Sunday, January 13, 2008
It has been an out-of-the-ordinary week around THE FARM this past week. But on the other hand, this past week has been exceptionally normal. Huh. I guess “life” has been here this past week.
Just a week ago Friday, I let something very heavy that I was holding up over my head fall out of my hands. Didn’t do it on purpose or because I wanted to. No, my aging shoulders just decided it was time to relax. Now. That doesn’t seem like an issue, does it? But unfortunately, this heavy thing fell down on my right arm. Again, not an issue, is it? Well, except that my right arm was on a heavy steel brace. Now, that’s an issue.
So when the heavy steel extension came down on my arm and the heavy steel under my arm supported my arm, guess what had to squish to accommodate the weight of the falling steel? Yup. My arm. Like I said, that’s an issue.
As a result of this injury, this past week has been filled with me walking around the place either cradling this bruised arm or holding it upright like I am constantly greeting the world with the American Indian “How” sign. I was not really even able to brush my teeth or brush my hair with that arm let alone hook or lead horses! Lifting feed buckets? No way! I spent this entire week either standing and watching or trying to perfect my skills in using my left hand!
We won’t even talk about operating a mouse and processing emails left-handed. I now truly appreciate the new shorthand of “U” instead of “you”! Most frustrating and worrisome is the fact that our Annual State of THE FARM is coming up fast! And here I sit, unable to key, write, or do anything with that right hand. Worried? You bet, but I trust we will do our best with what I can assemble with an arm that’s healing. And healing very slowly, I might add!
And true to their character, The ‘Other’ Herd rallied around and cared for The Herd and me while I was wounded. Starting on Saturday, the day after the accident, someone was here in the afternoon to insure the house was warm and the litter boxes changed. And that even my tummy was filled with something other than cereal. And The Herd never missed a meal or had low stock tanks. Barns were cleaned and in general, you would never know that one of us was out of commission.
Many times while I was standing around watching everyone else do my daily chores, I looked up at the Mission Board hanging in the barn. I was the crippled. I was the weak. And I sure felt like I was the lost. But these women cared and watched over. The fed us all in justice. I am in awe of their dedication, caring, and commitment. Thank you to every one of you.
Then about Tuesday, I believe, I received one of those emails – “I love my horse but…” Yup. There it was. The pledge of undying love with the explanation of why the horse no longer fit in her pasture and so was scheduled to be euthanized on Saturday. That’s correct. Only four (4) days notice. But I did my best to look past the Human and see the life on the other side – a cute little Shetland mare with a bad eye and a tendency to founder. Very manageable. Not life-threatening and certainly a good pet or carthorse for someone!
Emails and postings flew! I was talking to South Dakota, Minnesota, Madison, even Iowa. Big and little rescues are full – packed! But we did not abandon the mare. No, instead we continued to spread the word as I worked with the owner and tried to get Saturday’s appointment cancelled.
Then, quietly, came an email from one of The ‘Other’ Herd. A home for the Shetland? Yes, she had one. A good one. A young couple with young children and already a few rescues in their pasture. Yes, this couple would take this little girl – unseen – and give her “a home for the rest of her days.” The relief was almost overwhelming!
Postings were updated and a few of us talked: “Exhausting work, isn’t it? Given so short of a deadline! How will we manage this winter when all of us are already over capacity? Are we sure it’s a good home for the Shetland? Yes, they keep coming and coming and coming. No, it doesn’t seem to ever end. How do we survive? Not just fling up our hands in surrender?”
Wisdom came from one – an experienced one. “Don’t look at the horizon,” she said, “just work on the next one. Take them one at a time. You can manage one.” Good advice. I need to remember that.
Why? Because when I lifted my head late Friday night after making the deadline on the Shetland, I found three (3) more just like her sitting in my email inbox. One at a time, Sandy. Just work on the next one. One at a time.
And then throughout the week, I have spent quiet time – when I could find some – to think and remember my Andy. Last Sunday was the anniversary of his crossing and it seems so right that it be cold and raw outside. Andy met every challenge in life with a set jaw and his face right in the wind. Just like someone else I knew and cared for at the close of her life. Andy would be facing all of these bumps straight on and reminding me that I’m “tougher than all that. For crying out loud, woman, just do what you’ve gotta do!”
Once again, good advice. From a good man. Someone I miss horribly but talk to just about every day. You need to guide me, Andy. Stand behind me and push me sometimes. Stand in front of me and block the way other times. Stand beside me and smile when it all comes together.
Typical week – physical pain, emotional bumps, a life or two saved, and others with like minds and hearts here whenever needed. Just how did I fall in to this life of richness? Once again, I can hear my Andy – “You are just plain out lucky, woman!”
Enjoy the journey of each and every day,
Sandy and The Herd