Life on the farm with the Man…and our critters…


“Tis almost midnight, and the Farm is silent. Well, silent except for the crackle of the wood stoves and the gentle snoring of theIMG_4164 three dogs scattered around the darkened room. Anything else that could make any sounds would require electricity, of which we have none. Losing power isn’t a rare thing here on the Farm, especially during blizzards like the one currently rattling our windows. For the most part, the Man and I usually take it all in stride, because most power outages are quickly remedied by the hardy and stout line workers of our State who live for braving the storm. Losing power at night has almost become a cause for celebration for us. One of us lights a couple oil lamps, while the other gathers snacks and drinks, then meeting by the fire for a game or three of cribbage. It’s a time out for the soul. Days on the Farm can be long and tiring, and coupled with the Man’s responsibilities at his job, we often don’t have much time together until well into the evening. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. Life is good. And it’s busy. But we’ve created this busy life, and we wouldn’t change a thing. When the power goes out in the evening, though, life comes to a standstill. All of the Critters, large, small, four footed and winged, are already tucked into bed, so unless the storm of the century is knocking at the door, there are no worries about them. There’s no tv, no computers, no chores to do, no animals to tend to. Mother Nature has unplugged us, and is providing us with the chance to slow down and breath. Just the two of us. We break bread and share a glass of wine, and we tell each other about our day. We sit on the floor, in the glow of the fire, and scratch dog bellies. We battle to the bitter end playing cribbage, a game we stopped keeping track who won or lost many years ago. It’s a gift, this quiet time, and we almost always feel a bit disappointed when the power finally does return. The oil lamps go back to their spot in the pantry, and the cribbage board slides back onto the shelf under the coffee table. We give the dogs a treat, then slip on the muck boots and go check on the horses. The well oiled machine we call “The Farm” slowly grinds back to life, and all returns to normal. Our routines become automatic again, and we often will head in different directions to finish what we had started before the world went dark. It is winter in Maine, however, and the chances are pretty good that we will receive another unplugged evening by the fire, surrounded by our pups.  In the meantime, I will fill up the oil lamps, restock the snacks and wine, and dry out the soaked and mangled 7 of clubs that young pup Sebastian grabbed from the stack of cards while we weren’t looking…

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