This past week I have been faced with a lot of it…change, that is. The seasons are changing. I see evidence of it daily, with the nights arriving earlier and earlier and the coolness in the morning air. I even changed my hair, getting rid of my blonde streaks and adjusting to a darker color again. I have noticed the leaves changing on the tree outside my home office, and the grape leaves are changing color on the vines. I even changed some of the clothes in my closet, getting rid of some summer things and unpacking and washing some of my fall things. I have also been looking at my office and thinking of all the changes I anticipate making to it this fall and winter.
I was born to be a gypsy, a vagabond, a wanderer. There is something about the road. It just seems to call out to me. It is not the destination that calls, but the journey itself. It is the back roads, the people I will meet, the things that I will see…the experience. So when a fellow blogger, a girl named Timi, invited me to drive over to the west side of our fair state to participate in a “meet the blogger” night in Snohomish, of course I said yes. In true Rene’ fashion, I set out without a clue of what to expect. I love the thrill of the unexpected! I knew none of the women who would be there, yet I was confident, based on Timi’s “zany” personality, that I would somehow fit in.
Whilemeetingwithagroupofwomenfrommy churchrecently, I learned thatoneoftheFarmgirlsin ourcommunityneededsomehelp.Emilyhadrecentlyundergonesurgeryto provideakidney to herailinglittlegirl, and she neededtohaveachickencoopbuiltandsomegardenworkdonebeforethewinterhit. Thatdid not soundlikeahugerequesttome. After all, I thought, surelythereareenough ofusin our little farming communitywhocouldsparesomesupplies,toolsandafewman/womanhours.Idecided then- and- there that thiswassomethingthatwecould, and should,do.
I have been hearing Roy Rogers sing that snappy little tune for days now. If I knew how to whistle, I would be whistling it while I work. I have always been a Roy Rogers and Dale Evans fan, though I probably could not come up with any brilliant reasons why. Maybe it was their unassuming way of being humble in the midst of their success, or their fun and flirty style when talking to each other while on camera. I could never image one without the other.
Quilts have been on my mind a lot lately. I adore them, and I just don’t think that a person can have too many of them. I am really partial to the ones that have been made with scrap materials and old, cut up, tattered clothing. Not that I don’t like the ones that are gussied up with new fabric—I do. I am just more partial to the other.
I am not sure what it is about certain tasks that make me fight them with every fiber in my being. Maybe it is the repetition of some that make them seem so mundane. Or perhaps it is that some tasks never seem to really be finished, like washing dishes. (You know, just as the last dish is washed, someone has the audacity to bring in another glass.)
One of the things that I love about this time of the year is the county fair. What’s not to love, with their fair food, carnival rides, music in the park, and evening rodeos? I especially love walking through the barns. I love seeing the kids’ animals and reminiscing about being their age, sitting with my friends and conquering (or so we thought) all the world’s problems.
Alexandra Wilson, Our New Rural Farmgirl, is a budding rural farmgirl living in Palmer, the agricultural seat of Alaska. Alex is a graduate student at Alaska Pacific University pursuing an M.S. in Outdoor and Environmental Education. She lives and works on the university’s 700 acre environmental education center, Spring Creek Farm. When Alex has time outside of school, she loves to rock climb, repurpose found objects, cross-country ski on the hay fields, travel, practice yoga, and cook with new-fangled ingredients.
Alex grew up near the Twin Cities and went to college in Madison, Wisconsin—both places where perfectly painted barns and rolling green farmland are just a short drive away. After college, she taught at a rural middle school in South Korea where she biked past verdant rice paddies and old women selling home-grown produce from sidewalk stoops. She was introduced to MaryJanesFarm after returning, and found in it what she’d been searching for—a group of incredible women living their lives in ways that benefit their families, their communities, and the greater environment. What an amazing group of farmgirls to be a part of!
Libbie Zenger Previous Rural Farmgirl, June 2010 – Jan 2012 Libbie’s a small town farmgirl who lives in the high-desert Sevier Valley of Central Utah on a 140-year-old farm with her husband and two darling little farmboys — as well as 30 ewes; 60 new little lambs; a handful of rams; a lovely milk cow, Evelynn; an old horse, Doc; two dogs; a bunch o’ chickens; and two kitties.
René Groom Previous Rural Farmgirl, April 2009 – May 2010 René lives in Washington state’s wine country. She grew up in the dry-land wheat fields of E. Washington, where learning to drive the family truck and tractors, and “snipe hunting,” were rites of passage. She has dirt under her nails and in her veins. In true farmgirl fashion, there is no place on Earth she would rather be than on the farm.