I tossed and turned last night in bed lying awake dreaming of the next morning's happenings like a giddy child on Christmas Eve. I woke up with a grin from ear to ear, happily jumping out of bed and into the shower at the sound of my rooster-crowing alarm clock. Today my friends, was processing day. And I dreamed of chickens.
Now don't misread this. I was not excited about taking a creature's life, I'm not some crazy animal killer, BUT I was excited about producing food for my family. We have raised these birds since day two and I get just as excited about going into the garden and harvesting crops. I scour cookbooks for new ways to preserve my harvest and/or cook it up into something yummy for my family. So don't go thinking I enjoyed the death of these little guys, because I didn't, but I'm well aware that this is a part of nature, and if it's going to be done, I'd rather it be at our own hands, ethically, and humanely.
We had 25 broilers, and 5 roosters to do. The good folks over at Bethel Family Farm allowed us to come over to do the deed there since they are equipped and set up for processing large amounts at one time. Unfortunately, after doing 4 broilers, Joanna suggested that they were probably not big enough and could use a few more weeks of a high protein feed. Micah and I agreed (but were a little bummed) but we went ahead and did the roosters anyway since we were there.
We even cooked a rooster for dinner tonight at my mom's! It needed a bit more seasoning (he was an older bird) but I'm still pleased to know where the food came from and I think it's a great step towards self sufficiency.
While at my mom's, my stepdad showed me a video from Steve Jobs. He gave a speech at the 2005 graduating Stanford class, and his speech really spoke to me. I don't know a lot about Mr. Jobs, I'm sorry for his recent passing, but it would seem to me that he had a pretty full and happy life. Mr. Jobs told the students at Stanford to do what they were passionate about and what they loved. He said to find what you love and do it, and if you haven't found it yet, keep looking until you find what you love to do.
On my drive home from my mom's (it's a 50 minute commute), I thought about what Steve Jobs said. I thought about my day. I thought about my sweet kids sleeping in the back of my truck. I thought about the goats and chickens waiting to be tucked in at night when we got home to the farm. I though about the bag of leftovers I had for my pigs who would devour it in no time at all. I thought about my amazing neighbors and friends who have been so kind to us since moving here. I thought about standing in the kitchen washing dishes while looking out over my garden and my kids playing and laughing on the tire swing. I thought about collecting eggs yesterday and forgetting one was in my back pocket until I sat on the couch and smashed it. I thought about the freezer full of of apples waiting to be made into apple juice. I thought about our little church we attend on Sunday mornings. I thought about football games, Friday night lights, and lazy afternoons on the front porch. I thought about Micah who is the most talented and smartest person I've ever met (okay, besides me). I thought about children running barefoot through the yard collecting wildflowers and bringing them to me to put in a vase. I thought about it.
And I'm doing what I love.
This is it. I don't know how I got here or why the good Lord has blessed us so much, but this is it.
This is the good life.