decisions possible to make it make money, and also keep the public safe. How can I make decisions if I don’t know what to expect? How can I anticipate every eventuality if they haven’t even been created yet? How can I move forward when I’m walking through a fog? I’m used to dealing with uncertainty. When will the crop be ready? When will it rain? When will it stop? These are all questions I’m used to not having the answer for. These new ones I’m not prepared for.
So what now?
Well, around here we’re taking it day by day.
We’re concentrating on our projects around the farm. Yesterday we planted some new trees in the orchard, figs and persimmons. I think we’re probably done for right now. I want to add plums and pears, but I think they’ll probably wait until later. The Husband got the new path straightened out. We’re cleaning up and getting ready for spring. We’re watching the strawberries grow and flower. We’re thinking it’ll be another three to four weeks before we have enough to fully open for spring. We’re offering field trips but know that most groups probably won’t be able to schedule, which truthfully is a terrible blow. We plan to open, we might put in some new protocols, we might limit how many can be in the field at one time, but we will open unless forced to close. Fortunately for us agriculture is considered essential. We hate it for restaurants, salon owners, and all the small businesses who aren’t as fortunate. Please remember them. Please support them. If you can’t afford to support them financially support them by commenting on or sharing their social media posts. Plan to go see them when all this is back right.
I’m about 98% sure I’ll have to end up canceling my April Hen Party and probably won’t be able to schedule one for May. Our summer sunflowers that we were planning for June-July are up in the air. We just don’t know enough quite yet to make that decision. We’re praying and hoping and crossing our fingers that fall will not be affected. We just can’t afford to lose the fall too.
Yesterday Clementine the Rescue Goat’s legacy was continued on in two more grandchildren. Clarice kidded two little nannies. They were a much needed blessing today. It's a reminder that the world continues to move on and there will be life after this. We’re so excited to see how they grow.
Next up for us is moving the berry stand and getting the new entrance to the farm just right. Then I think it’s the walking path. Then maybe closing in the shelter. Slowly but surely we’re chipping away at our to-do list. It will never be finished, but getting these long awaited projects completed is satisfying.
I’m not sure what the rest of 2020 will hold for us. I know today I’ll go down and take pictures of the new trees and the babies. I’ll hang around long enough to watch them nurse. I’m going to try and get The Boy’s hair cut since salons are being forced to close. I’m going to give this homeschooling thing the good old college try. I’m going to wish for patience and peace and when that fails I’ll reach for the wine (or vodka and sprite) or just thirty minutes of alone time. I’ll hope that we can pull together as a community and not let the pandering of politicians or instigators or people who just want attention for themselves tear us apart. I’m going to focus on the good. I'm going to look for opportunities to help. Here’s hoping you will too. The only way for us to go, is through.