A Homestead in Hibernation

There were 3 things one could always count on to foster corruption in people; money, power, and greed. As a child, when unpleasant things were going on around me i fought them to an extent and then when i could bear no more i withdrew into my mind. As an adult in my thirties i found myself returning to old coping skills. Unable in life to steer the train away from its direct course to the bermuda triangle, i withdrew into my daydreams every chance i got. On the commute to and from work, while doing chores, cooking dinner, getting ready for the day in the morning…i would return to my daydreams. In my dream i had excellent job security. There was a steady monthly paycheck coming in and no crazy budgeting was necessary. We had the green light to start new projects and since there were 10 day weeks and 5 day weekends, there was plenty of time to work on these projects. In my dream i built a chicken coop and a roofed enclosure to protect against hawk attacks, i fixed all the problems with the current compost pile setup, i added a pen and enclosure for pigs. There was a small flock of buff orpington hens and 1 surprise rooster. There were 2 kune kune pigs, “plum” and “peanut”. There was a big greenhouse next to the extension shed where it got full sun most of the day. There were sky-lights that could be opened to let the bees in or kept closed on cold days. I had stacked bricks to create termite/carpenter ant proof raised garden beds of dirt and there were all sorts of vegetable plants and hibiscus and rose bushes growing out of them. There were new fruit trees too; a persimmon tree, a pear tree, and one of those little apple trees from the orchard in Medina. All the grass hoppers were carried away in the wind and Cashew had somehow miraculously lost her taste for extension cords and electric wire. In my perfect world these were the projects i was working on and the improvements myself, cashew, and sili were making to the homestead. I lived in this world during most of my free moments because in reality the budget was on lockdown and there would be no big improvements or additions to the homestead in the next year. The focus would simply be on maintaining what we already had. I was no longer watching the tractor supply store put chicken coops on holiday sale or my favorite pig breeder post pictures of the new polka-dotted piglets. I wasn’t reading the instructions for how to assemble the kind of green house i wanted. I had set down all the plans and for the time being i was living in la la land with plum and peanut and a whole bunch of make-believe beige chickens. At night i would put a pot of water on the stove and add a tea bag once it came to boil. I’d rock in the rocking chair, sipping my tea and dreaming of my perfect world in which justice reigned and joy was abundant. At my feet lay both dogs stretched out in front of the heater. The homestead was in hibernation, but just as during childhood, my imagination failed me not.

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