Courage, Insanity, and the Fine Line. Or, Happy Birthday Boo-Boo-Citos!

Happy birthday to my favorite female divinity! A reposted pic of Lori tapping her inner Ceres this past July. Hugs and kisses from farmer Steve and your sister farmer Nancy!

After many months of blogging and hearing all about our experiences on the farm it is time today to celebrate the one person who keeps the whole darned operation running. So let’s get first things out of the way: Happy Birthday Miss Lori Bears!

There, now that’s done. But as it is your birthday it is time to let you know how much all of us around here, from me, to Puck, to the chickens, goats, your sister Nancy, though probably not the ducks and certainly not the broilers, appreciate you for being you. Because who would else would have had the courage to take such a disorienting plunge in mid-life? The finest private college, old Boston trading firms, law school, a respectable career as a financial advisor . . . and look at her now, trimming goat hooves. Tsk tsk tsk!

Though with your history I must say I am not surprised. Thirty years ago or so you did, after all, get picked up by a stranger in a train station in the Austrian Alps who proceeded to say, “Come away with me and we will be impoverished students and I will throw the long dice with a PhD in the Humanities, and we will struggle for many years after which, who knows?!?!?!”, to which you responded, “Okay!” And you did this after just several days of face time; I guess long chances just sometimes turn out for the best.

During my years in grad school and yours in law school your optimism and tenacity was inspiring and kept the both of us going through night after night when we only had spaghetti and holidays when we only had ring dings in the cupboard. It kept us together during long absences when I was away and you were at home. It let us become who we are and who and what we dreamt of being and were meant to be. It led to a great stint as a professional couple who shared great times in Italy, in Greece, in Turkey, and countless operas in DC and Baltimore. It is why you are in the dedication of all three of my books.

In 1985 we took the long chance with one another; the die came up double sixes, and we have the pleasant memories of struggle to prove it. In 1999 you took a further chance in starting your own business, and I’ve never said it often enough, but am very proud of you for having had the courage to do that! And now I am very proud of you and of us in taking the plunge that is as momentous as what we did in 1985, and that we are doing this together. “We have struggled for years to develop and maintain our professional credentials. Let’s chuck it mid-life at the height of our careers and farm goats in Oregon!”, to which you responded, “Okay!” Brave or nuts? Who knows! Time will tell and the line is fine between courage and insanity.

What readers of this blog may not know is that Lori keeps everything running here. She pays the bills, she cleans the coops, she gives the goats their inoculations, she wrangles birds, she weeds, she cleans up while I cook; she is the farm’s breadwinner, psychologist, counselor, vet, banker, book-keeper and keeps things going just in general. This place would not function without her and we would not be here – in one of the most beautiful spots on Earth – but for her. So let’s raise a glass and toast Lori on her birthday – it takes courage and love to be who you want, and to decide that even half way through one’s journey, you want to be something else when you grow up other than what you have been. Everyone here loves you as unconditionally as Puck, and that, along with health and happiness and friends, is the best one gets out of life! So tonight no cake (remember we have leftover lemon curd cake anyway!), no flowers (you have a whole garden now!), just a nice dinner and a pooch to lick your face for dessert.