Thursday, October 15, 2009


My 11-year-old daughter has been bed-ridden with the flu for three full days now, and conscientious mother and citizen that I am, I've not left the farm in that time.  As the "Ask-A-Nurse" advised the other night that this thing will linger for five to seven days, I'm looking at a long stretch of seclusion... partly because I won't leave my daughter and partly because it would be irresponsible to encourage the spread of this nasty bug.

I like being at home.  Really, really like it.  Its where my family lives, where I keep my stuff, and its got lots of nice things like heat and hot water and pretty horses.  But even for me, the consummate home-body, forced seclusion eventually turns into a punishment of sorts. 

Cabin fever in October?  This could be a loooong winter.

It snowed all night last night, adding yet more moisture to our already saturated ground... and so outside its grey, snowy, muddy, cold, puddle-y.  Today while doing chores I looked up at the steely, cold sky and said, "Thank you, Jesus, that I no longer have to pile sugar beets or dig potatoes for a living... that I can do my chores quickly and go back into my nice warm house and not have to go anywhere or work in this freezing mud for twelve hours... and please bless those that do. Amen."

Gratitude.  Yes, its cold and muddy and grey outside and my daughter is sick... but we have a warm house and my daughter has a soft, clean bed with fresh sheets; we've got plenty of gatorade and Children's Motrin and Tylenol, a digital thermometer, and capable doctors a phone call away if needed.  I'm getting cagey, stuck at home... but am so grateful that I *can* stay at home with my daughter, without having to ask for time off from a job or entrust her care to anyone else. 

I am grateful for a five-year-old who is content to play games and cut and paste and draw to keep herself entertained, and a husband who is willing to shop for groceries and livestock feed and pick up a bucket of broasted chicken from the local pub when I have a hankerin' for it. 

I'm grateful for my mother who is sending home some hotdish and fresh Amish produce with him tonight, after he spent the day there repairing a part for the tractor.  Yes, I have a husband who uses his vacation time to lay in the cold mud, repairing farm equipment so he can feed my animals.

There are always two ways to look at a situation... with a cynical heart or a grateful one. 

I choose the latter.

Oh, and the best quote of the day comes from my worldly five-year-old, while she gleefully consumed the last of that heaven-sent broasted bird... 

"The chicken we eat comes from the chickens that are pets, except they're the wilder ones!"

Gotta love a grateful, carnivorous pragmatist.

No comments: