Empty-nesting

Whoa, empty nest again. Another year of apprentices come and gone. I know I make ironic jokes about them every year, but really. I enjoy each and every one of them and miss them fiercely when they go. I guess it’s been part of the higher purpose of my life. I have knowledge and skills to share with more than the one child I was gifted, so I take on apprentices like foster children in the hope that some will follow in my footsteps and learn from my mistakes.
It makes me terribly sad when I don’t hear from them, like lost children, I wonder where they have gone and what they are doing now. Why don’t they write? We did our best…. and It makes me extremely proud when I see the strong young farmers and artisans and advocates and activists they grow into. And the both of us love it when they flock back for a visit. Flung the world over: Alaska, Washington, California, Vermont. Or right in my back yard: North Haven, Thorndike and Lewiston. They are making cheese, or raising goats, or sharing the farm life love, or raising awareness of local food systems.
My kids.

Gone again


Singing the praises of my 2009 apprentices! Seems like they, like the lost summer, only just arrived, and now it’s time to go. Somewhere toward the end of August, that faraway look creeps into their eyes, and while we are focusing on the rootcellar, woodshed, and freezer, they are checking on airline tickets or winter rents.
I can’t get through the summer without them, and it will be tough this winter when they’ve departed. They are like children that I’ve raised and am sending out into the world. Hope they come back to visit. Hope they send postcards!