Monday, August 22, 2011

When you have a few days off

As many of you know, after a seven year hiatus from the world of paid working, I chose to go back to work a little over two years ago. I did not go back to my previous profession. Instead I chose to take a serving job that allowed me to work on weekends with a minimal disruption to our homeschool schedule. The choice was made in an effort to get out of debt.

For the most part, I am happy the choice was made.  The schedule can be grueling at times, but working three days a week has been a tremendous lift to our financial position. Our debt has been significantly reduced. The credit cards have been paid off for some time, and that in itself is a tremendous burden removed.

The last year has been exhausting. We've taken some heavy hits here both emotionally and financially. The responsibilities of farm and family are overwhelming some days, but these are the responsibilities I enjoy the most. The weeks go so fast, and when Friday rolls around I often just want to stomp my feet, and scream "I just can't do it!" But I don't. There is an emergency fund that needs built back up. There are medical bills that need paid, and huge black cloud of student loans that still hovers over our heads. I suck it up, put on my best fake smile, and head to work. It needs done whether I like it or not.

This weekend I found myself in an unusual circumstance. I was off Friday and Saturday! It felt a tiny bit of heaven to not have to rush home after the market Friday to get ready for work! We did however have a wedding rehearsal to attend.

Friends of ours from church got married on Saturday. Vivian was the flower girl. It was a fun wedding. The rehearsal was Friday with dinner at Hillbilly Hot Dogs.

Saturday was the wedding followed by an outdoor reception. The weather was good, and the wedding and reception were beautiful. The Appletons however did come out of the wedding with a couple funny stories.

Of course, one would involve Nolan. We had to go a little early so Vivian could be there for pictures. Nolan spent the whole time on the DS. It wasn't until I saw him sitting at the top of the steps playing that I realized what he was wearing. His siblings helped him get his clothes, and I only gave him a brief glance before we left. How do you like his ensemble, dress pants, button shirt, tennis shoes, and no socks?

His father came to the wedding in an even a better outfit. He had on his farm clothes, a t-shirt, stained up shorts, and work boots. To be fair, it really wasn't Tim's fault.

We needed to get feed Saturday. With the time and location of the wedding, and the hours of the feed store, it was decided that the best solution was for Tim to go early to the feed store, and then meet the rest of us at the church for the wedding. Part of that plan also included that someone (who would that be?) would bring the clothes Tim had picked out, and he could change when he got to the church. That someone forgot to grab Tim's clothes.

The only store anywhere close to the church was Dollar General. So we went and found Tim a pair of short, a button shirt, and a pair of shoes for the wedding. Thankfully the wedding was pretty casual, and luckily all the items were 50% off. We spent $17.

The wedding was early, and after the wedding we wondered what to do with ourselves with the whole family home on a Saturday. Tim and I considered a date night. Honestly, I think the last time we had time completely alone was when we went to North Carolina for his surgery. We looked at the movie listings, and found nothing very interesting, and didn't really feel all that motivated to get ourselves together to go out again.

Instead Tim took a nap, I read a book, and the kids read and watched a movie in the heat of the afternoon. When it began to cool off a little we all headed out to the garden for a little work. We worked together on the best part of gardening, the harvesting.

We picked green beans. Did I mention we made my bean poles too high, and I planted them too thickly? Ah well, live and learn. This was our first year to use bamboo teepees for poles. In previous years, I've always planted the pole beans on the fence.

We also picked onions, peppers, tomatoes, a few potatoes, corn, melons, okra, and the year's star performer, the herbs. I now have two kinds of basil, parsley, and sage drying above my kitchen sink. It smells so good.

We made my favorite dinner after that, a dinner made almost entirely from food from the farm. We had roasted corn, fried okra, hamburgers, melon, peppers, and sliced tomatoes. Dinner was late, and by the time we ate and cleaned up it was time for bed. It was a wonderful day!

Our schedules are jammed packed. Our weeks are often rushed and stressful. I often wonder how this life is the the simple life. It might seem strange that when I find myself with a day off, that I would choose to work in the garden with the family instead of getting away for an evening with my husband. Tim and I rarely get to work together on farm projects, but when we do I have to say that it is deeply gratifying. Maybe it is knowing that we are in this together. Maybe it is the satisfaction of laboring together to provide for our family.  I'm not sure, but I do know that it is far better than working in the garden alone, and much more appealing to me than sitting in an over air conditioned theater being entertained. I wish there were more days like this.


  1. I've been lucky to have a few days lately of working on the house with my husband. It is so much more fun with him than by myself. I also wish there were more days like "this."

    Love to see those hanging herbs!

  2. Funny about Dollar General, they actually have some nice clothes there! I've been getting their Bobby Brooks v-neck Ts for myself, and they are well made. On sale they are under $5.00, and I've gotten some Ts for my husband and son there too.

    Your garden looks so lush!