Alone on the (Beautiful) Farm

We live on a beautiful picturesque farm outside Charlottesville in the mountains of central Virginia with horses, goats, chickens, sheep, a few dogs and a token cat (www.riverrockfarmva.com). All told it’s close to 40 acres and sidles right up alongside a gurgling, sometimes rushing, river. In addition to the animals, we maintain a sweet little guest cottage that rents short term on a vacation rental website. It is idyllic. It is full of breathtaking colors, views that stretch for days, and happy little boys who frolic about without a care in the world. It is lonely. It is hard work and it is severely isolating on many days. There is a disconnect, quite literally. I sit writing this blog post in the library in the city, because we lack the infrastructure for fiber internet. When all the houses between us and the connection box are home, it can slow to a crawl that would make you mourn for the days of dial up.

For the past two years my wife has been coaching full time and I’ve been in charge of the farm and the rental quite a bit, and then there are our boys. At five and seven, life is full of sweet questions, heated arguments, picking and fighting, and endless needs. My hands are never idle. And yet, my brain feels full of absolute gobbledygook: songs that make no sense, reminders to record Ninja Warrior, relentless grocery lists, dates for visitors, dates for opening and closing the pool, dates for potential wedding events that utilize our new venue, birthday wishes, underwear sizes, lunch preferences, water bottle locations, stain removal secrets.

I spend my days teaching kindergarten (no, literally, I do), cramming in training runs, cleaning toilet after toilet after toilet, washing the craft table, vacuuming dog hair, fixing creative kid dinners, organizing gift baskets and flowers for guests, calling Century Link for the 8000th time (you know those calls take over an hour each), taking a sick cat to the vet, feeding a crazy ram who wants me to pet him but will actually end up killing me I’m sure, looking for baby lambs to drop any minute, tossing hay (I’m hyper allergic). I’m so tired of listening to my shit I can’t write anymore about it.

The other day, exhausted, I came home and reluctantly googled “tired mom farm business” and pulled up two op-ed type pieces about the typical hang in the mom, you’re doing a great job BS, and then some farm businesses that cater to small children and families. I was looking for some camaraderie, similar voices. I found none.

So, I’m writing about it myself. I’m freaking tired and I’m beat and I feel super isolated on my farm with my kids.

So today I’ve been googling home swaps. In Chile, or Bali, or Sweden, or Spain. Anyone interested? I have a really great farm with sweeping Blue Ridge views and picture perfect farm critters.

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