around two months ago Saskatchewan was hit with a terrible snow storm…  it was right around the time that Haiti was hit with a terrible hurricane…  and for the first time in my life I understood what it was like to go through a natural disaster… of course not on the same level as Haiti, or those that lose lives or homes… but on a scale that our crops were ruined..

and in a different way than hail… because we have experienced that before… in fact, two years ago we had almost half our acres hailed out…

this was different

it began with some foggy weather…  I took these photos on a run with the dogs… this was the beginning of what we didn’t realize was going to be roughly two months with little to no sunshine…

and then the snow came…  we had anticipated some snow but not what happened…

and I have no pictures to prove it… because I dropped my phone in a mop bucket at the rink when I was cleaning and it erased all my photos of the snowstorm and devastation…

the snow was heavy and wet… and there was so much of it…  and it kept coming…

but life goes on…  that’s what I found out…

except I didn’t… I didn’t go on… I got stuck…

stuck in the darkness and fog and weight of watching the farmer deal with it…

for the farmer, life did not have time to slow down…  he was busy coaching AA Bantam hockey and 6-man football…  his days were filled with early morning football practices and late night hockey practices…

and the time in-between trying to find jobs for all the men to do on the farm… and figure out what to do with the crop we had out there…

and I tried my best to keep going as well… the problem was, things that had filled me with joy before I was unable to do…  I quit running and writing…  I could not find the strength to run in the mud and slush that the snow had left behind and look at the crops trampled down…

and I would sit down to write and find myself with not a single sentence going through my head…

and I found no joy in watching my kids play sports…  I would go to the football field or rink and find myself distracted… not caring at all what happened…

(with the exception of this game…  winning the provincial title… I did care about that)

and the weird part is I don’t feel alone with these feelings of depression…  I feel a sense of kinship with every farmer around here… attempting to go through the motions of every day but finding themselves unable to feel …

so many things have happened in the last two months and I feel like I did not truly experience any of it… any of the joy, laughter or pain…

we were able to get back in the field…  we around a two week window of higher temperatures and sunshine in November and were able to combine the ruined crops we had out there…

many were not able to complete harvest… there are many durum or canary seed fields still laying out there…

the meals I took out in November were nothing to blog about…  a main dish and dessert was all that I could muster…

depression is a strange thing…  I tell myself that it is easy to solve…  work out, sleep more, eat well and count your blessings and you’ll be fine…

and I do believe these things help… I also believe that there are seasons in a person’s life where it is difficult for them to see through the fog and dreariness…

where they want to be left alone but know somewhere in them that that is not the solution…

as a mother and wife, I have this pressure to keep the ‘happiness’ going in the home…

I am the support…  I set the tone for the day with the breakfast I give the kids, the lunches I pack and how organized I am for the day…

with the farmer I control how well I’m keeping track of our bookwork and finances, schedule and events…  I oversee who is going where after school and what everyone is eating…

clothes magically get washed and folded and put back in place…  bags are packed and shelves are dusted and floors are washed…

but what happens when the person taking care of everyone isn’t ok?

I don’t know what it’s like to be taken care of… I don’t know what it’s like to have someone feeding me, washing my clothes and packing them, knowing where I am supposed to be and seeing to it I don’t miss appointments…

I think that an outsider looking in would tell me I have it made… I have my health, a farmer who loves me and works hard for our family, three children who are happy and healthy and wonderful parents and in-laws… which makes it even worse that I’m not experiencing a constant state of euphoria…

I love this picture of my oldest boy…  he hates it because the deer was not as big as he had hoped… but I love looking at the smile on his face…

it’s also difficult for me because I wonder – is he truly happy?  and how to I find that happiness again?

I made the attempt last night with my daughter… we made pumpkin millet muffins to put in lunches…

we played christmas music and lit candles and drank tea and took photos of our baking…

and it’s a beginning…

a step upwards out of my little pity party for one I’ve been enjoying for the last two months… (I recently watched a SNL skit on ‘Debbie Downer’ and thought of myself)…

my motto has been for the last while ‘fake it till you make it’…  meaning, keep trying… you will get through this… and you might need to fake it until you get there…

so I will keep working at it…  hoping one of these days it clicks… and I remember what it was like to want to get out of bed and take care of everyone…

pumpkin millet muffins

  • Servings: 18 muffins
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Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup millet
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Directions:

  • combine the wet ingredients
  • combine dry ingredients and add to wet
  • line muffin tin with baking cups, spray with a vegetable spray and scoop muffin dough into each cup with a large ice cream scoop
  • bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes