My mom and I often think alike and the morning of our 19th wedding anniversary (May 15) I sat down and tried to write a highlight of each of our 19 years of marriage, something she suggested might be fun in the card we opened shortly after I finished. Each year could have many more highlights, but here's what I noted in my brief reflection in the wee hours of the morning while the funny cake pie I was making in honor of our anniversary baked.
1999 - Jason graduated from college 3 weeks before our wedding, we moved to Hamlet Dr
2000 - Jason full-time construction; me full-time student
2001 - I graduated from EMU; Jason started working part-time at Hickory Hill Farm
2002 - I was working full-time at CJP; we were thinking about starting a family!
2003 - we moved to our first home on Wolfe St a few months before Kali's birth; Mom's transplant
2004 - our only full year in town (adjusting to parenthood and already feeling antsy for land)
2005 - moved to Fruit Farm Lane in Keezletown
2006 - deep in home renovations
2007 - Nora's birth
2008 - Nora's death (we started the tradition of donating blood together)
2009 - Started our Encounters with Sustenance blog soon after the 1 year anniversary of Nora's death
2010 - Building Mom and Dad's in-law quarters onto our home
2011 - Alida's birth
2012 - Started working some from home; hosted first blood drive that fall
2013 - Grew our first peanuts; huge strawberry harvest; Jason donated his hair
2014 - Bathroom remodeling; 1st Biochar burn
2015 - Terah's birth at home!
2016 - Ivy's birth; 1st year with pigs
2017 - Jason's 40th birthday Sandhill Crane migration trip; Samuel's death
2018 - 10th anniversary of Nora's death (return trip planned to Cape Charles this summer)
We started our anniversary morning out with one of my favorite traditions - a hot drink and some Wendell Berry Sabbath poems. The very first one we read that morning seemed fitting for the day, and believe it or not we happened to be reading his 1999 poems (the year we got married):
We travelers, walking to the sun, can't see
Ahead, but looking back the very light
That blinded us shows us the way we came,
Along which blessings now appear, risen
As if from sightlessness to sight, and we,
By blessing brightly lit, keep going toward
The blessed light that yet to us is dark.
Before I get too far into our anniversary, let me not forget to introduce you all to the newest Tangly Woods members alluded to in the last post: two Red Roc piglets! I imagine some of you are thinking, "Don't Jason and Janelle have enough going on?" Well, you see, this is what happens when my mom clips out articles from magazines for us to read. She passed one on to us about someone raising/breeding pigs in WV, Jason was intrigued and emailed the guy, they started corresponding and before you know it we find ourselves in the car headed to Shepherdstown, WV to buy two. So now we have 6 and plan to butcher 4 in December as planned and keep 2 females to breed - yep, we are that excited about pigs (and piglets!!). We had a really fun visit to Creekside Farms and are enjoying the new additions. And I think (now that they are fully recovered from their trip), they are enjoying Tangly Woods as well! We also came home from this trip with a few hatching eggs from a breed of chickens they have that mirror closely a project Jason was working on. So we'll see what all comes of our little trek to WV and back that day...
One other pre-anniversary treat I didn't want to forget to mention was the girls' cooking night on Monday! It ended up feeling a bit like a mother's day dinner, in part because my girls made it together for us and because Kali gave me a sweet card with coupons enclosed that I'll be enjoying for weeks to come! I believe it was Terah who brought "girls cooking night" to a family meeting, and all agreed it was a fun idea. What I love is that they decided to make "three sisters" for their meal - so the meal centered around squash (roasted), corn (made as polenta grits) and beans (refried pintos that we grew). Delicious as always and kuddos to Kali for managing to pull a meal off with both little sisters in tow. That gal is getting quite the education!!
And now catching up to the present. Our anniversary morning was right up there among my favorite kinds of mornings. We were home all day together and Jason and I got to work out in the gardens all morning (with happy kiddos around). It's as if we now have a "rainy season" around here, as it has been cloudy and rainy or stormy for days now. So we have been looking for ANY and ALL pockets of calm weather to try to get things in the ground. Thankfully that day was a fun and productive one, getting in tomatoes, some peppers, squash, dill, cilantro, basil, and more things I'm likely forgetting! Jason then transitioned in the afternoon to weeding the onions and friends arrived in time to finish it off right before the next drenching rains started! But let me not sound too disparaging about the rain. It's really wonderful to have good moisture in the soil, the sky and clouds on the mountain have been beautiful, and we just feel like we are wading through paradise around here. Plants are truly amazing. If Jason can't mow soon, though, he may have to scythe the whole yard!!
We did take a break midday on our anniversary to enjoy a special lunch of potato crusted spinach ricotta cheddar egg bake, a corn cheddar paprika quiche, roasted sweet potatoes with garlic and sauteed garlic and asparagus. Yep, it's the time of year when I'm likely to start photographing our plates again! Here's a few other fun pictures from our day together! I neglected to get any of us actually together on our anniversary!
|It's about time for the first comfrey cutback. It's at its prime right now and is about to flop on us!|
|Kali has a broody duck - hoping for ducklings in a few weeks!|
|The irises in Nora's garden are stunning - this is the one that Jason is pretty sure he got from Kali's school the day Nora was airlifted to UVA.|
|Yep, there is LOTS of peeping in the background as I type. 20 more hatched and headed to their new home this evening. Things will be a bit quieter in here again.|
|This gal is silly! Enough said!!|
|The first strawberries were a big hit. The slugs are likely to enjoy them as they rot if we don't get some sunshine soon!|
|I love our spinach freezing system. Plowed through this this morning and hope to head out for the second round soon...|