Well, the unnamed mama duck hatched out 6 babies.
And a few days later, Gracie hatched out 7 turkey babies.
And somewhere in between those two events, I had a reader accuse me of having a trust fund. Which, if you know any of my history, would make you laugh out loud.
Have you ever seen that expression “your opinion of me is none of my business”? I love that saying. But it’s oh so hard to practice it when you put yourself out there in a blog and you get a negative comment. When, rather than asking “so, how are you able to afford to live like you do?” someone assumes you have a trust fund and are “privileged”, which I read as “you are a spoiled brat”.
I deleted the comment, and I’m trying to take the high road here. But I’ve been writing responses in my head for days.
The short answer to my “trust fund” is, my husband has a very good job, he is excited to support me in this endeavor, and I am very very lucky and very grateful. Seriously. Grateful. Like, every day.
The longer version: I got my first job when I was 13, and have been “traditionally” employed darned near every day since until June 2010. (I’m 47, by the way). As soon as I got my first job, my parents stopped buying me clothes. Yup, from the age of 13, I’ve paid for every piece of clothing I’ve owned, unless it was a gift. Including socks and underwear.
I worked, sometimes almost full time, while earning two undergrad degrees. (The first paid for with my Mother’s social security, that I inherited when she died while I was still a minor. The second by taking out student loans). Sometimes I had 3 or 4 jobs at once. I’ve washed windows. I’ve done food prep. I took care of a woman with cerebral palsy for a month. I was a telemarketer for one of the colleges I was at. I’ve worked more temporary jobs than I can count. I’ve worked in 4 different photo labs developing other people’s family photos. I spent two summers doing biology field work, living out of a tent, 2 hours from the nearest town and 1 hour from the nearest hot shower. We worked 12 days on, 2 days off, being ready to go at 4:30 am every day. That first summer, I earned $500 a month. That’s right, $2.60 an hour. (They got away with it because it was an “internship”).
Have I been broke and without health insurance for a good portion of my adult life? Yes. Have I ever not been able to pay a bill? No. Do I buy things I can’t afford by putting it on a credit card? No. Have I been very lucky in how the money gods have arrived in the nick of time, repeatedly? Absolutely. Have I worked my ass off? Yes. Do I regret any of that hard work? No. Would I rather have my father here to share my life with than the money I inherited when he died? I’d trade it in a heart beat. He would have LOVED what I am doing now.
I believe in sharing what I am doing so that others might learn from my research and mistakes, and then go live their own piece of the dream, whatever that looks like for them. It might be a 160 acre farm. It might be a tomato plant in a pot on the balcony. Joel Salatin says in several of his books, that people ask him all the time how to become a farmer. And his answer is “just start”. Don’t wait until you are rich. Don’t wait until you have the barn built or the house finished or the kids are off to college. Don’t say “don’t” or “can’t”. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect. Just start.
I didn’t get here overnight. I planted my first tomato in 1988. (I gave away the extra’s to my coworkers at my cubical job). I made my first loaf of homemade bread in the early 1990’s. I first got chickens in 2000.
Do I deserve this life any more than the next guy? No. But I have worked for it, and I’ve been very lucky, and I try hard to practice “the law of attraction”. Focus on the good, and more good will come your way. I’m grateful every day for what I have, and try very hard not to take it for granted. But am I going to apologize for it? Not a chance.
My life is an open book. I’ll likely tell you way more than you want to know. All you have to do is ask.
Miles Away Farm Blog © 2013, where we’re clearly still trying to learn to “turn the other cheek”. Could I have handled this better? Probably. But do I feel better? You bet ‘cha.