Almost over...

We did a few things differently this year with the sap.  Jason had some serious boiler renovations and we moved to tubing and 8 gallon buckets at my folks' property to save us from having to fetch the sap every day.  We also bought a 55 gallon drum to transport the sap in which may have ruined the van's suspension for good.  We bought heavy felt filters and pre-filters which made a huge difference in the clarity.  We tried to do small batches because it means a lighter, prettier syrup, but really, once you are out boiling, and there is so much sap still to boil, it's hard to bring it in to finish it and jar it knowing you just have to go back out and start it again and it's already late and... ya.  Late.

I love-hate this homestead-hobby of ours.  I love that the kids have to work it.  I love that it gives us lots of syrup and that Gabe can sell some of the fruit of his labours.  But it's sooty.  It's sticky.  It's dirty.  It's late.  It's kind of ridiculous.

But it is fun.  And it reminds me that as much as I recreate lovely illusions about a previous age when a family was a working unit and lived on the fruit of their physical labours, you know, Ma and Pa and Laura and Baby Carrie and Mary.... the standard little house on the prairie narrative... I am thankful that we live on Jason's brain not his brawn, (even if I do like his brawn quite a bit).

The boys, and Essy, are able to sling sap buckets and split wood, but they will not have to rely on their bodies alone to eat and live.  And so this thin line between the blessings of physical labour and intellectual labour gets talked about at dinner, when everyone is too tired to study for a chemistry test or a theory exam.  And stuff has slipped, for sure.

I want, more than anything, to raise sturdy adults.  I want them to be hard and willing workers.  I pray that they "work as onto the Lord." Col 3:23.   I want them to learn to do all they have to do anyway, without "grumbling or arguing so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine a lights in the world as you hold firmly to the word of life." Phil 2:16  AMEN.  So may it be.

Jason watching the play offs while apparently watching the sap.  ya.