January 26th, 2009
Good Morning Friends! I have been informed by the staff that one of my vows for 2009 was to be timely in sharing the news of our life here on the farm as we survey the seasons. Then they said we should have a title - oh joy. After 30 years of doing this, that ought not to be too hard - guess again!I'm not much for cute so that has narrowed the field considerably, and - since at times I am known to digress on topics (surely not!) I felt I might need a name that would allow for my occasional lapses of focus!
During the heavy coverage of our 2008 election campaign, I remembered seeing clips of a show called "The View." I've never seen the show, (our work here doesn't fit in much daytime TV watching) but it appears to be well known women on a panel discussing life and events as they see it every day in an urban (suburban) environment. All right! We can do this!I've considered that many of you might appreciate an additional "view" as you sip down your Starbucks in the morning or gather your thoughts in the evening after a grim day's work.Back to that title I need ladies! With all of this in mind, I hope you will at least find food for thought in "The View from Fryer's Bottom" Now, I know you're saying "Oh great! a newsletter for people who can't get their head out of their tush" (we always say it's very dark in there) Not so, not so.For those of you who don't live on the land or do not have agricultural friends - a "bottom" is a small valley full of rich earth deposited by a creek or river. The soil is brought from many places and produces abundant crops of almost anything you care to plant (all kinds of things sprouting up here and there - are you getting the drift?)
We live here in the bottom, on a farm founded in 1840. People come to visit us from all over America and overseas as well, sharing their "views" with us, providing "sprouts" for thought (good grief! I couldn't resist it.)As we work here in the studio, carding mill and barns - women from mid-twenties to mid-seventies and eighties converse, their intertwining "views" enrich and enlighten and often reinforce certain timeless wisdoms we might have forgotten or never knew in the first place.
These shared ideas and cultural insights often create hysterical laughter or heated debate and are continued living evidence of the largely non-acknowledged foundations life on the land and of the land, formed for our nation in its beginning and its expansions. (That thing in the middle of George Washington's crest is a plow!)
It appears we are going to be in for exciting times in the year to come. Our thoughts are with all of you who will deal daily with circumstances often completely out of your control.
Perhaps we can offer you a few moments to read, escape a little, contemplate & hopefully find a little peace and laughter in our daily life in the studio, mill and farm as we work to sustain ourselves and our community.And that dear friends will be..."The View from Fryer's Bottom"