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Laboring on Labor Day


Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer and the unofficial start of fall. Labor Day weekend is a well loved holiday where many find respite from work and have one last hoorah before the days begin to shorten and the temperatures cool. As seems par for the course in 2020, this Labor Day weekend didn’t feel much like a holiday at all. As a matter of fact, we didn’t even remember it was a holiday until we attended the Ligonier farmer’s market on Saturday. The weather was gorgeous, the days bright and beautiful but it was lacking that holiday feel.

Upper management, aka me, declared Monday a soap free holiday. Soap free, not labor free. The Bibbed Wonder and I spent the holiday weekend, well, laboring. There are boundless projects around here that need our time and attention. Many of them are just normal maintenance but have been neglected because of goats and soap. The Bibbed Wonder spent his days outside mowing, servicing equipment, and completing general maintenance on the barn.

I on the other hand spent time in the house organizing, cleaning, and doing general household chores that also get put off because of goats and soap. Overall, it was a successful weekend and satisfying to check some things off our to do list. Fall is a busy time on any farm but we feel somewhat of a double whammy with farm maintenance and soap/business duties. I finally sat down and created a schedule for all things soap and farm related. We will be busy well into October on both fronts.

It is a busy and exhausting lifestyle we lead and as far from glamorous as one can get. I feel dressed up when I have on jeans and a shirt other than a tee shirt. Often, we are covered in things that would make most people cringe…it’s a good thing we make soap because we certainly use a lot of it. However, I am so grateful to be doing what we are doing. I am grateful we have the opportunity to build a life on the farm where my dad was at his happiest. I am appreciative I get to do something that affords me time with my daughter. I get to build something I can hopefully hand off to her one day and she can take it in new and creative directions. I am also fortunate to work with my husband and spend time with him like never before. It is a rewarding and fulfilling lifestyle that we are blessed to live.

Do I miss vacations and free time? Of course, I do. There are places I would like to travel to and things I would like to accomplish before I am too old or time runs out. There are days and weeks where things go awry and I question what we are doing and why we are doing this. Would it be an easier lifestyle to go back to teaching and 9-5 jobs? Perhaps, but easier has never been the path Eric nor I have ever chosen.

We do indeed work hard and spend our days laboring but it is work with a focus, a goal, and a mission. There is pride in hard work and fulfillment in creation. My grandma always said, “Idle hands are the devil’s work.” We don’t have time to get into trouble…except for Eric. He is a constant source of trouble and mischief. He definitely keeps things lively and fun.

With the end of summer and a very un-holiday like Labor Day under our belts, we hope for better times and more celebratory holidays to come. As always dear reader, stay safe, stay smart, may you reap the rewards of your labor, and of course continue to wash your hands.

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