Tis the season! The corn and beans are nearly ready to be harvested, which means the whipping winds will be back in a short time. The (Funny) Farm is situated in the middle of fields. In corn years (every other year), we are shielded, somewhat, from the blowy and blustery winds that sweep across the plains. My goal is always to have the vast majority of outside *STUFF* done by the time the corn is ready to come down. A migraine has prevented me from getting one major undertaking done this week, but, with any luck, the ickiness will pass and I will be able to get it done tomorrow, with Papa's help. For those who don't know. Papa (my dad) and By-ah (my mom) live at the (Funny) Farm as well. We combined households a little over 8 years ago and, for the most part, this arrangement works well. So, Papa is a big contributor to helping out with outside stuff. He is primarily responsible for the rabbits (including the butchering part, which is just fine with me). Fortunately for me, the major undertaking does not involve cute little creatures (for the record, I do know HOW to butcher, I'd just rather not. And, I'm not really a fan of rabbit meat, either. It definitely supplements our meat, and I'm grateful, and I would eat it if I had to, but I don't, so I won't right now. The boys love it, though.) Anyhow... I just had the discussion with Papa... We'll set up shop outside - this is not a project to be taken lightly (or make the same mistake I made 2 years ago by doing it in the kitchen)... Any guesses as to what this project could be? Well, the project is processing horseradish. (And I will not make the mistake of doing so in the kitchen ever again!) This is easiest to do outside (with a light breeze to carry away the tear-inducing smells) but must be done before the corn is down -otherwise it is too windy and Wizard of Oz crazy - small dogs blowing around... it gets messy.
All of the other things that need to be done for Autumn - the mad rush to get things done before Winter- make for Autumn being a very busy season. It is not all drudgery, though... Autumn means apple - picking, the harvest, gratitude for all of the things we have, reflection on loss, hope for the future and eternity. I'm looking at things differently these days. My sister's passing has had a profound impact on me and sometimes working through it is unbearable. Trying to make my way through this journey joyfully has been a struggle for the past few months, but, as always, coming out on the other side of a difficulty finds me with renewed hope, ready to continue figuring things out. Going through all of the firsts since her death (her birthday, our parents' anniversary, other big days, and smaller things... at first, the day to day was an impossible feat... it seemed so pointless, gathering coupons and planning a shopping trip, picking apples, even doing dishes... it is all so small and pointless...) has been rough, and this new season of firsts will be rough as well... but I am prepared for it, I know it is going to be hard. Knowing it does not make it any easier, but I am much easier on myself when the tears come from out of the blue (ugh... like now), knowing that this is all part of the process. I despise the process, for the record, but I do recognize it for what it is. Apparently, I don't grieve gracefully, or quietly. I can't grieve in solitary, I mean... I do, but I also have to talk to others. I'm learning about myself in this ugly process, and a lot of it is uncomfortable and even painful, but I'm continuing to come out a better person for it.
Indeed, Autumn on the (Funny) Farm, while a season of things going dormant and a season of finality, is also showing me to be a season of hope, anticipation. Moving through the grey days, knowing I will be rewarded with the sunshine of Spring and Summer, but only after the harsh Winter. My Summer was a harsh Winter, and so I do eagerly await another Spring and Summer with their warmth and productivity. But I am grateful for this season as well, going through this with my family and friends, making my way the best I know how. It is kind of like making horseradish... not a favorite chore, it is messy and it kind of stinks. Making the best of the chore, sharing the chore with a loved one, repositioning myself for optimum success, getting it over with efficiently but completely... all lessons of life that apply to much more than processing the stinky root.
Blessings to you, Friends. Be Kind to one another.