Thursday, October 11, 2012


Digging holes is a gift.  It seems that no matter what I have planned for my little farm, the first thing that must be accomplished involves going to ground.... I must dig a hole.  If I want more fence, I start with post holes.  If I want to build a shed or a barn then I either have to dig holes or a trench.  Build a round pen.... holes!  

Everything seems to start with...How many holes will I need for this?  I want to have the chickens in a yard for the winter.  There has been a great deal of mental exercises done on this topic.  How permanent should the yard be?  Do I want to have the roosters in some sort of separate but equal section of the yard?  How big?  How close will the posts be?  How many holes?!

The same is true for my little barn.  I do mean little.  In order to get the structure built out of the old privacy fencing, the long section of sidewall can only be four foot tall.  If I try to go with the idea of roofing with sod then the roof cannot be too steep, so the center may only be about six and a half feet tall.  I keep looking at what I'm trying to do.  I keep second guessing the wisdom of my plan.  I keep coming up with nine holes.  To start the barn I will need nine holes.  At best, in this drought damaged, baked earth, that is two days worth of digging.

I have to pull posts and re-dig the holes for the round pen.  Last year, I got in a hurry and my efforts were inadequate, so now I will pay the price.  I will have to start over.  The part that truly makes me shudder at the idea of starting this task is knowing that I need around 26 holes.  I don't just cringe physically.  I can feel the trepidation clear down to my soul.  How will I ever manage that Herculean task?

I  seem to have re-injured my back.  There could not have been a worse time.  The temperatures are dipping.  The sense of urgency is growing.  Fear is taking hold.  Every task is measured against the deadline of winter.  How much can still be gotten done?  It is hanging over my head like an ACME safe in a Roadrunner cartoon.

That's why every hole that gets dug is a gift.  And when someone comes along and digs one for me, that gift is accepted, the angels sing, there is rejoicing in my heart.  Then I tell myself that we are one hole closer to having the little farm built.  One hole closer to the dream.


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