I have always been a stubborn, strong willed person. These “qualities” as I like to call them, have not always been helpful in many situations in my life. Refusing to wash or brush my hair and insisting I dress myself (skirts and cowgirl boots was the outfit of choice) left my Mom and sister pretty frustrated, I’m sure. My Dad could tell you stories of how my Mom would get me cleaned up and ready for church, take her eyes off of me for just a moment, then find a trail of clothes leading to me, in my Birthday suit, happily swinging on our swingset. I used to run away too if I wasn’t happy about something. On one of these ocassions my Mom called the sheriff and had a bunch of people out searching for me. Meanwhile I was hiding with the goats in Martha and Larry Stokoe’s barn. They found me, obviously. Well, more accurately I was afraid of the trouble I was going to get in the longer I hid out so I gave myself up. Basically, anyone who knows me knows all too well that they’d be hard pressed to get me to do something I don’t want to do, or get me to give up on something that I want. Turns out that these traits that drove my friends and family nuts when I was a kid have been my biggest assets as I venture into the life of farming. Its a beautiful life, and to me nothing else compares to it. But it’s not easy, and its not for the faint of heart. It’s dirty, it can be hot as Hell or -25°, it can be invigorating or emotionally draining. You lose sleep, like I did over the weekend worrying about how my animals were handling the bitter cold. Or incredibly exciting like when someone reaches out because they’re interested in buying meat from you. There are fleeting moments when I catch my breath and think “What the heck am I doing?” Followed by pure elation with the thought that “Oh my God, I’m really doing this!” Sometimes we have traits as children or young adults that don’t always seem to serve us well but in adulthood they come into play. For me, I know that being “stubborn as a mule” has kept me driven and Hell bent on making my dream of a self-sufficient farm successful that will serve and be a part of my local community. And I may just still wear a skirt and boots while doing so.