Friday, December 15, 2017

Season's Greetings

The winter solstice is a week away, December 21st at 10:28 am Central Time, and while our earliest ancestors lit bonfires, told stories and drank sweet ale, celebrated Yuletide or watched the rebirth of the sun, it seems fitting that even in this modern age we share our news and our triumphs, discuss our failures and look to the coming year with renewed energy. There is something deep within us that stirs and responds to the lengthening days.

Our own life is closely linked to the passing of the seasons and to life and death, and this past year was no different. Anyone who has pets will understand the grief that comes with losing a pet and our house was filled with tears and heartache when Titan was no longer able to live a healthy and comfortable life. We knew that Giant breeds live shorter lives but that knowledge in no way made it any easier for us to carry out our last responsibilities and ease his way across the Rainbow Bridge. While no one could ever describe him as a working dog, he worked hard at loving us and making us laugh and smile, he loved winter and he loved water and he shared that love with us in many ways. He will be remembered by all who met him and many who only read about him.

This year has been very kind to us, we have great friends who have encouraged, supported and cheered along the sidelines as we continued with our small business and with Thursday Nite Live Farmers' Market. We loved meeting people in the flesh, some of whom travelled to Watertown from quite a distance and from other States, and took the time to come and say hi to us at the Market. We enjoyed catching up with those we have come to know as our 'regulars' and it has been a privilege to call many of those regulars friends as our relationships have grown. The Farmers Market has also widened our activities and we were honoured to join Joy Ranch at Halloween and hand out candy to the kids that came that day. I apologise to the parents of the small kids that were scared and burst into tears at my costume, and we really hope that the Team at Joy Ranch will not let that stop them from inviting us again next year!

We are firm believers in paying forward and the Thursday Nite Live Farmers' Market has allowed us to do just that. The work of "Two Sides of the Same Coin" has captured our hearts and we had a great deal of fun sharing this charity's work with you when we sold raffle tickets to help raise money and awareness. The local radio station helped us get the word out in the community further than we could imagine and the fundraiser was a huge success thanks to all of our customers and friends. It was also thanks to the vendors at the Famers' Market who all contributed in one way or another and whose generosity helped make the prizes so much more exciting. Clark folks had a second opportunity when we went trick or treating for small change that was also given to Two Sides of the Same Coin. It was the first time I had ever gone Trick or Treating and we had so much fun that this might well become a Two Old Broads annual event.

Anyone gardening in this part of South Dakota knows how challenging it can be and this year was no different. It was hot, dry, and windy making it tough for some crops. Those in town sometimes had better results in their protected areas than out here where the elements made it hard for some plants to thrive or even survive. We have learned new lessons and decided that while crop rotation is a very good thing, some crops just don't do well in certain areas and as we never know what summer will bring as we plant, we will work within the guidelines of lessons learned. We may not have all we had hoped for but the harvest brought us all we needed and our freezers and shelves are full enough to take us to next year's harvest and that is plenty. We can feed ourselves and we can feed friends and family, life is good! We were also grateful to those who were prepared to barter with us so we got the extra veggies and fruits we had hoped for and they got to enjoy our bread and soaps. We really do live in a great community!

This week our Baker Creek seed catalogue arrived. We love their catalogue and all that it brings into our lives. It reminds us to be grateful for all that we have. all that we have learned and as we put our money into seeds it brings home our hopes for the future. Winter for us is a time of planning and dreaming, a time to learn new skills or enhance those we already have. We took our first vacation in quite a while this year, should we plan one for next year at the same time, if so, what should we do? We need to learn new skills to fully utilise the wonderful gift we received, will it open new doors for us? We had hoped to publish a Two Old Broads Cookbook this year but time got away from us and now, possibly,  we will be able to finish it this winter. Will photography skills develop quickly enough to enhance the Cookbook, or should we aim at a 2019 calendar? Some winters we dream bigger than we are able to achieve in a year but that is not a bad thing. Our dream is always to be better, kinder and more generous than before and to leave our small corner of influence a better place than it was. 

We are happy to have you in our lives and hope that all your needs will be met that bring you happiness and health. We look forward to sharing 2018 with you. 

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