Friday, June 01, 2007

Baby steps

{Photo: Fog bank closing in on the San Francisco Airport.}

I am currently experiencing a sense of dislocation at the moment. I've been gone
for three months, wrapped up in the world of cheesemaking and sustainable farm living. I got used to waking up to the sound of goats talking to each other and listening to the roosters crow. It was very dark at night (unless the moon was nearly full).

The first clue I was no longer on the farm was when I was still on the plane, waiting to disembark. I was sitting in the back and the passengers were being slow to leave. The ground crew at SFO opened up the back to start cleaning the rear galley. I suddenly got a blast of fresh air. It flooded the plane with the scent of salt water, fog, dry straw, eucalyptus, and oak trees. It is a smell I find only in coastal California. It is a wonderful fragrance. Goat Lady Dairy had its own smell. Not unpleasant--unless you're near the pigs.

Now I'm trying to adjust life in San Francisco, at least for a little while. I look at the congestion on the streets and know that I don't need this anymore. I walk down the block at night and and know that I can enjoy life elsewhere and don't need to live with the glow of multiple streetlights. I think I can live a slow life now. My three months away from home helped be disentangle my attachments to the nonessential things like sushi, snobby gourmands, and city living in general. I like to keep things "real." I've always been pretty down-to-earth. I just want to make that more of a lifestyle choice. I'm ready for a big change of gears.

I am ready to make my next move. I want to find a patch of land that can sustain my family and make some mighty fine cheese. It will take many baby steps to make it happen, but I've already started walking, so why stop now?

So our next step is onto another plane. We're flying to Portland tonight. We've got a busy schedule planned. Tomorrow we're checking out the competition at the vibrant farmers markets. We're also going to hit the Northwestern Oregon Dairy Goat Show in Canby, Clackamas County (southeast of Portland). Oh boy! Our goal is to make some contacts with some local goat dairies and see who's got milk to sell. Maybe we'll find someone looking for a partnership? So many possibilities!

{Photo: Goats being prepped for showing at the Sonoma County Fair 2006}

You know, my life has taken a very strange turn. I've always enjoyed going to the Sonoma County Fair and watching the 4H kids, and adults show their goats and sheep. A small part of me can't believe I am now seeking these things out, and I am actually excited by the prospect of it. I would have never predicted it. I thought I was going have a career in radio when I graduated from college.

We're also going to check out the local real estate market. My wish list: I want some acreage, a farmhouse, a barn, a good well, a place to build a cheese room and an aging cave, a spring-fed pond, and a paved driveway in a friendly community that wants me as much as I want them. I wish to have a mutually beneficial relationship with the land, the people, and the and the cheese world.

I'll be back home Wednesday night.


adriane said...

Wow. I wish I had my life that figured out! Best of luck!

Sairbair said...

HA! It is all smoke and mirrors.