Your seriously inexperienced, underpaid and over-appreciated rookie Irish Grove farmers have returned from their much needed vacation. Not to say that we don’t love it here in Irish Grove, we do. But the last 3 years have been exasperatingly full of non-stop change. Change of the life-altering type.

Dad died. Marcel and I had a momentary brain fart and took over the farm. I developed stress-related Rosacea. (So in addition to grief and stress I got to look like a frickin’ bumpy red tomato face.) Grandma Ruthie died. We bought out Aunt Nancy and Uncle Jim’s share of the farm for a pretty penny. I use the word ‘we’ here in a most general fashion, if you know what I mean. Marcel and I bought the house and 5 acres from the newly established Irish Grove Acres, LLC (namely, Mom, Laura Matt and I). We also established the farm’s business entity, called Irish Grove Farms, Inc. We paid our attorney and accountant some serious cash. And then we decided to go organic, much to the chagrin of our most beloved local farmers.

Now I’ve got a question. Don’t they say that ignorance is bliss?

‘Cause somehow in my case, ignorance has been a stressful, Rosacea-inducin’, sleep-preventin’, head-scratchin’, mind-boglin’, marriage-testin’, steep uphill-battle.

Of course I should add that I decided to go back to work part-time just 3 months after Dad passed, my kids have stubbornly refused to stop growing up and involving themselves in normal kid stuff, and Mom decided to go and get married, of all things. That’s right, she’s planning on merging a whole new family into this craziness!

To the Dirkson family, I have only one thing to say. “Run For The Hills While You Still Can!” There. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

So when you heard the “Calgone Take Me Away” screams echoing through the neighborhood, I really meant it. And luckily someone did take me away. (Although it wasn’t Calgone….Marcel wouldn’t have approved.)

Someone named Marcel took me away to Panama for a whole 2.3 weeks. And it was lovely. Divine. Peaceful and serene.

We spent 2 weeks surrounded by Panamanian family and friends whom we love and who love us right back. 2 weeks of 90 degree sunshine bliss. 2 weeks of not knowing anything about world economics, Korean test missiles, or mass shootings. 2 weeks of Spanish speaking. 2 weeks of playtime heaven for the kids, who literally ran wild with their cousins from sun-up to sun-down. 2 weeks of home-picked oranges, grapefruits, coconuts, and other local fruits found on their farm.

2 weeks away from the stresses of Irish Grove. Just what the doctor ordered.

“Irish Grove, I love ya. But sometimes too much togetherness can lead to problems. Hope you don’t take it personally.”

Happy to be back and at it once more. Your favorite rookie farmer,