That was the beginning of what we've dubbed "Our Year from Hell".
Our too-short bridge was a source of stress and frustration. The very warm winter meant that all the ground that was ripped up turned to mud. We called ourselves "mudpeople" for several months.
At the same time we were dealing with the bridge construction project, we had a pipeline crossing our property. Equipment was all over the place, and we fielded phone calls and visits from the company reps on a daily basis. We spent a long time looking at our land being ripped apart.
Our next hellish time came during two weeks in July. A storm knocked out power and water in the midst of a heat wave. There was damage all over the farm.
Finally, our beloved Beast is gone. We miss him terribly.
I've been waiting to write this post for a year now. When I sat down the other night to find some pictures to include something struck me. Yes, there were many challenges this year. Yet, all those challenges led us to a better place.
We have a bridge now. The railings are coming soon. We can drive to our house in all kinds of weather and hauling all kinds of things. It was worth the wait.
There is a gravel driveway that leads to the house. We don't have to hike through mud, and park the car in a bog - luticoles no more!
The pipeline is done, all the equipment is gone. Although our land looks different, it is starting to recover. The pipeline provided finances for future projects (and vacations!) as well as lots of wood. We will have easily accessible wood for the next several years.
We have a new well. Our water is now safe to drink, and runs clear. Having a good source of water is priceless - and hopefully we won't have to pay that price again!
There have also been a lot of good events at the farm throughout the year of hell.
We were able to sell four beeves this year. All the work building fence, putting up hay, building a chute, hauling water, and chasing rouge calves paid off. We covered some of our expenses and have a freezer full of delicious beef.
The garden was a success. We ate well all summer, and are still harvesting. Our freezer and shelves are full of preserved veggies.
A farmer's market started in New Martinsville. We were pleased with the response from the community, and feedback from our customers. It's encouraging as we think about future farm plans.
The cabin has the start of a bathroom. We've made good progress over the past few weeks and are looking forward to continuing the work.
So, we are calling "Our Year of Hell" officially over. Although there have been a lot of hardships and hard work, looking back - we've been blessed with a lot of progress and beauty. We have big plans ahead and can't wait to see what the next year brings.