…when it hits you that it isn’t even weird that you are serving dinner on the same dining table that is also holding your chick brooder, your homeschool chalkboard propped up and one of the lights in your lamp is switched out for a heat bulb.
You know that saying about being raised in a barn? Umm…
I remember the “magic boot” post I did the last couple of years. Those magic, red boots. The red boots became a known legend within themselves in our neck of the woods. Everyone knew the girl with the red boots… at the stable, at the post office, at the bank, at the…swimming pool. Anyways… As my girl grows, the red ones just aren’t available in her size anymore. She has a new signature brown now. While perhaps not quite as cute, much more functional. Just like a real cowgirl. Moving forward. Moving on, doing what you have to do even in the face of letting go of “cute”. A new years lesson perhaps. Ah, the feet may grow, the boots may change but the heart stays true. Hay awaits the camels of the Three Kings and her spirit awaits the midnight visit. Now- if those magic kings can just make it past that darn guard dog.
An unexpected white Christmas, an impromptu snowball fight, a Christmas eve spent with sudden rushing about to get the animals warm, get them dry spots to sleep and thaw out their water troughs before it got even colder into the night, scrounging for tarps to cover the hay and firewood, a moment in the middle of shoveling shavings where I felt guilty that this is how we’re spending Christmas eve when my daughter looks at me with sparkles in her eyes and says “mama, I feel like Almanzo on Christmas eve…this is so cool!”…(we recently read Farmer Boy in the Little House series), when I then started a cedar shaving fight in the stalls and called her “Almanza” and “Farmer Girl” which she just loved and… the moment I realized this was not such a bad way to spend the eve- like pioneers, hot cocoa REALLY appreciated afterwards, walking into a house with heat also really appreciated. A fourth-and probably final- attempt at making snow molassess candy, turning the leftover boiled molassess into a bran-oat-carrot mash to warm the horses. Definitely a day of reminders to not take things for granted. That’s for sure. Reminders that there is joy and magic even in hard work. If you just look through a child’s eyes. Appreciation for the gentle warmth of candles and modern appreciations such as those battery operated star twinkle lights. Just setting the right mood for some Christmas and solstice reading. T’was the night before Christmas…and what fun we had at the barn on a snowy Christmas eve….
Gratitude for the week. Not because it’s Thanksgiving but because Thanksgiving reminded me to crawl out of my quiet shell. If I can find all of this buried on my phone camera in just this week or two, then I am willing to say what a blessed life this is underneath and above it all. Even tucked away in that metaphorical shell.
1. the beauty of autumn, the waning light, the quiet retreating, the magic
2. that beautiful girl, those sweet goats, Nancy Drew, the pleasure of a good book, a child that fully knows the pleasure of a good book shared with sweet goats in the fresh crisp air
3. that moon that caused me to pull over on a side road and reminded me to breathe… even at the tail end of a long, long drive home from a horse show
4. baby pumpkins picked that didn’t have the time to mature because we planted WAY too late but taught us that we CAN do this. 2017…barnraised pumpkin patch…! I think they’re cute.
5. oh, those horses
6. the sweet friendships my daughter has… the fun of a sleepover and the quiet captured moment after sleep comes
7. more good books, evening family holiday read-alouds by lantern light in a warm living room on a cold rainy night
8. re-energizing our gratitude jar which became far too complacent in recent months, the joy of homeschooling, creativity and letting my girl know how grateful I am for her
9. finding eggs in the coop still warm to my touch and then mixing them fresh into pancakes and pumpkin bread, thank you chickens -still producing even with these long chilly nights
10. that moon again. takes my breath away.
11. speaking of that moon… a moonlight ride with my girl and our horses. saddled up under the super-moon, bundled up in warm clothing and wool socks, rode to our hearts content. I felt like a kid again, free under that super-charged moonlight.
12. no words needed here, just read the words in the picture.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU….