Actually, throwing my head against the wall would have been less painful than what I went through yesterday.
Here is the story.
Yesterday, two women pulled slowly up my lane. I know them. I was shocked as I know how they feel about gravel roads. Their cars are precious to them ..... objects that show wealth .... and gravel roads tarnish the shine that is oh-so-important.
The first thing out of their mouths was about my barn quilt and who painted it. They were surprised when I said I had done it. Then, they looked at another barn quilt as said, "But you didn't do that one." But I had.
It was my Carolina Lily barn quilt. The hardest barn quilt I painted and I. Will. Never. Ever. do one on point Again. But I learned that by doing it. Myself.
They walked through the gardens, pointing out weeds, asking about what we didn't grow.
The Summer Kitchen was unimpressive. My gardens ... uninspiring.
I showed them my kitchen. No response. Yes, it was a mess. My floor needed sweeping. My counter still had some of my Stringtown purchases. I had freshly made pasta, drying on the towels.
"Did you cut this by hand?" No, I ran it through my hand crank Atlas pasta machine. "Oh. I cut my noodles by hand." Another fail by Miss Eff.
My sewing machine was on the kitchen table, stacked with fabric, ribbon, and elastic ...... as I worked on bowl covers. The fabric tells me what it wants to be .... a sandwich bag, a small tote,a bowl cover, or maybe an apron. Sometimes, all the above. But it was a jumble of color on the table. And the color inspires me. There was an uncompleted seam under the pressure foot .... where I had stopped to answer the door.
I had just taken two pints of canned beets out of the pressure canner. We had thinned the beets and I diced the thinnings for the canner. And I heard, "No onions? I put onions in mine". Well .... these were canned beets, not pickled beets. But again, I was wrong for not pickling them.
They saw flaws and failures instead of joy and progress.
They did not see the new well, the new roof, the new water softener, the new furnace, the custom wood windows. They didn't see the new siding that Honey has to cut to size and prime every side before it goes up.
All they saw were weeds and unpainted wood and failure to produce in the way they would.
And I cried.
Then through my tears ..... I realized what I do have.
I have a home where people come to cuddle kittens. I have a farm where people drive directly from Chicago to buy eggs and flowers. I teach children to make hollyhock dolls and how to hold a kitten. We sit on the ground and talk to people from all over the world! I have a place where Japanese journalists come on a quiet Sunday morning to experience Iowa ..... and call me a quiet and gentle farm wife. And a place .... where summer isn't complete until they have been to Miss Effie's.
I have a porch with two chairs where we sit every evening, drinking the beverage of our choice, holding hands and discussing the days' events.
I have hens that gift me breakfast ..... and a garden that provides supper. And the ability and knowledge to keep the pantry full of homegrown goodness throughout the cold Iowa winter.
I have a swing that hangs from a tree that seems to magically erase the sorrows of the day. And my flowers have seen joy at weddings, tears at funerals and laughter at countless dinner tables.
Wealth may be counted in many ways. Some .... may count the bottom line on their bank account.
I will count mine in the joy and happiness and love that this little farm brings to others. My wealth is the happiness, laughter and love that I have under my solid dry roof of my unpainted farmhouse.
I am the richest woman on earth.