I’m in the middle of so many books that I don’t know why I started another, other than the fact that I read this one last year, during my year o’ devouring books, and lately I’ve simply been missing it. I’ve been thinking about the people I met in the book, the animals, the lifestyle, and mainly… the food. I’d become suddenly and increasingly obsessive about the Kimball family and Essex Farm.
Jason and I took an overnight trip last weekend without the kids to celebrate our 7th anniversary in Playa del Rey. We’ve only ever left the kids with my mom overnight one other time (when my mother-in-law was married at Mount Whitney last October), and we figured with my nursing a new babe beginning late July, we wouldn’t be doing it again for nearly two years. We stayed at the same bed and breakfast we stayed at for our honeymoon and 1st anniversary, and we ate at the same restaurant, Cantalini’s (which I highly recommend if you’re ever in the area). When we were dating and kid-free we used to love wandering around Barnes and Noble after date nights, so we decided to find the nearest one after we finished our dinner. I was on the hunt for The Dirty Life, and it appeared in their computer system that they had one copy available, only they had no idea where in the store it was since it wasn’t in the section it was supposed to be in, “Nature and Animals”. I was sitting in a chair scouring my Goodreads account for other books I wanted to read, when Jason sauntered over proudly holding the last copy of The Dirty Life! He’d found it in the Gardening section by chance, figuring gardening was close enough to farming. (Side note: I was very close to buying ‘Braving It: A Father, a Daughter, and an Unforgettable Journey into the Alaskan Wild’).
Now that I’m actually reading The Dirty Life again… I’m filled with so many questions. I can’t wrap my head around how their day to day life functioned without the big wide world coming in and distracting them from such enormous tasks. How did doubt not strangle out their gargantuan dreams before they’d even been set into motion? How did they ever believe in themselves enough, or convince anyone else to, in order to make everything come together? How did Mark even know it could be done, seeing as it hadn’t yet?
I read these dreamy, romantic descriptions of Mark’s home cooking with these incredible and simplistic ingredients and I think “That is what I want. That is what I want to do.” And I feel as if I need my own farm in order to fully appreciate the food on my counter. In truth, I don’t know where my food morals lie. I don’t know what I believe to be right anymore. I don’t know where my food is even coming from and it all leaves me feeling confused, tired, uninspired, and oh so hungry.
I’d love to change our course and begin living even more simply, and I envy the fact that Kristin had someone to take her by the hand and show her the way, whether she was fully on board at first or not.
I love books like this that stir something deep inside of you, get your heart longing, and your mind wandering.
What are you reading?