Yesterday was one of those picture perfect days – the ones you dream about when you move off grid in Spain- you know – the sun was shining Marcus and I were working in the garden – he was building terraces and I was preparing the first terrace for a kitchen garden – moving compost, digging swales and shifting the dirt through our home made dirt sieve (thank to our first volunteers Anders and Katrine for building it for us!) – getting pebbles out for the paths/swales. The kids were playing in the sun, petting kats, chickens – I have numerous images of kids with cats and chickens in their arms (so many I had to tell them to let the chicken go because otherwise she’d have no chance to find any food) , but not on the phone – because, I was out of battery. Sometimes the kids would help us with this or that task, but mostly they’d just play and play and play (and fight a little). And I moved all of the compost out of the chicken run, and moved the chicken run too, to incorporate some more weeds they could eat, and then after doing all that – I’d decided against it and moved all of the compost back in the run – the same “neighbor” drove past two or three times while I did this, they must think I’m a nutter. And at one point we decided to have a cold drink and we did the most un-permie thing we could do – which was take the car down to the pueblo and buy Coke – ice cold, tinned coke and we drank them under the carob tree. I thought of one Permaculture book I’ve been reading which said something like “if you are drinking your beverage from a tin can on the terrace of your eco-house – you have no right to judge anyone” and I thought – well I won’t then 🙂 and I was happy, and the kids climbed on my lap and then they climbed a tree, and counted all our animals and said that this was their flock. The cats lying in the sun, the chickens free-ranging for bugs amongst the clover, and the dog chasing them all away.
After a day like that you should think we’d all sleep like logs, but we didn’t – both Marcus, Miriam and I woke up several times throughout the night – and kept each other awake or would lie awake alone or sit on the stairs and stare at the stars and wonder about life. What ever you do at night when you don’t have electricity and thus can’t go on Facebook to pass time. Only Lucas slept like a log.
So this morning I was woken by the kids – I was tired and my bones were stiff. The kids were both wide awake – I usually have like half an hour alone in the morning, where I feed the animals and make coffee, wake up Marcus and we both have coffee before the kids wake up. This was not one of those mornings. But in spite of my moodyness the kids volunteered to feed the cats and the chickens – but then I had to help Miriam get her shoes on – and I had still not had the time to put the kettle on for coffee… And they fed the chickens, but somehow they’d gotten out of the run, and since I am “the person who feeds the chickens” they came looking for me – inside the kitchen – and I had still not had the time to put the kettle on. And when I went outside, to put them back in the run – the dog came barging at me, as he does every morning, but usually I only have him to deal with. OK – so I screamed a little at the dog… my bad, I can only excuse my behavior with my lack of coffee.
I finally made it back to the house and made that damn coffee, and my son asked me to show him how to make oat meal porrigde on the gas stove (he only knows how with a microwave, which we haven’t got anymore) – and then I sat down – but instead of drinking my coffee alone in peace and quiet with my husband, my son was wide awake (remember he had slept like a log) – and he was talking non-stop: Minecraft this and minecraft that and the lyrics of this Minecraft song and Enderdragons and Endermen … and my daughter was showing signs that her lack of sleep affected her mood as much as it did mine… so she was whining about this and that and the sound got on my nerves… grinding… I said that maybe I should go back into bed, and find out how to get out of it in a better mood… Didn’t think any one would take me seriously. So when they’d finished their breakfast I asked them, as politely as I could, to go outside and play – so that I could have my second cup of coffee in quiet with my husband. And they did! And Marcus left to go buy a drip-irrigation system, and I snug back in bed. The kids came back in the house and went on to play alone… So I just lay there – staring at the ceiling, feeling the softness of the bed underneath me, and little by little the need to get up out of bed emerged – as usually does when I wake up in my own time in the mornings. And I got up and my son sat at the dinner table with color pencils and paper in front of him “Good morning – did you sleep well? Do you want to draw something with me mom?” and I said yes and I sat down with him and I doodled a little. But my hand was acting up (tentinitis…) so I decided to find the scissors instead. And we got out more craft stuff and I made Miriam a purple princess crown with “dilemants” and harts, and Lucas found a workbook that had been lying around untouched for 18 months or more – and started working on page two or three. When Marcus came back – he had done half the book.
I was still tired, but had to go shopping – it is Easter Sunday tomorrow after all – the kids came with me… Really bad idea! I was tired, they were tired, we were all hungry – it was past lunch-time when we left. So we scrambled through Lidl and I threw a few tons of candy in the cart – I was really really hungry – any chocolate would do, actually the cheaper the better. Grabbed some hotdogs and drove home, before the kids tore each others heads off or I did it for them. Good I was tired.
Thankfully Miriam fell asleep on the way home – so Lucas and I could just go back to his workbook while the hotdogs were frying away in the kitchen. No cooking today! I could just sit there – and relax with my favorite son. I total awe that he almost finished the entire workbook – he’ll probably not do another one in the next year or so, but today it was fun. When Miriam woke up, and we’d had lunch – my beautiful kids went back to playing – I mean seriously how fortunate can one person be? And as Marcus had bought too little tube for the drip-system he’d gone back to buy more – I snug of back in bed again! This time with a novel – soon the kids joined me for a cuddle, and Lucas asked me to read my book to him – so now we are reading “The Dwarf from Nomandie” toghether – don’t say that unschooled kids never get any history lessons. That is where Marcus found us when he got back. He looked at me and said “if we pretend that we need to to laundry, then we really have to turn on the generator right? And then we can watch a movie or something?” So he is watching Monthy Python with the kids (I have no sense of humor, and do not enjoy it).
So it is not about good days and bad days – it is about good moments, even in those days where you have a hard time finding those good moments.