Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fourteenth Anniversary

My wife and I were married 14 years today... or was it yesterday? We were married in Japan... so it might have been yesterday.

One quiet, romantic year was followed quickly by crying and diaper-changing. There have been few panic-free moments since. Life has barreled down on us: three kids, moving from Japan to Hong Kong... and then back to Canada... from teaching in air-conditioned classrooms to life on an old berry farm, and a job on the railroad... two dogs... two cats... two goats... and more moles and mice than I care to count.

Yesterday the woman who makes our soap dropped by.

On the weekend the family who sells us beef every year filled four buckets with saskatoon berries.

The local diner uses our berries for the best saskatoon pies this side of the mighty Battle River.

Our berry ice-cream is better than any store-bought stuff you've ever tasted

From an anonymous life in a city with millions of nameless faces to a village where everyone knows everyone else (and some even like each other), we've travelled a long and curious path.

Now that I spend most of my time in old, faded overalls, no one listens to me the way they did when I wore clean, pressed, white shirts.

Walk into a bank in pressed trousers and a tie and it's "Yes, sir... can I help you sir."

Walk in dressed in old overalls and a faded ball cap and no one looks up. Just a middle-aged farmer.

Yet what we have learned in these years makes life more precious. We grow most of our own food... in a constant fight with the weeds and birds.

Rain means more than a ruined day of golf.

The seasons no longer go unnoticed; pruning needs to be done in the fall... seeding the tomatoes in March... every night from then the heater has to be checked all through the night. Nurturing the bedding plants through March and April requires our focus into the spring, and then it's the berries until September, before clean up and the snow... hopefully, the snow.

There is less time for writing, but strangely more time for thinking... and a greater satisfaction in work that produces results... work... the failure of which means less food... work that pays off in the flavour and goodness of what we eat.

Happy Anniversary, dear... now, let's go out and weed!

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