Killer Clyde

There's a new critter on the farm! His name is Clyde and he's a homicidal maniac. Here he is, hunting in the high grass, one of his favorite pastimes.
Clyde, like Farmer Fin, is originally from Brooklyn. In fact, we used to be roommates. Born eleven years ago on the mean streets down by the Navy Yard, a very cute teenage Clyde followed roommate Rachel home one day and begged to come in. He never left, and when we moved into a different apartment, he came with us. Clyde belonged to all of us, but he ended up with Clara, the last to leave that apartment. 

They lived together for four years or so; the studio they shared is spacious by New York standards, but apparently not enough for Clyde, who amped up his destructive habits in some kind of feline campaign to drive his generous caretaker out of her mind. Desperate, Clara appealed to us, the countriest of her country friends, and a month ago I picked up her and Clyde at the Albany Amtrak station and we installed Clyde in his new home, the barn.

Clyde, like Farmer Fin, is a natural! He has adjusted very well to farm life. Within a few days he had figured out the ladder to the hayloft, and we have been finding a variety of rodent parts around the barn. He seems to enjoy the feeling of grass under his paws and the warm sun on his fur. I think he's enjoying his new station in life.



Last weekend marked the five-year anniversary of our move here from Brooklyn. We came with a five-year plan and a vague knowledge of the learning curve ahead of us. We jumped right in to the Farmie Life (to quote the title of a PowerPoint slide show we put together in order to convince our families we were not insane to leave the city for these pastoral environs), and although I sometimes wish we had acted with more forethought, five years later we are actually, surprisingly, pretty much on track with the original plan.

It seems natural to reflect on everything we've learned and experienced here on the farm since we got here, but it's a little overwhelming, which goes with the general feeling I've been having since the end of the summer. Between teaching again and trying to keep up with the goats and the barn and the garden and the kitchen, I've been feeling swamped. Something had to give. At first not blogging was kind of a relief. I was starting to feel redundant: natural beauty, human error, barn updates, repeat...

But the relief soon festered into a full-on case of writer's block. And the writer's block, as it always does, got all snarled up in a litany of personal insecurities: I have nothing to say because I'm boring, lazy, incompetent, a dilettante, etc. The thing about living here though, is that it's hard to stay entirely focused on oneself, because there's so much demanding attention. 

Like sometimes you wake up and milk goats by the light of stars and headlamp (who knew Orion is in the center of the 6:00 AM sky at this time of year), and then you finish and the sun is just rising and the sky looks like this:

Which is what happened to me this morning, and I just felt so fortunate. Maybe I'm a disorganized loser and all that other stuff, but I guess I've made a few good choices. Life is completely out of my control, but those choices resonate throughout it. The Farmie Life is exhausting and scary and confusing and so beautiful that it nearly knocks me down sometimes, and I love it. I loved it this rosy morning and again in the silvery evening, looking at the leaves changing colors just like they did the first week we lived here.