So I wrote out the request. “Please cash in my teacher’s retirement account”. I had worked as a traveling art teacher for about five years and took a leave of absence to work on my art. But I never went back. I loved creating my art and was managing to sell much of it in galleries and art and craft shows. Money was tight and I had supplemented my income with extra funds from waitressing, bar tending, picking apples and milking cows for my neighbor Ted Howes, an old dairy farmer (about my present age) who was born on the same day as I was just 40 years earlier.
Once my husband Dick’s cows broke out to visit my horses, it didn’t take long to find I had a soft spot for him, his daughter Jaka and those big eyed jersey cows of his. We drove far and wide searching for a farm and when we found one in Hartford, New York. We got approved for financing we were off.
Farms require lots of capital to start and run. I did not hesitate to make the to commitment to the farm, a decision that financially was a poor choice, leading to no retirement, but led me to a life I loved and a wealth of memories and images. We found old equipment and gathered the supplies we needed and set our sights to move our herd of jerseys on Memorial Day weekend. The preparations were taking place to restore the water lines, fix the stalls, get grain and check fencing and sift through the disastrous mess in the house. Read about the prep in my earlier blog post, Justa Mere Farm.
The farm life left me little time to create my batik art, but somehow I never felt I was not an artist and as I saw the beauty in my daily life I felt my life was art. I was in nature everyday, and the elements were soft and inviting some days and others harsh and cruel. Bringing the cows to pasture was a journey into beauty and the cows loved it spreading out into the fields of fresh soft grass translucent in the morning sunlight. Mother nature was awe inspiring, even when frightening. Every day has a special beauty to it, a new leaf, a halo of frost, the glory of brilliant snow, a new flower, the sun on my critters as they peacefully bask in the late day sun or the dark ominous thunder clouds. I feel grateful to have what I need to live now and a beautiful place to see. My life is rich…..