Puzzle Creek Farm: Putting The Pieces Together

  (Bostic, North Carolina)
"The Follies of Family Farming"
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Life is Short...

5/13/2009

Our keets were born today...there are 15 of them.

We had them in a box on the bar when Grafton was holding one, it scared him and he dropped it. It squirmed a bit and died in my hand. I started crying... totally out of control crying. I gathered the remaining keets and placed them in the back room and closed the door.

As in all our lives we face both birth and death. I was also digesting the news that a friend of 20 years had been lost to cancer. She was the mother of a college classmate and a former coworker. Have you ever known a person who inspired you by just being? I had called her last week. We talked about her illness, how she wanted to journey to her home country, England, and her son, my former classmate, coworker and friend for two decades. The conversation was our last, but her words then and to me over the years, her almost natural instinct to love and understand others in a free and light hearted style, will be with me forever.

The news was hung in my throat. I walked over to the keets and picked up a solid white one. “You will be called Mrs. W”...the divine Mrs. W after my friend. I later shared the naming with my friend's son. I told him this may sound silly, but it just felt right. He replied, “She loved animals and would laugh that you did that.”

I woke this morning to the sound of the keets chirping away. Grafton and Gilliland were in the kitchen again holding the keets and talking to them. The sound of little voices. Living. Breathing. Life if short. I know we hear that, we say it, and we are too often reminded of it.


 
 

Puzzle Creek...putting the pieces together

Mom, Dad, 3 & 5 yr old boys move to an old farm in Western North Carolina. Taking shelter in a 1800's log cabin on the property the follies are as follows:

 "Poke Berry Boys" Fall 2008

Moving to a farm was an exciting new adventure. We explained to the boys that we would grow our own food and eat from our land.

I carried boxes from the car while the boys explored the yard. I unpacked a few and looked out to check on them when I noticed Gilliland (3) had red stains around his mouth. "Have you been eating berries" I asked. He said, "NO", but the evidence said otherwise. I asked Grafton (5) if Gilliland had eaten the berries. He said, "Yes, mom...he ate those berries", and pointed to poke berry bushes that grow wildly on the property. 

I panicked and called Jay at work. "Our son ate poke berries". He called poison control and told me to calm down, if he didn't eat many we were okay.

I asked Gilliland again if he ate berries and he said he ate 2 berries. We explained those berries were for birds only, and never to eat them again.

The next day he had harvested a bowl of poke berries and sat them out for the birds. I later instructed Jay to destroy the poke berry bushes. 

So from our first day on the farm, our sons had caught on, and started eating locally from the land, ironically it was poisons poke berries.

 
 
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