Saturday, September 12, 2015

Radio Silence

The Ranch Hand’s Diary:
Radio Silence

Jesse and I count down each day, count down the remaining work we have to do on the ranch. The days, although shorter with light, feel long with hours. Only ten more days until we get on a plane and head across the ocean to a new adventure. We can hardly wait.

Jesse harvests the last leaves of the greens from the garden and turns beds to prepare them for winter. She waters the lawn in an interminable cycle of moving hoses. She takes food to the chickens and turkeys and numbers the times she’ll have to move the trailer across the fields. Seven. Six. Five.

I collect food and clothes and puzzles to send out to the Darwin for my upcoming winter. My head is overloaded with preparations. First the summer’s end, then our trip, then seven, maybe eight months out in the wilderness. It’s a lot to plan for. I make lists. I make more lists and cross off the things I’ve done. “You are so organized,” Laura tells me. And still I feel scattered, focused on too many moving parts. Boxes line the table in my cabin while in the kitchen I make the last yogurt I’ll make for the season, the last cheeses, some buttermilk. Only four more days of milking Norma.

Together Jesse and I clean out two of the guest cabins and close them up for the winter and count down the days. The remaining time. Six. Five. Four.

We print out our airline tickets, train tickets, our itinerary. I make us up little emergency kit packets with things like alcohol swabs and antihistamines and bandaids.

After a lot of thought and a poll of my friends I decide to send my computer out to the Darwin with all the other winter stuff. This decision took some hard thought on my part. I sorted through the reasons to take it along and the reasons to leave it behind. I looked at the reluctance to be without my computer and came to the conclusion that it might be a good thing to break some of my dependence there and step out of that comfort zone. Also the idea of traveling light appeals greatly to me. Perhaps this will allow me to spend more time writing by hand, talking with my sister, taking more pictures, being more thoughtful of the moment instead of rushing to get back to a place with an internet connection. What this also means is that I will not be posting blogs while I’m away. For the next seven weeks I’ll keep a detailed log of my adventures and relate them later. The stories will come. And in the meantime, I’ll try to be faithful about sharing pictures and little snippets of what’s going on. I won’t be entirely without connection.

But, as a far as blogs are concerned, as the song says: Gone Till November.

See you then. Love you all.

Radio silence in three, two, one.



  1. Come back to us with oodles of wonderful stories. I can't wait to hear about the great adventures you'll have while being radio silent.