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The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

Coal Creek Farm on Facebook

The Chicken Doctor


The Architect


I’m not dressed right.


Beets, cilantro, lavender, stilettos, skinny jeans, scotch and the massive ear lobe holes that kids are starting to sport, you either like them or you don’t.  I think a lot of people respond to country life in the same way.  It’s either the best thing in the world or you wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole.

Yesterday, the lady I’m working with came out to the farm for the first time.  I’m going to call her Sprint from now on, because she’s a runner and she’s quick to get things done.  I really admire her.  I’ve told you before that we are very different.  She went to college on a golf scholarship, she likes to run, she’s very much a business person, she loves politics and did I mention she likes to golf?  Where as I went to college in a 1987 black Ford Thunderbird and came this close to being on academic probation my first semester.  God bless my parents for not yanking my butt back home.  I studied art and design, I love flowers and animals, I’ve only voted in two presidential elections, I care very little about sports and I don’t have a clue about golf.  Sometimes Sprint and I look at each other and smile because our worlds are so very different and I think we enjoy that about each other.

Sprint and I had a meeting to go to in another town and I told her to bring her two boys out to play with my kids and my older children could hold the fort while we were gone.  When Sprint came through the door she exclaimed disbelief in how modern my kitchen was, “You have a dishwasher?  A lot of these old houses don’t have dishwashers.”  Then on the way to our meeting she asked me a lot of questions about the pigs and how we process the meat.  Then while we were waiting in the lobby of the office where we were to have our meeting she asked me, “Do you have a dryer?  Do you hang all your clothes on the line like that?”   The poor girl, I could tell she was trying to figure out how I can live like I do.  I told her I try to hang everything on the line except towels.  She shook her head with a grin on her face, eyes bright with wonder.

When we pulled back into my drive Sprint looked at a hen scratching by the back patio and said,”What is that?” Well, Sprint, that’s a chicken. “But, what’s it doing out?”  They free range.  “Don’t you need fencing?  Or something?”  No, no, come on I’ll give you a tour of the farm.

I headed out toward the garden where seven or so of my chickens and the big rooster were scratching and I looked back at Sprint.  Hesitantly she was taking small steps with a worried look on her face.  Are you scared? “Yes, a little bit” was her reply.  Oh, these chickens won’t hurt you.  Look, that’s one of our Polish Crested and that’s our rooster his name is Charlie, hold on let me get those hens out of my beans. Sprint stood frozen in the garden.  I coaxed her back to the pig pen, she wanted to know what was back there before she went any further.  I pointed to the pigs with her standing  just close enough to get a glimpse of the pigs, “I’m not really dressed for this.  I can smell them.”  I made large arm gestures toward the orchard and the beehives.  She had no interest in going in the barn for fear of what might be in there or stepping in something.  I have to admit I have those same fears nearly every day.  The last thing she asked me was, “Do they always make that noise?  Does it wake you up?”  referring to our rooster’s crowing.  I laughed and told her I don’t even notice it.

I don’t think Sprint will ever embrace the country life or understand my love for it.  She is not my only friend that has come out to Coal Creek Farm and been eager to leave.  It’s not always pretty, it doesn’t always smell good, it’s a lot of work and I love everything about it….except the poop, I could live without the poop.

And I have to tell you if Sprint ever takes me golfing I think the experience will be about the same with me asking a lot of questions and wondering why people do this and how much longer do I have to be on this course hitting a ball?  But, there won’t be any pig or chicken poop, that’s for sure.

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