Summer afternoon. There’s something so peaceful to me about those words.
It’s my time to stop working on the farm, to come inside and rest in front of a fan with a cold drink nearby. I get to bask in the glow of completed work with animals and plants, then turn to my other work of writing articles, editing photos, and finishing up wood-burning orders.
Those words are also lovely to me because they mean that sunset is almost here, and during summer, sunset is my favourite time of day.
It’s our time to stop work completely. Animals are all tucked into their pens and settling in for sleep. Gardens and orchards are watered, veggies harvested, and writing work submitted.
We step out onto the back veranda, hoping for the first of cooling breezes to curl around our legs and fan our faces.
I never fail to be struck by the view. Nearly every day I turn to Bear and say, “I love our home so much.” And he smiles and nods, because he does too.
It’s hard work running a farm and working several jobs and managing a medieval reenactment group, but we love it. With every fiber of our being, we love it.
We get up ridiculously early and collapse into bed each night in that giddy exhaustion of doing what we love with people we love.
And when things break down and wild creatures eat our animals and hail or floods or heat destroy our gardens, we are still grateful because this is our crazy, beautiful life, and we know that even the hardest of times, the worst of weather, they will not last forever. Rain will come again and paychecks will start arriving and things will grow and babies will be born and, to quote Mrs. Rachel Lynde, “the sun will go on rising and setting whether I fail in geometry or not.”
I’m so thankful for that sun rising and setting.
Last week I found a grocery store selling out the last of their Christmas special European sausages, and there, in the pile, were packages of knackwurst. My favourite. I can never say that word without affecting a German accent.
Knackwurst makes me happy. It reminds of Germany, especially when slathered with strong mustard and topped with crispy fried onions. It makes me think of my German friends and our many adventures together and puts the biggest smile on my face. And when you find a food like that, it’s really best to go ahead and eat it whenever opportunity knocks.
Thankfully, knackwurst also makes Bear happy, which is why we’ve been eating it for dinner every night this week.
The great thing about living on a farm with gum trees everywhere, is that we never, ever have to buy firewood. It’s all around us. Each storm or gale of wind sends a flurry of branches, dried leaves, and strips of bark fluttering down to the ground, and all we have to do is pick it up.
There’s something rather wonderful about lighting a little fire each day, mesmerized by the dance of smoke and light as the sausages sizzle and pop.
It is impossible to be stressed at such moments. If the goats were vexing or weeds had run amok, if I’d had a brain freeze and couldn’t string a sentence together to save my life, well, those little stresses don’t matter anymore once I’m outside. The cool breezes wash away the last of the day’s heat, trees rustle and dance, smoke billows across the yard, and all seems right with the world.
All too soon the knackwurst is smoked and cooked to perfection, beautifully browned with lovely crispy charred bits. Bear has the bread toasted, buttered, and mustard-ed (for me) or ketchup-ed (for him), and cold drinks are poured.
It’s time to settle in on the veranda and watch the sun disappear in a dazzling display of light and shadow.
Yes, I do love summer afternoons. xo