This is a new one on me. I am signed up with AARP-Life Reimagined (yep, I’m over 50 – eeeekkk!!! Hee hee), and I get regular emails from them…come buy this, come play this game, come take this quiz for fun…well, this recent quiz is titled: ARE YOU FAILING ENOUGH? (click here, have some fun)
REALLY?? That was my first knee-jerk reaction when I saw the title – failing enough?? ENOUGH?? They had me, I had to go take the quiz. It was quick, easy, relatively painless, and did give a polite and helpful answer at the end. Then it got me remembering.
I recalled how everyone thought we were crazy buying a farm. Looking back at it all now, I think they either thought of us as really brave or really stupid (most the latter I think). A farm – in this day and age – what were we gonna do on it AND the one we picked was out in the middle of nothing (almost)? Pretty sure they all thought we were going to fail.
The big thing they all didn’t know is something that I had learned earlier in my life – anything worth having, I’m going to have to fight to get it. The farm, like every other good thing in my life, took a huge amount of effort and struggle (still does). It wasn’t easy, but we are here! In fact, I have found that If something did happen easy, it inevitably failed and rightly so.
“Are you failing enough” – made me think about my/our life here on the farm.
Farming is a never ending process of failure. Growing, crafting, baking, canning, fixing, building, creation – it is all a series of failures. The trick is knowing that all these failures are an excellent teaching apparatus.
We tried several methods of irrigation – still do – most have failed, but we learned something new on EVERY failure! We now know that we can’t have just one system, we use several depending upon the location, in or out of the greenhouse, shaded or full sun areas and, of course, the crop grown.
We both craft various things, both work in the gardens, both love to see things bloom and grow. I can knit – she hates it, but she loves the results I create. I will start to follow directions, decide that there may be another method to my madness. I get really far into it and decide it stinks. So, I rip it all out and try again – DRIVES HER CRAZY! She sees me working so hard at the creation, then suddenly, without warning, I pull out the needles and start re-balling the yarn – EEEKKK!!! At this point I usually start laughing because she thinks I have destroyed something wonderful, but I know different. I tried – it failed – so I will try again a different way.
(several of my latest creations)
She is just as bad only in a different format. She has the patience of a saint – drives me nuts! But if something needs to be done with a slow, steady and precise hand – she’s got it – hands down! A few years ago we bought several boxes of peaches from the 4-H kids and the bulk of it became peach jam. That same year she found a recipe for peach cookies. Now, being the good obsessed baker that she is, with a bit of narcissism thrown in, she had to make it her own.
She took a regular sugar cookie dough, somehow baked it into little cup shapes. When cooled, filled the cups with the peach jam, stuck 2 halves together and formed a ball. She then colored and painted them to look exactly like tiny peaches. Rolled them in sugar and to top it off, added little fondant stems – UNBELIEVABLE!
We had to taste test a couple for ourselves, but the majority went into our annual Christmas goodie boxes for friends and family. Everyone told us the same thing – “Didn’t want to eat the peach ones – Too pretty to eat – Still have it – can’t eat something so amazing.” She made them to be savored, and the shear wonder of them all came from her and her perfection obsessive passion. Now, the funny part was, not a single person asked how many time she failed, got it wrong, thought about packing the whole thing in – because that was not the point of doing them. The point was to see if she could, so – BRING ON THE FAILURE – it helps to do outstanding things!
(At times like this I really wish we hadn’t had the house fire. I had some beautiful pictures of those cookies. They looked like miniature peaches, or sparkly Christmas ornaments. About the size of an apricot, and way too pretty to eat.)