A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

July 17, 2008

A Gentle Nudge Back In Time

Tuesday afternoon brought rain and lots of it, how wonderful the past few days have been with cool temperatures, cloudy skies and some decent rainfall.  The weather forecasters warn us that hot, dry weather is soon to return, but for now we are enjoying the rain and all it brings.  For along with Tuesday’s rain, came thunder, lighting and a loss of power.


We are fortunate in our area that we are serviced by a rural electric co-op, Farmers’ Electric Co-operative.  Through all of our years here in eastern New Mexico we have always lived in the area serviced by Farmers Electric, and whenever there is a loss of power they are quick to respond.  We have come to appreciate that whenever we lose power we can call to the co-op and a real person answers the phone, whatever time of the day or night it is.  No pre-recorded message, but a real person and often someone who we know by their first name as we have talked to them in the course of business over the years.  Most of the employees at Farmer’s Electric have worked there for many years, a sure sign of a good employer.


So having called in our loss of power, we were confident that the problem would be fixed as soon as possible.  We had noticed once the power had gone out that it kept trying to flicker on, a different situation than normal and something that made us suspect that we could be without power for a while.


Evening chores were done in the rain, but it felt good to feel the rain on our skin.  We didn’t bother with rainwear except for our boots to help us stay upright on the slick mud, and even though our clothes became wet it really wasn’t uncomfortable, just part of enjoying a cool rainy evening.


With chores complete the rest of the evening lay ahead, without power there would be no work on the computer and paperwork would be limited to how much could be done before the light in the house became too poor.  But there were better options to be enjoyed.  Ric had a prior engagement to go to; he had arranged to bowl in a league on behalf of a friend whose wife is seriously ill.  Ric is an avid ten pin bowler (and yes he has had his 300 game) so the chance of a night’s bowling was of great appeal to him.


For me the choice was simple, how wonderful to be given the chance to spend the evening knitting and reading on the front porch, with no guilt or pressure of the work that always needs to be done.  The front porch had enough shelter from the rain and the light there was much better than in the house.


And so it was I was to enjoy an evening of leisure. Coincidentally I had just finished reading a book entitled “Dairy of a Farmers’ Wife 1796 – 1797”.   The book is an account of the dairy of Anne Hughes, a farmer’s wife, who lived in a remote country farmhouse in Monmouthshire in the late eighteenth century.  It is an interesting book and as I read it I was fascinated by the work that was carried out by Anne Hughes and her maid Sarah, the way in which Anne freely helped others less fortunate than herself, Anne’s simple needs and the complete lack of focus on money and material possessions during that time.  The book made me think about our society today, how materialistic we tend to be and how much we take for granted, there is much we could learn from our ancestors.


Having finished “The Dairy of a Farmers’ Wife” I had started another book on Monday entitled “Seasons of My Life” and so was not very far into its pages.  “Seasons of My Life” is the true story of Hannah Hauxwell a solitary women who lived in the Dales of Northern England (Note: I would say Yorkshire Dales, but the Dale where Hannah lived, Baldersdale, was originally considered to be in Yorkshire but eventually considered to be County Durham).  The story of Hannah’s life is actually contained in three books and was also made into a documentary.    Hannah is quite a remarkable woman, who was discovered in 1972 to be living in an isolated farmhouse without water or electricity.  Her lifestyle and speech are rooted in another time; she almost seems to be still in the late 18th or early 19th century.  As I read the book I read of how before World War One there were times that were so bad that people in the Dales kept the wool from their sheep, spun their own yarn and made their own clothes.   Having read this I had joked with Ric on Tuesday morning that the way our economy is heading he had better learn to spin too as soon we would be forced into taking our alpaca fleeces and spinning them into yarn for our clothes!


So on Tuesday evening as I sat on the front porch of our house, a house that was without power, knitting a pair of alpaca socks for me to wear this winter, using yarn from our alpacas, the scene struck me as interesting.  My grandmother was raised on a farm in the Yorkshire Dales, I don’t remember her mentioning sheep or spinning in her recollection of her younger years, but I am betting that someone either in her generation or previous generations of our family most likely spun yarn, most definitely knitting would have featured in the family activities.  Maybe just maybe I was being gently nudged to some family roots, carrying out an activity that was also carried out many generations before me.  Perhaps continuing a tradition that somehow was lost over the years, and maybe hidden deep inside me is an ingrained knowledge, an unknown force that has guided me over the years to go back to working with animals and the land, and back to a skill that has long been forgotten or overlooked in our family.



1 Comment »

  1. […] – bookmarked by 1 members originally found by ctrlaltdeleted on 2008-10-18 A Gentle Nudge Back In Time https://alpacalady.wordpress.com/2008/07/17/624/ – bookmarked by 6 members originally found by […]

    Pingback by Bookmarks about Taste — November 6, 2008 @ 6:00 am

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