Saturday, November 25, 2006

All Good Things Must Come to an End - Day 8 on the Homestead

It's really hard to believe we've been out here for over a week. How can time pass so quickly? As I suspected, the time here has only made us yearn to make it permanent. I know we'll sell our house in town eventually, but it can not happen soon enough.

I intended to write in the blog a few more times, but in all the activity, time just seemed to slip away. Thanksgiving Day was really nice. Bernie and had a huge meal with all the fixings. Eddie came out early that morning to hunt with his brother and 6 year old nephew. They came in to warm up and have some coffee around 9:30AM, headed back out to hunt a little while later, and then home to their own Thanksgiving meals. We were pleasantly surprised when Eddie called Thursday afternoon and asked if he and Gigi could come stay the night in the cabin. We went down and fired up the woodstove for them and made up a bed. They got there around 7PM and we sat in the cabin and visited a while. Bernie and I headed back to the house an hour or so later, and spent some time digesting the huge meal we had eaten earlier.

Friday morning Eddie was out hunting early, and Gigi took advantage of escaping her home full of teenagers and slept in. Bernie and I had business in Woodstock to tend to, so we headed that way fairly early. By late morning we all ended up in the kitchen of the house drinking coffee. Eddie had shot 2 deer over the past couple of days, so Bernie and Eddie skinned and cut them up, and then Gigi and I spent a lot of the afternoon processing it. We ended up with several steaks, a fair amount of back strap, and a few bags of burger. After a nice supper of turkey chili and melted cheese and chips, we split up the processed deer and Eddie and Gigi headed home to Front Royal.

This morning I woke with a heavy heart, knowing it's the last day of our vacation on our homestead. I've been trying not to think of it, but I admit it's been weighing on me. I really love this place so much. I keep up with the Homesteading Today forums and I just love it when the members post pictures of their goats and chickens. It really makes me smile to see them and I am SO looking forward to getting out here on a permanent basis and getting some of our own.

Eddie had mentioned he may come out again this morning to hunt, but he typically parks down by the cabin and walks up, so we never know he's here until he shows up. I looked out the front window of the house about 8AM and was surprised to see his car parked at the end of our driveway. I was even more surprised to see a buck laying on the hood of the car! I didn't know whether to smile with pleasure or cry. After processing two deer yesterday, I was not in any itching hurry to process another one. And it also did not escape me that he was out hunting again! Eddie, his brother, and his nephew came in for coffee around 10AM. After discussing the hunt and how he bagged the buck, I finally summoned enough courage to comment "I guess we'll be processing that deer today". I was pretty relieved to learn that no one was all that excited about the prospect of it, and we agreed to cut it up, put it on ice, and take care of it during the week. Yay! I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining. I really don't mind processing the deer and am very grateful that Eddie always splits his kill with us, but I confess the thought of processing one today just did not appeal to me. Bernie likes to keep them in ice and let them bleed out a bit, so we'll probably take care of this one Monday or Tuesday, along with another deer that a friend is giving Eddie.

So in one week we'll end up with 2 whole deer in the freezer. Not bad! I'm pretty happy about that.

All in all it has been a really nice week on the homestead. Bernie and I accomplished a little around here, enjoyed the company of good friends, and have a freezer full of deer. And I think we are going to go get Bernie's bees next weekend. We're pretty excited about that.

Next week we'll be back in Front Royal and back to working in DC. As much as we'd rather be on our homestead permanently, we know that we are working toward it and we hope that it is in the not so distant future.

I hope each of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and took some time to consider all you have to be thankful for. This week Bernie and I spent some time talking about everything we are thankful for. The list is long. Life has been good to us. We are fortunate to have found each other - heaven knows no one else would put up with us. And I firmly believe that together we can do whatever we set our minds to do. I'm never sure if we are optomistic, or just to dumb to realize differently. In either case, life is certainly good on Penny Lane. And I have no doubt that we will soon be here on a permanent basis.

Live Free,

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