One of the hardest parts of owning a business and raising young girls is the daily grind of being home. I have rosy eyed memories of sipping a cappuccino in Istanbul or strolling past street performers in Mallory Square or shopping for paintings on Andreevsky Spusk in Kyiv. We haven’t traveled in years. Whenever we think about it, the logistics and investment quickly outweigh the benefits, but the memories are there of living overseas before Joy Lane Farm and our daughters were born, and someday, we’re looking forward to traveling again.
I know this season is worth it. We love our little girls and cherish a thousand moments through the day, like Tessa raising one eyebrow or closing her fist around her lovie or Emma helping me apply wood glue and proudly exclaiming, “This is OUR project.” I wouldn’t trade it.
Still, being at home this much is hard. We’re renovating our house too, so I scan each room with a mixture of pride and feelings of “someday we’ll get to that.”
And yet, the more we renovate, the more we love our 1850s mill house. There’s this little courtyard between my mom’s side and our side (it was a duplex used for mill foremen at the Salmon Falls Mill where our soap studio is), and we’ve spent the better part of the summer building this stone patio. I worked on it with the girls on the days Katy was shipping soap orders at the mill. When we moved in it was overgrown with weeds, filled with dozens of dog unmentionables, had this nasty fake brick shingling on one wall, and you had to enter through a broken gate.
Voila. The girls helped rake the sand, and shovel gravel, and during my proudest day, helped me move the 400 lb. granite steps 25 ft from our driveway to where they are now—me pushing while they swapped out 4” PVC rollers—the same way the Trojans moved the Trojan Horse.
During this season of being close to home, it’ll be a lovely place to sit and sip a cappuccino.
Joel and Katy