Surprise Visitor


My first hired man, Adam, with my beloved Beulah Petunia.

I want to thank the reader who spotted Adam at the Wal-Mart in Spencer recently. He stopped by my farm, unexpectedly, and told me that he’d been at Wal-Mart and a woman came up to him and said, Why haven’t you been to the chicken farm? You’ve been replaced by two other guys. You need to go see Suzanne! And he finally figured out what was going on. That two years later, he’d been recognized by a reader! Still!

Adam was my favorite hired man, hands down, ever. And I adore my current hired men. But Adam was my first hired man out here, and he taught me so much.

Adam, teaching me how to clip chicken wings.
Adam, teaching me how to make maple syrup.
Adam, teaching me how to dig and steep sassafras roots.
Oh, yeah, he taught me a lot.

I saw him at the door of my back porch, opened the door, and threw my arms around him. I was so glad to see him! He’s working away on pipeline in Kentucky right now, 90 hours a week. He doesn’t have time to be my hired man anymore. We sat and talked for a couple hours, catching up.

He promised to come see me again….because, you know, you guys are watching him! Keep it up!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn | Permalink  

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Stocking Up


I have a new favorite grocery store. It’s the studio.
Since I got rid of the beloved yet pesky Explorer, I don’t have a four-wheel drive.
I don’t like driving on snowy icy roads in any case. I did that. I’m all done. Snowy icy road at the other farm:
I do not know how I survived. Especially that one time when I nearly ran out of aluminum foil. As God is my witness, I’ll never be aluminum foil-less again!
Okay, really, that’s not the main thing, but I am stocked up on aluminum foil and other things. I have freezers full of food (and yes, a generator to run them in a power outage or coolers to store them if it’s cold outside). And home-canning and pantries and cabinets and shelves full of food. Food is not something I’m likely to ever run out of if I don’t go to the store the entire winter. I’m not stocking up for the end of the world as we know it, though, just for a possibly snow-stuck winter in which I would prefer to have the choice of not braving the roads during bad spells. Since I have food running over here, it’s more things like toilet paper, toothpaste, and light bulbs that I was focused on. The sort of things that we in our first-world spoiled lives consider convenient comforts.
I made several trips to the store to stock up, storing things in the house and the studio, where I won’t be holding workshops again until spring. I made sure I had several of everything that seems to make life comfortable and that one doesn’t want to realize one has run out of on a snowy day.
We don’t want to go out in that, do we, Precious?
When I was all done, I realized I’d bought more of one thing that anything else.

Apparently, I think the thing I will need most to get through a snow-stuck week is not aluminum foil, after all. It’s wine.

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

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