Shuffles in the house. 20 degrees outside. 55 inside (because that is how we like to sleep).
Coffee brews and smells fills the kitchen. Calling all to "rise and shine and be on time".
One car door slams and a bright red flannel jacket clad figure trudges across the drive way. Sounds of a shovel in the frozen ground can be heard within a few minutes.
Smiles, quiet laughter. It is chicken processing day on the farm- which means friends and family.
Another car door slams, this time two figures step out of their car. Sounds of scurrying and discussion can be heard within the old, cold farmhouse. These two are checking on the progress of the day. They will be back. Off to the city.
More movement inside and outside. Cleaning and disinfecting tables. Tables turn into ice- we might need to wait a few more minutes before we can finish this task. Knives are sharpened. Water vats are filled and heated.
More cars, this time two young women jump out wrapped in Carhartt brown from head to toe. They get started on their roles without needing to be told what to do. They have been here before. They know what to do and how to do it.
White truck pulls in and two get out. Another truck, a church member. A car, the youth pastor, wanting to share in an experience that most are never privy to see. Family and friends just checking on the day. They bring more laughter and stories with them.
It is still cold, around 25 degrees, and it has not warmed up like we had hoped, but it is time to start- daylight is precious in December.
Smiles all around as we start, not at the thought of the process, but at the acknowledgment of family traditions that continue on a spot of land that has known this practice for over 200 years. Delight in the familiarity and the skill in everyone present. The enjoyment of being together at a time when so many are alone or not beside those that they love.
So how does this look like Christmas at Crossings you might ask.
There are two Christmas trees inside, and lights twinkle on the porch, but to us, its about family and friends coming together. Most of the memories here have been around food. The planting, harvesting and preparation of such food. Christmas is about traditions, and this is what we do here. We preserve traditions. We discuss that many farms opt to send their chickens to a local processor. Yes, it is more cost efficient, but this does nothing for our family or our community. What do we lose in the convenience of the act of sending out the chickens we have so carefully and lovingly raised? We lose everything !! Not only do we place our food in the hands of strangers, we lose the ability to learn ourselves. Lose the need to bring everyone together, to teach our children, family and friends. We lose the ability to watch the self assurance and pride gained from the lessons learned here.
As we at Crossings go throughout the holidays we continue to be thankful for the opportunities to serve our community. We hope that you all experience a healthy and happy season, and that you too will find your own way to carry on time honored traditions.