Last weekend we spent a rare weekend away, wining and dining our way through some of Chicago's best restaurants and bars, though there are many from which to choose— the storied Alinea, Nico Osteria, EL Ideas, Three Dots and a Dash, Billy Sunday, Avec. You know, pretty much the exact opposite of our everyday farm lives. It was wonderful to be there with my mom and brother, strolling along the city streets without many cares in the world.
But it is strange, too, to be away from the farm. There's a feeling of being lost, when you realize in the hotel room that there's no dogs underfoot, no roosters crowing outside your window, no goats screaming for their dinner [even though it may only be 3 pm]. I couldn't help but watch people meandering as aimlessly as we were, wondering— what do they do with their time? We've been making our dreams a reality at Ham Sweet Farm for a little over a year now, and I already can't remember what it feels like to wake up with nothing to do. Even on our do-nothing days, chores are still happening in the morning and evening. And when we're away, the desire to constant check in at home is almost obsessive-compulsive. Oh, it's been 20 minutes, do you think so-and-so is ok or that goat jumped out the fence again? Are the dogs behaving? Did the basement flood?
When we left, buds on our fruit trees had been threatening to open, but weren't quite ready to commit yet given this year's wild weather patterns. Nothing was really blooming, although the grass had started to green up. But, oh, after 3 days absence...
It was a wonderful gift to come home to. We will have apples and pears and maybe even peaches this year! I guess life really does go on. Mother Nature adapts far better than we ever could. And on that note... we are officially on piglet watch! Our beautiful gilt Gnocchi is due next Monday. She has started to show the final signs of impending birth. To say we are excited would be a vast understatement! As a first-time mama, we will be watching closely to make sure things go as well as possible. We'll be sure to keep you posted!