Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Lots of stuff and a special birthday

It's been a bit of a zoo here since I returned from my writing retreat in gorgeous Little Switzerland, in a tiny chalet atop Grassy Mountain. I was super productive there but as soon as I got home November Hill took me over again and I haven't touched my novel manuscript since! I will remedy that this weekend.

My son has moved out of his undergraduate apartment and is home with us until the end of the month when he and I will take a U-Haul and his car to Ithaca to get him settled into his new place. I'm excited to explore Cornell with him. Meanwhile we are enjoying having him here with us for a bit.

We had a week of heat, then a nice break, and are now heading into a weekend that includes three days of 100 degree temps. I am so not looking forward to this, but what can I do? I'm sure the hose will be in regular use through this coming heat.

A dear friend and colleague passed away last week after a 15-month battle with ovarian cancer. She has been a light in the lives of many and her service was beautiful and heart-breaking. She leaves her husband of 29 years and three amazing children who are just off to college. I miss her and am also dealing with my own issues having to do with how busy I tend to be here on November Hill, often to the point that making time to see friends and extended family is not where I wish it were. Dori's death is a hard reminder to me that prioritizing time with friends and family is so very important.

Yesterday I got so caught up in the day I left the most important chore - getting in some hay to tide us over until next week's big load is trucked in - to the last minute. Storm clouds were forming and I ran to the truck and headed into town. They loaded the hay and we covered it with the tarp I bought in the feed store for that purpose. As I drove toward home it was dark but still dry, but just as the tarp blew off the hay and flew back like a scarf in the wind, still attached by the very back corners, I could see the deluge ahead of me, a gray white blur. I pulled off quickly and got the tarp back on, trying to secure it more effectively, knowing it was probably not going to stay on but hoping. I drove into the deluge and off the tarp came again. I drove home fussing at myself for leaving this to the last minute, not being more careful at the feed store and tying the tarp down, and then I just relaxed and said what the heck. The two large bales on top will get soaked, we'll feed those first and we won't stack any of them. If mold happens I'll take the hay down the hill and use it for mulch on the back path.

Sometimes we just have to give ourselves a break and give in to the chaos, even when, and maybe especially when, it's self-imposed. The herd got flakes from the wettest bale and for them it was a treat - reconstituted Northern grass! All's well that ends well.

And, the birthday! Rafer Johnson turns 10 years old today. It's impossible to believe that he is now in double digits age wise, but it has been a decade of pure joy and delight. He remains a handsome, personable, sweet and also opinionated member of our family. I will fix up some happy birthday tubs tonight for dinner and hope for oh, at least thirty more years with this amazing donkey!


Grey Horse Matters said...

Happy Birthday Rafer! It's hard to believe he's 10 already. I remember when you got him. It doesn't seem that long ago.

You sound super busy. We're hot here too this week heading for 100 in some spots. We're clocking in around the mid 90's. The humidity is a killer though with the thunderstorms.

Don't beat yourself up for the little stuff. Life's too short!

Sorry to hear about your friend. So sad.

billie said...

A, thanks x5 or so - you help keep me grounded. :)

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Dr. Johnson!


billie said...

Thank you from all of us, Marty! This week we are having hot days with lots of cold hosings for horses. I always laugh when Rafer and Redford march to their dust circles and take their "baths" while the horses are getting hosed. The donka boys stay as clean and dry as can be. Love these boys and so grateful to you for bringing them into our lives!

Matthew said...

Ten years of an amazing donkey friend who always comes up and gives me a hug whenever I'm feeling weary!

billie said...

It's true - Rafer gives the best hugs ever. :)