This is Mary Ann.
She is 67.
And she is an answer to prayer.
About ten days ago, Mary Ann messaged me and asked if she could come and WWOOF with us for 7-10 days. Her reviews from other farms were stellar. All of them said that her age was not a factor and that she ran circles around them. She was also, they all said, an expert gardener.
(Oh, did I tell you we were just getting ready to plant our fall garden? Coincidence? I think not.)
Another young man, David, was already here. But he just graduated from high school and was new to WWOOFing. I was supposed to have another WWOOFer working with him to help him, but as I mentioned previously, he had cancelled on me. David was working really hard and doing a GREAT job, but we really needed more help than just he could give considering we were going to lose some people during the month.
- I had a girls weekend planned.
- Dad and Mom were going out of town.
- And I was taking the kids away for a four day stretch while JB did nights.
All of this added up to me just not sure how we could get everything covered here on the farm.
JB and I had a lengthy discussion a few nights ago. We both agreed that we have bitten off a bit too much. But you can't just spit out a bite right then and there. We can't say, "Okay. The 150 chickens we have are too much. We quit."
(Well you can, but killing 150 baby chickens doesn't seem like the right thing to do.)
So we both agreed that yes, we have to find out a new way to make this work, but that right now, we had no choice but to keep moving forward. We made some small changes, but we had to plug away.
I sent an email to a few friends asking for prayer. I had actually woken up in the middle of the night feeling like I could possibly have a panic attack. I woke up the next morning crying before I even rolled over. This was not healthy. A big part of it was how I was looking at it and my own emotional status, but the truth is, I am basically the farm manager. JB and his Dad and Mom work their tails off, but they don't do the management. I knew what we were capable of, and this was too big.
Enter Mary Ann. She came in with a sweet spirit in a vehicle she is basically living out of. She actually lives in Florida with her mother but spends the hot months up in this area near her children and grandchildren. She only speaks a few words here and there. I have no idea what she eats, but she only joins us for food at dinner time. The kids love her. And her garden-brain is HUGE!
So I was praying. But I really thought to myself, "I am not sure why I am praying. God can't fix too busy. All we can do is buckle down and make this work."
And I was having doubts. Maybe I couldn't handle this life? Maybe this job was too big for me. Maybe JB needed a different kind of wife than me to make this work. Maybe we couldn't be farmers.
(And then Abigail picked a tomato off the vine. And we gathered at dusk to round up chickens. And the kids played all evening on their bikes with the mountains crystal clear in the background, and I felt so ... torn!)
And then this morning, I asked Mary Ann what day it was she was making plans to leave. She had told me 7-10 days, and we were actually nearing the end of that. I loved having her here. She was helping David and all of us so much. I tightened my arms by my side and prepared for the worst.
She just sort of laughed, as she often does when she speaks, and smiled really big and said, "Well, if you'd have me, I'd like to stay until it snows."
"Like October?" I tentatively asked
"Or November," she said.
And I giggled. And teared up. And felt like hugging her, but I don't know her that well yet and wasn't sure whether she was a hugger or not.
And I walked away shaking my head, yet again, at God's amazing and incredible faithfulness.