Friday, July 16, 2010

Dreaming of Pitchforks and Haylofts

Anyone else get that satisfied feeling when you fill your car with petrol and know you won't have to do that chore for another few days? Or the sweet knowledge that there's an unopened 3 litre milk bottle in the fridge for the hungry hordes with the cold cereal addiction? 

Sometimes I think about the daily grind of growing, harvesting and preserving food, faced by early Australian pioneers like the characters in my stories. The lives of these brave souls who arrived in remote areas to build their homes and gardens out of nothing, have always drawn and inspired me. 

I think that's why I love to grow my own herbs, fruit and veggies. I love to bake bread, make yoghurt and bottle up jam from my own apricots. I'm a fan of homemade pasta, and I'm thoroughly mesmerised by my father-in-law's bee hives. Staples, I leave to the experts. I'm glad I don't have to produce flour from my own wheat crop, or grow sugar beets. And I'm very glad I didn't spend last summer filling a hay loft with feed and bedding for my animals. Ok, all I have is 5 chickens and I'm thankful it's not my job to grow, dry and bale up the straw for their hen house. 

This week's Facebook Friday award goes to Kathie from Washington. Her status earlier this week transported me to the 19th century and the lives of my pioneering characters. Like them, Kathie is someone who's tasted the benefits of hard work and is now enjoying 

 ...such a good feeling to have next winter's hay put away!

While I suspect the hay is for her animals, the same rings true in her house and barn as it does in my pantry and refrigerator. Hard work and forward planning equal that 'good feeling' we all know when we are well stocked. The reverse is as strong. When we run low on anything vital, the smooth operation of our homes is compromised. Just ask my milk guzzling sons.

Kathie's status reminded me of Psalm chapter 6: 6-8, where hard work is praised. 

"Go to the ant, you sluggard;
Consider its ways and be wise
It has no commander, no overseer or ruler
yet it stores its provisions in summer 
and gathers its food at harvest."

While I have no plans to plant acres of anything anytime soon, I'm eager to put in my veggie garden as soon as our winter has passed and even more excited about my trip to Costco this weekend.

Thanks Kathie for sharing your world. Your hard work encouraged me to squirrel a little bit away for my own family.