As I stepped out onto the front porch to feed the kittens, I looked down toward the homestead. The wind picked up and the sky began to darken, almost as if my gaze awoke the elements. The field corn directly across from our house began to bow beneath the rush of air and I saw rain on the mountain. It was coming. Despite my desire to stand in the downpour and open my mouth wide Shawshank Redemption-style, I went inside and waited eagerly like a child on Christmas morning. The rain didn't last long, but it was just enough to save us from irrigating for a day or two. You know you live on a farm when a desperately-needed half inch of rain makes you reconsider religion.
Nearly everyday, the take-away from interactions with my husband is, "Don't squander all that you have." Even when his mind is strained, his body tired, even when he is being weighted down by a thousand different tasks, my farmer finds the avenue of laughter and is able to bask in small moments of joy. The other day as we washed and dried our dishes from lunch at the sink, he looked at me. With clothes covered in dirt and damp from struggling with the irrigation pipes, he said, "I'm just so happy. I finally have a reason to keep going." The thought of being anyone's reason to live and to work hard is the most humbling feeling I have ever known. Moments of confessions at the kitchen sink are what satiate me: to hear that my farmer now has this thirst to live more inspires me to make the most of what we have. There's a simplicity to what we're striving for, a life built on the significance of little things. I think my biggest challenge is, and has always been, to savor those small joys, to live inside the task and not beyond it. To take this action now and hope the insight will follow.
Makes about 1 quart
Barely adapted from Deb Perelman
I only wish the lemonade was this good at the county fairs...
1 pound cucumbers, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups cold water
Place a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl and set aside.
Add the cucumber chunks to a high speed blender and process on low until the chunks of cucumber are broken down. Increase the speed and blend until super smooth.
Pour the cucumber mixture through the strainer to separate the cucumber juice from the solids. Discard the solids. You should have about 1 cup of cucumber juice. Alternatively, you can process the cucumbers in a juicer.
Add the fresh lemon juice, sugar and water to a large jar or container with a lid that is big enough to hold about 4 cups. Add the cucumber juice to the mix, screw the lid on tightly and shake. Let the lemonade chill in the refrigerator; the sugar should dissolve completely after about 15 minutes.