Monday, May 30, 2011

Remembering.

Yesterday at church, the sermon was about the birth of Memorial Day.  It was an excellent sermon (as most of Pastor Jeff's sermons are).  It really made me think.  Despite having several veterans from several different wars in my immediate family, to me Memorial Day has largely stood for the beginning of summer.  Once Memorial Day had passed, school would soon be over and the hot days of summer would begin.  I remember putting flowers on the grave sites of relatives and attending Memorial Day services but really, the day has also served as simply the starting point for summer.

For the first year since I moved here, there was no service held at the little cemetery across the road from us.  As far as I remember, the local American Legion stopped at most of the little cemeterys in the area to honor the veterans.  I really missed that today and I wonder what I can do to ensure that they come back next year.  Because even though the event only lasted for five minutes, tops.  It was special.  And many years, my kids and I were the only people attending and it was a great way for us to remember who we have to thank for our many freedoms.


 And we have so many freedoms for which to be thankful.  We are so lucky to be able to worship any way we please.  We are lucky to be able to own the land on which we reside.  We are lucky to be able to express our opinion concerning all things.  We have the right to disagree or to agree or to be apathetic. We have the right to all of things because we have had people like our veterans willing to sacrifice their lives to fight for our freedom.

I really do think of all I have.  And the choices I have the luxury of making everyday.  And I am humbled - not only be those who did make the ultimate sacrifice - but by those who signed up for the job knowing full well that the cost may very likely be their lives.  They've done this for me and my family.  And they don't even know us. 

So thank you to Kristen and all of the soldiers in her unit, thanks to my dad and my uncle, thanks to all of those kids I read about every day in the newspaper who have either left for their duty or who have been injured or died while serving our country. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy Birthday!


Buddy
This past weekend we celebrated 3 birthdays.  I can't believe my kids are 28, 24, 14, 14, and 12 (it was the 14 year olds and 12 year old birthdays we celebrated this weekend).  One thing I've learned from having a gap of 10 years between kids is to not wish the time away.  I can remember when my oldest were young - wishing for the days I would be able to sleep more than 4 hours at a stretch, longing for the time when I didn't have to change diapers, act as a chauffeur, deal with a mountain of laundry every day of the week.
Jordan enjoying her Nookbook

Now. . . I know those days will come.  And I'm not looking forward to it. At all.  Sure, I'm tired after working all day and then having to run kids here and there.  But what will I do when there is no soccer practice or band concerts or 4H meetings?  This year was my son's very last elementary school music concert and I could barely control the tears streaming down my face the entire time.
Ikey - just being Ikey;

Sometimes I would rather kick back and read a book than drive the kids one more place.  But I know that there will soon be a day that they will be driving themselves.  I have nightmares about that day. 

There have been times when I haven't listened attentively when one of my children was recounting the details of a dream.  And I know that 5 years from now, I would sell my soul to get those types of discussion back.
Haley riding her new horse, Buddy;
I'm lucky.  My kids will cuddle with me.  They still enjoy 'mom-time' and a trip to get an ice cream cone is still considered a special treat (or at least they let me believe it is).  I don't want these days to end.  But yet every May 27th and 28th (and October14 and December 27th), we celebrate the progression of another year.  It is nothing to celebrate.  I need a few more days or months or years to thoroughly and completely enjoy my kids.  I want my kids - all of my kids - to stay where they are right now.  I don't want my oldest son to move to the opposite side of the country, don't want my daughter and grandson to move six more hours away, don't want my kids to drive.  I want things to stay the same.  But they can't and they won't.  So I will enjoy what is now and not wish for tomorrow.  Because tomorrow will come whether I am ready or not.  And I am not.
Home - where I want them all to stay.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sun. Day.

 Two days without rain.  One day actually with sun - today was a bit dreary but no rain so who's complaining?  Everyone was out today - visiting neighbors, going to church, working in the garden, mowing the lawn......there was no excuse to be stuck in the house. 

Even the bunny who apparently is star-struck by all things chicken came over to check out the hens today. 

As always he was a little bit timid, hanging out by the woodpile, peering from a comfortably close distance - so close but yet so far.

He eventually got up the nerve to get a little closer.  So close, in fact, he was actually in the chicken yard!  He sniffed around but when he realized the chickens weren't quite as enamered with him as he with they . . . . . off he hopped!!

 Other animals on One Old Goat farm came out to play and to see what the commotion was all about.  After all, it has been weeks since that big yellow ball was up in the sky and since wetness has not fallen from the sky. 

The season's kittens were checking out the hullabaloo.  These kittens are new enough to us that although they are very, very curious, they hiss if a human gets too close.
 All of the animals seemed to be kicking out the cobwebs of winter.  All of the farm - animals and humans both - have been suffering from an unusually bad case of cabin fever.

It was so nice to get outside, to smell the trees and the flowers, to listen to the horses whinny, the cow moos, the chickens cluck, and Dolly Llama....well, whatever it is Dolly Llama does.

Lunchbox is very happy that his pen is finally drying up;

At One Old Goat Farm, improvision and creativity are a necessity;

And even though most of the day was spent inside, even Fat Max agreed to go inside if it meant a snack;

And so did Sebastian,

And also Casper, the boxer, who is recuperating from a nasty ear infection.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Uncertainty.


A group of people where I work will lose their jobs on Monday. Until now, these things only happened in other places. A major University has always been safe. I thought. As I sit at my desk, I listen to the conversations around me. It makes me sad. I’m listening to people say goodbye to the lives that they’ve had for years.

I can’t blame the organization – things are what they are. As we change technology, technology changes the way we live. As a result, the needs of a business may change to the point that people are no longer needed.

But isn’t it an oxymoron to use technology to provide the personal touch? To be a personal touch, shouldn’t a person be the thing doing the touching?

As someone who tends to hide from the rest of the world on a regular basis, technology has been a way for me to step out of my self-imposed isolation and to communicate with others within my comfort zone. And part of my attraction to using technology in communication is that for the most part, I don’t need to see another human face. I can get my point across much more effectively by the written word than by spoken word. Behind a computer screen, I can be anyone.

But a good portion of the rest of the world is not like me, thank goodness. And although I can certainly understand the reasoning of an organization for closing a department and ending jobs when there is no demand, it still hurts. I wish my co-workers the very best. And Godspeed in securing another position.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rain Dance.


We told him NOT to do it!  We told him to STOP!

But he kept on,


Dancing and dancing and dancing his little boy rain dance,

He was a whirling dervish,
And with his mission accomplished, his job was done and he went home.

Thank you, little boy, for the rain!!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Goodbye.

The world's best dog died today.  My pal Bear. My most favorite running buddy.  He was a great dog - the kind of dog who only comes along once in a lifetime.

I have some really great dogs now but Bear was something different.  From day one, it was clear he was special.  He was the best combination of retriever and Chow chow.  He had the disposition of a lab and the black tongue of a Chowchow.  He never missed an opportunity to grab a snack or a belly rub.  He tried desparately to run with me every chance he got.  Leaving the house for a run with another dog was the worst kind of betrayal.

Bear loved most everyone but he hated other dogs venturing into his yard.  He was incredibly gentle but I just knew that he would lay down his life for me.  I remember one of our runs where he bolted after a groundhog - clearly protecting me.  The groundhog never had a chance.

I'll miss Bear terribly.  And he leaves behind some other very, very good dogs.

I love you Bear.