I am incredibly thankful for the abundance in our lives.
A week or so ago, we learned that the undeveloped area behind our house, which has been on the market for a very long time, was finally sold. We're disappointed, because (very selfishly) we would have preferred that it stay unsold, or at least, undeveloped, forever. It is such a beautiful piece of land, and over the years we have strongly connected to its wildness.
But it's not ours. It never has been, and as much as we would have liked to have owned it, our pockets just aren't deep enough - and even if we had been able to buy it, the taxes on that much land in our community would have been too much for us to maintain without selling off bits and pieces of it ourselves.
We knew it would, eventually, happen. We adore the woman who owned the land and certainly do not fault her for selling it. It's what she needed to do.
While it remains undeveloped, we hope to still enjoy walking the paths. Today, we walked back through and were greeted with some wild life we don't always see. We also harvested some wild carrots and Staghorn sumac for a wild food tasting party we are having next Wednesday.
I've looked at satellite pictures of the subdivision where I lived in Alabama as a kid and am disappointed by how much the area has grown and developed since my family moved away more than three decades ago. I was very sad to see the Wal-Mart within shouting distance of my old haunts.
While there really is no place for a Wal-Mart - or any other mega shopping center - in my current community, I don't doubt that a lot of great big houses on half acre lots will, someday, surround my little suburban paradise. I don't know how those people will feel about our homestead. Most likely is that most of them won't care, since we're just far enough away from where the closest house will be that they won't see, smell or hear us. Even if some of them do catch wind, I'm sure there will be more than a few who end up doing what we do themselves. I've seen plenty of McMansions surrounded by lush edible landscapes and a few urban chickens.
In the meantime, we will be incredibly thankful for the bounty of the land around us. We found a bagful of wild carrots and are very excited that our "wild soup" will be a lot more wild than we had originally thought.
We harvested our last three roosters today. One of them went into a pot and slow cooked on the woodstove until the meat, literally, fell off the bone. We had chicken noodle soup (with homemade egg noodles) for dinner.
For that, I am incredibly thankful.
Today was my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. We weren't able to be there in person to celebrate with them, and so we bought them dinner and had it delivered to their house. We found a restaurant called Hugh Jass Burgers.
Try to say that out loud ... without giggling.
My parents have been married and endured a lot of really difficult times for five decades, including two very difficult pregnancies (because my mother is Rh- and my father is Rh+) two daughters who ended up hospitalized because of vehicular accidents, a twenty year military career including two tours in Vietnam and numerous long-distance moves, RIF, near poverty, several recessions, and a lot of those little every day shit happens life events, and yet, they endured, through it all. There aren't a lot of people who can say that.
I am so humbled by their commitment to one another, and inspired to learn what they know about how to keep a relationship honest and growing - as theirs must be. One doesn't simply stay with a partner, not in these disposable times - without there being some reason to hang out. They are pretty amazing people.
They called to let us know that they enjoyed their Hugh Jass Burgers and all of the side dishes, and that we bought them way too much food.
I am thankful that giving them this tiny recognition of their great accomplishment was possible.