Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Day Away

Yesterday I had the opportunity to spend the day with a good friend from UVM and her sister at the Sunapee State Park.  When I received the invite I figured why not a day away would be great and certainly the new pig fence I was planning to build could wait and the additional blueberries I was thinking of picking would still be there another day as well.  All three of us are graduates of UVM and married for a long time with 3 or 4 children, but each of us have very different lives.  Certainly I have chosen to live a life where we raise all of our own meats and as many veggies as possible.   Although I would love to simply farm our mortgage prevents that so both Mike and I are employed full time.  We are fortunate not to have to worry about the bills but the cost of college is looming over our heads.

Yesterday I felt like an outsider but maybe I am really just caught in the middle.  (Certainly the sharp contrast of my short tan lines when I changed into my swimsuit was one stark difference) Both Deonne and her sister are full time stay at home moms.  Their lives are centered around family and friends.  One lives the lower middle class life style as her husband teaches and they make it on one income.  She gardens, home schools and is always on the go with friends.  The other lives an upper class life style as her spouse is an attorney in the city.  Both are intelligent women and terrific mothers.

I am in the middle because although I have the opportunity to spend summers full time with my sons and have a career that allows me to see all of their sporting events. I must work to balance family, farm and teaching.  Rarely do I make the time to spend a day at the lake with friends.  I am in the middle because I know our income level means we make enough to pay all of our taxes but do not have enough to ski, trips to Europe or cruises.  I know we work hard and are blessed but sometimes I feel caught in the middle.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sweet T

When we first moved here a dozen years ago we were surprised one winter day to see a tabby cat sunning itself in a small opening on the south side of the barn.  We did not have a barn cat, at that point we did not have animals other than our dog.  We wondered how many generations of barn cats had tucked themselves into this opening to absorb the warmth.  Three and a half years ago our neighbors had kittens and gave us a beautiful pair of cats for the barn.  We live on a busy road (well a busy road for Tunbridge) so we were uncertain how long they would survive before being hit.

The kittens were not going to be named because they were barn cats, not pets, and we knew we could lose them to traffic.  We began calling them Thing1 and Thing2 as they were almost a matched set.  When we took them to be spayed/neutered the female officially became Thing1 and the male Thing2.  T1 and T2 were not your average barn cats, they were longer haired, petite and friendly.

Two years ago T2 was hit and instantly killed by a car.  We were home at the time.  T1 became the solo barn kitty, still as friendly but now simply known as T or Sweet T.  Her nose was slightly bent out of shape this winter when a little black kitten who was my shadow as I did chores arrived in the barn.  T tolerated Shadow and put him in his place with a swift swipe of the paw.

This spring T disappeared for a few days and I thought for sure she was gone.  Then she reappeared seeking to be swooped up for a cuddle.  Now T has been gone for about 10 days.  I've checked the third floor a few times to see if she is back and sleeping safely away from the dogs but her spot is empty.