Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I haven't posted for a day or two because , as my mother (as EVERYONE'S mother) once said: "If you can't say something nice..."; you remember the rest, I'm sure.

I had patellar debridement done on my left knee on Monday.  In plain English, the doctor placed a small instrument behind my kneecap, and smoothed out what he charmingly called "potholes", trimmed away some debris, then drilled some "micro fractures" into the remaining bone to stimulate stem cell production and hopefully promote healthy healing. 

Simply said: OUCH. Monday was a blur.  Yesterday was agony.  Today, I'm beginning to feel more hopeful, having discovered that I can actually put my weight on the offended limb without having it break off.
I am so blessed to have Peter with me; I have never had such help before.  I've endured a few physical setbacks in my long life, and I can honestly say that with the exception of my mother's help, I've never had such a loving caretaker. 

I cannot imagine having to do this if I was solely responsible for a working farm. In the past, my physical limitations only affected me and my immediate household, and were easier to handle.  Now, with the farm in my heart, it's something altogether different.

As it is, they have a capable young man (Cory) doing the milking at Flint Hill in my absence. Though the goats there aren't my own (except for Faith, who isn't lactating), I do feel a responsibility toward them.  How do farmers do it by themselves?   I'm beginning to better understand the need for large, extended families in agrarian societies, and how those groups of people build community. The goats and cows need to be milked, the chickens fed, the crops watered, whether or not one person can walk that day.  Those critters don't care if Gramma has arthritis.  They're hungry and their teats are full! Buck up! Ask Junior to do it, or do it yourself, gimpy knee or not!

Physical labor, especially labor closely associated with our own personal well-being (aka FOOD), promotes a communal dependency and compassion sorely lacking in the modern world of interpersonal isolation. We can telecommute, take a sick day, get a sub; no one will go hungry or risk mastitis. On a farm, my potential week of lameness might have meant losing the garden, especially during this heatwave, without help.  Without help, the horses would either be left out to fend for themselves, or stand in stalls. I hate to even think what would happen to the lactating animals; I would have had to get out there somehow, most likely to my own detriment. Farmers need family and friends. It's that community, that interdependence that is so lacking in our contemporary lifestyles.

I am not a social person by nature, but I understand the need for compassion and loyalty. Now that I'm on the receiving end, I'm so grateful for it.  How difficult it would be to deal with this alone!  Even something as simple as preparing a meal is impossible right now; thankfully, I was able to plan in advance, and have my loving partner to help me.

I'm humbled by this experience.  When I remarked to Peter how glad I was to have him at home, he said "It's all part of the plan."  What plan, you might ask?  I did.  He smiled rather sheepishly, and said "I needed to be off work to help you.  And here I am."

Life unfurls itself like a banner in the wind.  It's a beautiful thing.


  1. Owwwwwwwwwwwwww

    Feel better. Please.

  2. Thanks, Q! I'm a tough old thing.