My new year started out with a heavy heart. I lost my father, who had been ailing for some time and had lost the quality of life that he enjoyed for the majority of his 84 years. His long stride had been reduced to a slow shuffle, and his once hearty appetite diminished to no desire for even a morsel. It was painful to watch his health deteriorate. It was even more painful to admit him to a hospice, where he would rest until the end of his life. It was agonizing for us to give the directive to remove all life lines. When he was told that he would be moving to the hospice, he said, “Good. I’ll be free as a bird.” Today while driving through town, there was a gaggle of geese, along the side of the road, that suddenly took flight directly in front and above my car. I was impressed with the beauty and size of these Canadian birds. I couldn’t help imagine that my dad would have been in awe of that sight. Here’s a quote that I came across that expresses beautifully how I will remember him:
We cannot lose the ones we love for even when they’re gone, we feel their gentle presence in the hush of every dawn. We see them in the sunlight that makes the day so bright, in the flowers of the springtime and in the stars at night. We cannot lose the ones we love, for they will always stay in all that’s bright and beautiful around us day by day. -Graham
I love you, Dad.
This is a hand made knit that took me about 15 months to complete. It’s not that I’m a slow knitter (I’m no speed demon either), it’s just that I have too many projects going on at once. When a new project is undertaken, the others that I started beforehand seem to fall into a lesser priority. You might think, ‘well, so what’? It’s not a big deal, unless I’ve promised the project as a gift. Two years prior on Xmas, I proudly presented a card to my husband. It contained a note informing that I’m knitting a big, comfy cable sweater just for him. Two years later, he receives the gift, finally, two weeks before his birthday. I’m changing my ways. I have vowed that I’ll be more organized and not bite off more than I can chew. I actually have another sweater in the works and have resisted the temptation to start some socks. However, this present project will be put on the back burner, because I have a couple of rooms to paint after the first of the year. One of the rooms was started four years ago. Like I said, I’m changing my ways.
We have an old farm rake that has been a decorative feature on our property for years, and I always thought it’d make a handy holder for holiday lights. There is a part of me that secretly desires to be a toiler of the soil while driving my horse with long reins. However, I have never been able to get anything to grow in a little garden in this hard, clay ground, let alone a huge field. I love the thought, though, of my little mare, a Holsteiner-cross who’s bred to drive, and myself, wearing a wide-brimmed straw hat, working the field together. But, for now, I better stick to container gardening.
It’s freezing outside and has been all week. This is the time of year that I spend much of my day hauling icy water buckets, mucking the horses’ stalls several times a day, and lifting heavy containers of manure into the spreader. My cheeks are stinging, and my nose is running. My hair sticks out like straw from underneath my hand knitted hat, and my barn jacket is caked with hay bits and horse hair. (I dare not wear a nice jacket for fear of what the horses might rub off with their noses.) I walk like a zombie, because my boots are laden with ice and mud. I’m not complaining. I’m on cloud nine. THIS IS THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD! There is no health club, no high paid fitness trainer, no therapist on the entire planet that could provide me with the physical and psychological benefits of my daily routine. I’m blessed to have my health. I’m blessed to have a husband who goes out to his job everyday, so that I can spend my time in the barnyard. What is it about horsey gals? Years ago a friend’s husband commented that his wife hires a housekeeper so that she can go and shovel s**t. Well, welcome to my world! I will give you a glimpse, hopefully everyday, through the Homestead window.