My son Everet, at the age of three, told his Pepe that you can’t always get what you want, as he offered him only one flavored candy and not a variety. More recently, I have found myself using the phrase.
In a perfect world, on our farm at least, our dairy coop would continue to see growth in consumption of organic milk and dairy products, continue to grow the coop so as to expand the number of small to medium size farms around the countryside and hence continue to offer a sense of security to those of us choosing an organic dairy and farming lifestyle. However, we can’t always get what we want.
Feeling somewhat fortunate that we are associated with the farmer-owned coop rather than the corporately owned competition, who, most recently sent thirty-day notices in the mail to a number of their Maine farmers along with suicide hotlines that they can call on should depression set in; not what they expected or wanted.
It doesn’t mean that the same thing won’t happen to us down the road, but for now, we are still here and need to re-evaluate what we want, need and can do with what we have at Nezinscot. It is easy, in times like these, to fall in a rut of sorts, many call it mud season in Maine, and to struggle to get out of that rut as it continues to pull you down into its wet, relentless environment. But, every spring, like this one, I tell the mud it also can’t always get what it wants and that it needs to toughen up (dry up) and get on with it.
With that said, I decided I needed to spend some time with my Dad in order to help myself get out of the rut. He just turned 91 this week. I called him up and asked him if he wanted to go for a ride. Being 91, what else did he have to do. Apparently, he had lots going on and had a schedule that evening for dinner, but could squeeze me in for a few hours to fill the middle of the day. Seriously?
I picked him up and we drove to the North Farm. I had been telling him about it for over a month but wanted to wait and show it to him with animals in the barns and some major repairs taken care of. My Dad has never been one to pay compliments and quite honestly probably questions our career choice of farming; wishing our lives were a bit simpler or perhaps a bit easier. Today, however, after holding one of the two-day-old lambs and walking around the vast structures at the North Farm, he told me that the two of us had a lot of courage. I think that was a compliment, and for that day I did get what I wanted; appreciation from my Dad for the benefits of hard work.
Our ride home was just as memorable. He began by saying he had something to tell me. I cut him short and told him I already knew what it was. He looked at me puzzled, and I told him that it was ok for him to tell me that I was his favorite child. Being one of ten, you can also be assured that those words would never come out of either of my parent’s mouths, but whenever I can, I say it just to get a reaction. He never says I am not, but never says I am either, so I am just going to plug away at that. In the meantime, he forgot what he wanted to tell me. I dropped him off back home, wished him well and drove home with thoughts of encouragement.
In the meantime, for those of you stuck in the mud this spring, if you have to leave the boots behind, do so and feel the dirt between your toes because Earth Day is just around the corner and that, more so than the geese laying eggs at our farm is a sure sign of spring in which case we can all get what we want.