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  • Writer's pictureNic

Letter to Friends: June 2016

“I see that the life of this place is always emerging beyond expectation or prediction or typicality, that it is unique, given to the world minute by minute, only once, never to be repeated. And this is when I see that this life is a miracle, absolutely worth having, absolutely worth saving. We are alive within mystery, by miracle.” Wendell Berry, Life is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition


In late May our little chicks arrived by mail

As I walked into the Hermitage Post Office, after getting a call that our delivery of live chicks had arrived that morning, I could hear over the normal sounds of a busy Post Office, “Peep Peep Peep, Cheep…”.  I went to the counter to claim the little noise makers as our own.  They arrived in such a small box that I couldn’t believe all 18 chicks could be in it, but they were; cozy and very healthy.  We ended up using a garden cart to create a mobile chicken coop that we could pull into and out of the garage each night so the chicks could get fresh air and sunshine.


If you have never raised chicken then you may not be aware of “chicken dust”.  Chicks and chickens are incredibly dusty!  Their poop, as it dries, creates a fine dust that gets onto and into everything.  This is why having a “house chicken” has probably never caught on too well.  We purchased these chicks from Mt. Healthy Hatchery in Ohio and we were so pleased with how well they have been growing.  Their overall energy, well being and swiftness of growth has exceeded our previous flocks.


Baila is growing well.  She continues to shuttle back and forth between our rental home and our farm and is shaping up to be a good watchdog.  If only we can convince her that our neighbor Walt across the road is not a threat that requires constant warnings and watching!


June 3rd Sam graduated from High School here in Sharpsville (SV).  Everbody celebrate!

SV high school is obviously not a large high school as you can see.  Sam and his friend Logan are in the first row, two blue figures in a sea of white.  Due to small town politics, even though Sam had the highest GPA he was not valedictorian.  He was however honored for high academic achievement (all A’s every term of high school).


Grammy & PopPop Carlin and Nona & Opa Giangiordano with the proud graduate

Both sets of the grandparents made the pilgrimage out to SV to see Sam graduate. Sam was accepted at Berea College and Grove City College.  He wrestled with where he wanted to go and decided even though he would have a full ride at Berea, 6 hours away was too much.  So Grove City it was but because he made his decision late most of the scholarship opportunities had passed.  He reached out to the computer science department and they were encouraging about an internship next year and asked him to take a programming evaluation.  Well, they called Sam back and asked him if he would like to have a lunch with a company in Pittsburgh about maybe in the future, possibly, eventually having an internship but this was not an interview.  We told Sam, “Treat this like an INTERVIEW!”   It went very well and by the end of the “lunch/not interview” they asked Sam when he could start, the other intern was starting on May 19th.  Sam had to remind them that he still had to graduate!


All the kids together!

So Sam moved back to Pittsburgh for the summer!  He worked at a company called Truefit doing programming and lived with dear family friends.  Our friend’s grandmother had a carriage house apartment with an extra bedroom just around the corner from their home.  The Schartners are a family that also home schooled and their son Daniel (is this God thing or what!?) also had a computer programming internship downtown!  Sam and Daniel commuted downtown each day together and the Schartner family made Sam feel very cared for and loved.


Not only did Baila grow by leaps and bounds but so did our extra son, “Jerry” aka Jed.  Jed came up from Pittsburgh about once a month to join us in all or crazy adventures along with a string of various other Pittsburgh kids that we miss and love to see.

The garden and other outside projects became incredibly consuming as the weather heated up.  I worked hard early on to layout the gardens and get our trees and berries planted in early May.


By early June the garden was giving us spring onions, lettuce and peas.


The chickens continue to grow and lengthen out…


As do the piglets…


and “little” Pippan, who is doing very well.


May God Bless you and keep you in the daily miracle that is this life,

ox Nicole

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