Round Here: A Photo Essay

There is a song called, “Round Here” by The Counting Crows. I didn’t like it half as well as I liked “Omaha”, but the chorus of Round Here catches my brain like an infectious ear worm –

Round here we always stand up straight
Round here something radiates

I listened to that album on-repeat as I drove across the United States by myself when I was 25. This was right after graduate school and I was on my way from Vermont to San Francisco to catch my plane to lead a bunch of high school kids to rural Japan for an exchange program. How sexy. How fun. How random. What a nightmare, me leading a dozen high teenaged kids through Japan!

But anyway.

The Counting Crows.

So I listened to that album as I drove my self down to New Orleans, around through Arizona, looping up and over back home. Round here, something radiates

Round here, so much radiates right now.

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Small birthday parties with joyful (joy-filled?) kids and handmade delicious cupcakes

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Our heroine was utterly thrilled. You know it.

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Cruising in the yurt is happening round here

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Babe’s growing her bandana, boy’s saying “bye!”

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Peacocks in rearview mirrors – oh, Lost Coast, you have me so hard

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The trees with their eternal green, meadows frosted with flowers

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That’s also happening round here

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Backyard hikes. My children are strong. They run up those hills like they are flat ground and I pant, struggling to keep up with them.

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A washing system is in place round here. We’ve got the washer set up, the dryer is this right here. It’s a million miles above the plunger system

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Outdoor showers are still happening round here. Hopefully always will. There are few things that I love more than looking up at the trees overhead in the shower, the mountain behind us.

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Joyrides are happening round here. Sometimes. When he can.

Farming is incredibly hard work – you all know that – but what might be hardest about it for me is the solo parenting. Mikey is gone from sunrise to sunset, literally working his ass off all day. I feel for him and I feel for his fatigue but sometimes I can’t simply because I’m so worn down and ground out from the care of the kids and the struggle to make everything come together in a reasonable way. Moxie runs off and one way and MacQuinn laughs maniacally and goes the other way – and I there I was, trying to hang up the clothes.

It’s not easy.

But the joyrides happen. When they can.

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Moxie has discovered that SHE LOVES TO BREAK EGGS

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Everywhere! She loves to break them EVERY-WHERE!

So that’s happening round here. Just like potty training.

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This is an interesting thing because it seems like MacQuinn is taking to it more than Moxie is. When the timer goes off, he trots happily over and does his bit.

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And Moxie is NOT HAPPY ABOUT GOING.

Nevertheless, we’re sticking to the regime (- every half hour, naked on the bottom) because school is starting soon. Moxie needs more practice.

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Work is happening:

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We’re expanding the barn, building a deck up there

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Things are ripening –

Hops are happening!

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And apples! Oh man, apples are SO HAPPENING

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We have mountains of apples. Piles.

– Strawberries!

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And BLACKBERRIES!meriah nichols aug (2 of 3)-3

Glorious blackberries.

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Pick ’em and go for it!

meriah nichols aug (1 of 1)-7It’s kind of amazing.

Two-hour trips into town are happening round here. They need to. We have to stock up on TP and stuff

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We invariably hit health food joints there where I get to read scintillating local news:

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And of course, indulge in delicious California “comfort food”

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Kombucha, crunchy bread with lots of vegies, roasted chickpeas and stuff, drooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool.

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Deers in the meadows round here – deer everywhere maybe. Like the mice, I think they are great until they want to get a little too intimate with us.

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Sweet Moxie  is happening. She’s growing big and strong and even sweeter and more devilish by the minute. This girl. Oh, this girl! How I love her. Who else gets stuck in a milk box?!

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But he gives her a run for her money:

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He’s talking more these days, moving solidly into the world of Toddler.

And the whole way, he’s looking up to his big sister:

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Life round here.

Like the song says, something radiates.

Maybe it is the air of the Mattole Valley? Maybe it’s deeply rural life which at once tenderly embraces you and makes you see visions of rainbows in the sky with hummingbirds sliding down – and then in the next  moment can bitch-slap you back to an alternate reality with the frickin’ mice invading everything you own. Life here: it’s raw. It’s earthy. It’s so real you can taste the dirt and somehow in that, there is a sweetness that keeps you coming back for more.

 

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Meriah
Meriah Nichols is a deaf artist, tech-junkie, Counselor (and sometime teacher), mom (one with Down syndrome), cat-lover, Trekkie, yurt-dwelling off-the-grid farmer's wife. She writes about travel, disability, and getting dishes done.

3 Comments

    • Oh, this is a whole ‘nother post, Susan! In a nutshell though, YES she’s working out but I’m having a really hard time finding the time to continue with her training. It’s a challenge. And being in a big spot of land is a challenge, as is her ENERGY. It’s all good though. It’s just going to take time, and I think we’ll be able to do a lot more of everything after harvest

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