Sunday, June 24, 2007


Basking in My Wealth

You’ve heard me tell you many times before that I am a very rich woman. That I am wealthy beyond my dreams. And I have told you my richness is a gift and a blessing in my life. Truly, I have been reminded of that richness because just yesterday, I spent the day basking in my wealth.

Our Operations Manager, Kathy M., hosted our Volunteer Picnic in her perfectly groomed yard yesterday. It was a sunny day with a light breeze and the birds were serenading us from the branches of the big oak trees which provided us with shade.

Now if you know anything about us, you know we like to eat! Well, there was no one hungry afterwards here, that’s for sure! Kathy did a fantastic job of assembling a great spread of food. Especially if you knew the size of the budge I had given her to work with! But we had BBQ and brats on fresh buns, fruit salads, shrimp salads, fresh veggies, chips, pies galore! And then there was that tub of strawberries…. my favorite! I had to hurry to eat my fill before Tara found them!

We leisurely sat and enjoyed the company of each other. And my wealth began to surround me. At first, it seemed odd to be just sitting. My body seemed in a foreign place and I was a bit antsy, but then I remembered how to just relax and so I did. It was glorious! My body sank in to my lawn chair and I only disturbed it to go and refill my plate!

I was pleased to see Charlie and Jean join us before they had to leave to attend a wedding. But before leaving, Charlie filled me in on his new Houdini horse who can unlock his own gate bolts! Lynn was there and running everywhere! And I was so happy to see our Betty the Human! I miss having you around, Betty. Holly was her chauffer (good job, Holly!) and soon after helping someone with a car repair, Mark appeared. Mike and Linda are so sociable and pleasant to be around and Colleen came in from Eau Claire. Your salad was delicious, Colleen! And thank you again for your help with the baby bunny this week.

Melody and her daughter, Jessie, brought pictures of Camp Quest to share with everyone. Colleen and Faustina are full of stories of their dog who had just participated in an event that morning diving for weights in a pool of water! Cathi and Sabra were there from The Twin Cities and dear Sabra even brought Little Man more toys and a new box of treats! “Woof!” says Little Man in gratitude to you, Auntie Sabra!

Cindy provided the witty comebacks to us all and our Famous Barb looks wonderful with her new longer hairstyle and her ever-present radiant smile! Mary and Kate came down from Clear Lake and I am amazed each time I see Mary – she seems to grow younger instead of older! And Kate is more womanly and gloriously tall every day! Toni and Devan came in and I was very happy to see them both! It’s been too long, Toni! Colena and Shannon and Chad joined us after spending the morning helping the Govin’s out with their Strawberry Festival. Colena, you are a great Mom and your children reflect your talents! And then after the clinic closed, Tara and Heather joined us. Or Dr. Tara as we already call her…

There was a toss game and another ground ball game to play. That was great for those who had the energy. Me? My lawn chair must have had suction cups on it because I just could not move. And I was so thoroughly enjoying talking with these people! After eating, Kathy gave away the door prizes and both Tara and Heather treated us to a display of their dance talents! On a sheet of plywood, no less! A bit slippery and ever so small compared to a stage, but they both did very well. Once again, I am amazed at the talents of this crew!

I’ve spent a good amount of time thinking about all of them since that picnic yesterday. Thinking about the stories of their families, their trips, their dogs, their horses, their family reunions, their remodeling projects, their jobs …. And it has really sunk in to me that these people are busy people! Their lives are packed full of work and chores and duties and responsibilities and vacations… and yet they find time to come to THE FARM and work there, too!

And again, about mid-afternoon, I did manage to raise my body out of my lawn chair – with a struggle - and go to a point in Kathy’s yard where I could just look. Survey the scene and record it in my mind. Take one of those mental pictures that you will never forget. And then the vastness and greatness of my wealth overcame me as my eyes overflowed with appreciation and gratitude.

These people are good people. They are kind and funny and interesting and they like to have fun! And they are responsible citizens and people who will leave legacies in their children and their accomplishments. And joyfully, they are people who see something that attracts them to Refuge Farms. Oh, the wealth in my life!

Before anyone departed, I insured there was a hug. Not unlike any other day, but this time it was a hug and a personal conversation. It was intentional and I enjoyed it. Took some of them by surprise, too, I believe because usually I am so hurried and so task oriented that to stand and just talk…hmmm….now, that was different!

The ‘Other’ Herd. That’s what we call them. These people of all walks of life, all ages, all abilities, and all shapes and sizes. They all have one thing in common. Me.

Now, I ask you…Can anyone possibly be any richer than that???

Enjoy the journey of each and every day,
Sandy and The Herd

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