If you are visiting from the Ultimate Blog Party 2010, click here for my post!
I have always, always, always, thought myself to be an urban chick. I totally dig the city vibe, love the city sounds, the culture, the ability to get good sushi in minutes. That kind of stuff. I pictured myself taking public transportation to work, stopping in for yoga on my lunch break, and getting the chance to see limited-release films in a theater when they open and not through my Netflix cue. Well, I probably imagined seeing those films on VHS because Netflix wasn't around 20 years ago.
But I find myself captivated by my life right now. I can't wait to get home and shove my children out the door so that we can explore our yard, our world. Our own little bit of Earth. Maybe it stems from my girlhood adoration of the "Little House" books. Maybe it is the push for Community Supported Agriculture. I'm not sure, but I am awakening.
I have lived in Iowa nearly all of my life. I have been surrounded by agriculture for 30 years. It always felt like a backdrop, like the scenery for a play. This is my life, it is set in Iowa and we know that because there are cornfields. And livestock. And tractors rumbling up the gravel road. But the action of my life has always taken place indoors -- in a theatre, in a classroom, in my home.
I am suddenly so very excited to look into my summer -- to see my huge vegetable garden spreading wide, reaching deep into the earth to find nutrients, sucking them from the soil into their ripe flesh. I hear the chickens clucking as Scott plucks their brown eggs from their nest boxes. Serving venison stew from the deer that he and his brothers hunted. I imagine entire meals cooked from ingredients we raised -- the vegetables, the starch, the fruit, the protein are all from our own hands.
Suddenly, it occurred to me that if I am not buying produce, chicken, stew meat or eggs, I can afford the fancy, organic, non-hormon-ed or antibiotic-ed socially responsible milk and cheese for my kids. I don't have to walk by the organic whole-grain pasta staring longingly at it any more. I wonder about what it would cost to buy a side of organic free-range beef or pork. I think I'll research that tonight... I imagine churning butter from organic cream -- I have left cream whipping in the mixer for just long enough that I accidentally made butter, what if I could do it on purpose? Maybe there's someone who would barter milk for eggs? Homemade ice cream with lusty red raspberries bouncing in the bowl.
My country life is bursting and bountiful. At lease I hope it will be. I could run completely out of steam when I need to weed the garden yet again in July when it is 95 degrees out and my allergies are insufferable. Or I could thrive like the plants in this Iowa soil, no longer seeing my earth as a backdrop, but as an integral part of my identity. I have always wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder, maybe this is my chance.