Sunday, June 10, 2012

I Made It!

Although I originally planned on leaving for Polyface on May 25th, I didn’t hit the road until the 26th.  Packing and preparing for this kind of transition was more difficult than I thought and took longer than expected.  I’ve moved plenty of times, but this was no ordinary move.   I wasn’t just moving all of my stuff to another house, I was downsizing.  I had to bring only what I could fit into a 336 sq. ft. cottage which would also be inhabited by two other women.   Needless to say, this was a challenge.  It was a relief to de-clutter and purge. Most stuff is replaceable and why does one person need 10 bottle openers anyway? Throughout the process, I realized just how much stuff I had and did not necessarily need.  In order to downsize, I sold some things on eBay, some on Craigslist, had a moving sale, donated a bunch of stuff and stored some stuff at friends’ houses.  Otherwise, I fit what I could in my car.  I could not have done any of this without the help of my dear, dear friends. So many people stepped up to help me. They helped me with my sale, helped me pack, made countless trips to Goodwill, fed me, helped me paint, repaired my house, prayed for me, lifted me up when I was down, let me cry on their shoulders, laughed with me, stayed with me when people from Craigslist  came over, and many other things. I am so grateful to God for providing these wonderful people when I needed them most.

On the 26th, after friends carried the last bags out and loaded them in my car, I hit the road.  I was driving by noon and my goal was to reach my Aunt and Uncle’s house in Riley, KS that night. As I headed down I-70 into eastern Colorado, I realized I was in for a stressful drive.  The wind was gusting from the south, causing my car to rock incessantly.  Before I got to Kansas I encountered an overturned 4-Runner pulling an Airstream.  Then somewhere in Kansas, I encountered another bad accident involving multiple overturned semis and cars. It was nasty. I also saw the wind lift a semi onto its driver side wheels. Fun it was not!  But alas, I arrived safely at Judy and Dave’s and breathed a sigh of relief.  My cousin, John, his wife, Sarah, and their sons, Jonas and Isaac, were there, too and it was wonderful to see them all.
I stayed with family in Riley all day Sunday, the 27th.  It was a fun and relaxing time. We picked currants and Aunt Judy made a currant pie. We walked around the pond looking for animal tracks.  We played a game of Rummy-O which took me back to the days when I visited my grandparents in Goessel, KS.  We wanted to go fishing, but the wind was still gusting from the south, so we could not.  In any case, it was a lovely time and I am glad I got to spend a day there.  On the 28th, I hit the road about noon after having coffee with my family.  Thankfully the wind let up, so driving was much more tolerable.  I decided I wasn’t going to drive in the dark because a friend recently hit two deer in one week while driving in the dark, so I stopped driving north of Evansville, IN for the night. 
The next day I continued on my way. Indiana and Kentucky were beautiful and the drive was pleasant. West Virginia was also pretty, but the driving was more treacherous due to the winding hills and major semi traffic.  I made it to Lewisburg, WV on the 29th and stayed there for the night.  I was only a couple hours from Polyface, but I didn’t want to arrive there late and it was getting dark. A deer also darted across the road in front of me so I took the hint.
On the 30th, I arrived at Polyface and they were butchering chickens.  Butchering occurs every Wednesday during broiler season.  If you want to visit, Wednesdays are good days so you can see how it is done.  After some introductions, I was shown to the women’s cottage and started unloading my car. I was the first woman to arrive.  Leah arrived next and Savannah later in the day.  We worked into the evening and the next day to get settled.  The cottage is small and rustic, but cute and cozy.  We have managed to fit in all of our stuff and we are functioning quite nicely. We have many amenities including a composting toilet.  Basically, we poo in a garbage can.  The toilet consists of a wooden box with a toilet seat on it.  The waste goes down the shoot into a large garbage can under the house. After you go, you put a scoop of sawdust in which helps with the composting process and odor.  It was humbling when one of the apprentices had to come change our poo bucket because it smelled.  They say composting toilets generally don’t smell, but there was stuff in there from previous inhabitants of the cottage that had been there for a while. We also we learned too much liquid can cause an odor.  So, the composting toilet has taken a little getting used to, but it does seem like a better idea than using all that good water for flushing waste.
I have much more to tell about the farm and hope to do so soon. I am still trying to figure out a schedule and routine. We work from around 5:45 AM until 6:15 PM each day, so finding time to write during the week has been a challenge.  It might turn out that I can only write on the weekends that I am not working.  We each have to work about one weekend a month (Sundays are chores only).  The work so far has been demanding, physically and emotionally.  I believe we have had it relatively easy though, due to cool, rainy weather that has prevented us from making hay. From what I hear, this hay making business is hard work and if the weather cooperates, we will get to see what it is all about tomorrow.  Much love to all of you and I can’t wait to tell you more. I have included a few more pictures below.
 I have the top bunk. Kinda like summer camp, eh? We were busy around the cottage today baking, blogging and chatting.

The field by our cottage.  This field will be cut for hay.

The women's cottage. Some of my clothes are drying on the rack on the porch. Things here don't dry in 10 minutes like they did in Colorado.  :-)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Heather! I'm so glad you made it there safely and are getting all settled in. Your cottage does look cozy! What a beautiful place.

    I'm really proud of you, friend. I thank God that He has provided this opportunity for you to step more fully into who He designed you to be. Can't wait to hear more. Love you!