This December we saw more guests than any December in the past. We had more bookings than most of the 4th quarters of years past.
The draft mares started the Holiday season fresh and sassy, charging into their harnesses, always offering a canter and bucking if their offer was refused. That’s what a year off will do to horses bred to work, I guess. After the first few butt-puckering days they settled into their more typical, steady ways. They slowed their churning legs down to more of a plod, for which our drivers and I are thankful. Now, instead of a neck-snapping lurch forward when asked to move out, they require a bit of literal prodding to get moving. Good thing, too, I was starting to clear some freezer space for them…
I started the Holiday season a little differently — creaky, slow, complaining loudly about sore muscles and tired joints. And being cold. The requirements of this “farm fit” workout season resulted in logging sometimes up to 8 miles a day on my phone’s fitness tracking app. I can’t say that my energy levels have followed the opposite curve as the mares’, where I went from a slow-plod at the beginning to a bouncy ball of energy at the end of the season. Nope. I’m still creaky and slow, but maybe less whiney at the end of the season. Interacting with our guests lifts my spirits and brings me joy.
As always, our business is our big bright spot, our happy place even during the toughest times. Maybe “especially” during the darkest times. I’m grateful to’ve ended 2020 still in business and able to interact safely with so many folks.
Last night, as the tail lights of our last guests of the year disappeared down the gravel road, Jeff and I stood next to the dwindling fire. Nothing magnifies your sense of solitude like the sudden absence of laughter and voices. I sipped a glass of wine and Jeff drank a beer. For some reason we felt the need to speak in hushed tones. We ended the season not with clinking glasses and shouts of “Hurrah” but with a big sigh.
But now I’m looking forward to a quiet time. Days of catching up on housework, the many random projects to be done around here — building fence, starting a new flock of chicks, decluttering (oh my gosh the decluttering, does it ever end?). I have soap to make and candles to pour, a goat to break to harness, and it’s time to look at horses for our string in 2021.
Jeff and I will stuff the hay feeders tomorrow with enough hay to last the week — a stormy week by the sounds — and I’ll settle in for several days of soap-making in the basement like an old crone, mixing bubbling potions and batters. There is wine in bottles to be labelled and wine in various vessels to be racked. Seems most of my efforts for the next little while will happen in cellars, basements, and dungeon-y places.
Retreat, rest, and refuel.
Here’s hoping your 2020 ends on a happy note and 2021 brings us all renewed hope and joy.
Happy New Year!