Monday, July 07, 2008

What a week at Grandma's farm will do for ya...

Yeah, I know, it does seem a little pretentious to call 5 acres with two horses a farm, but it will always be that to me.  I remember the barn being full of pigs.  We're all kind of glad it's just horses now, and barn swallows.  

My mom and sister both took holidays last week, which meant they took the kids and I for a few tours of the local area.  We shopped at the "Friff Store" and at the best bookstore in the world... it took us an hour to go through that tiny shop.  I love it.  We went to see WALL-E.  Went for not one but two tours of a gorgeous little piece of land.  Went grocery shopping with Mom and didn't freak out.  Went out for lunch.  

We celebrated my cousin's wedding.  I didn't dance at all because I was so busy catching up with my cousins and aunts and uncles.

We rode our horses every day.  I'll write more about that later!

The kids divided their time between the tree and the 4 wheeler.  In the house they got away with watching way more TV than at home.  Ironically, out in the country there are more channels than we get in town.  That's only because our TV is in the basement and I'm too cheap to get cable!  My son is now heavily into watching The News.  

Also, he learned how to drive this week.  Just a few days before  his 12th birthday, meaning that he's in line with the majority of the family.  And darnit, the kid's pretty good!  He drove that van up the back lane and then reversed down the hill over and over.  

We visited some friends who are dairy farmers and small breeders (pun intended) of mini horses.  They have six of them, a stallion, three mares, and two foals. Holy cute!  Plus their dog recently had a litter of TWELVE puppies!  Being Golden Retrievers, they are almost the size of my Pug.  That was funny!  

On top of that, I managed to borrow my Mom's car to drive to the next biggest city and visit my bestest.  All of her kids were home too.  Imagine three small dogs ripping around the house... actually, two small dogs and one fretful tiny dog who wasn't sure if she should be joining them or giving them heck.  Then we ended up with baby bunnies in our hands.  Mercy.

By Thursday, it occurred to me... that I was feeling... really,  really good.  Quite great, actually.  I went through the list.  Chest pain?  Not really.   Breathing?  Easily.  Appetite?  Not great, but functioning.  Weight?  Not losing any more.  Teeth grinding?  Don't think so.  Irritating repetitive thoughts?  Strangely, blissfully, absent!!!!  

Oh relief.  What caused this turn?  The pills started working?  Horse time?  Mom's cooking?  The hills and trees and fields outside the windows?  Dad's freshly painted John Deere 430?  That long philosophical talk with my sister?  

Does it matter WHY I feel better?  Don't analyze: enjoy!  

I will share this:  My sister is brilliant.  I don't write about her much because she is a very private person and doesn't like the idea of being read about.  But I have to share this. 

 She's gotten through an extremely difficult year by learning all over again how to pray.  She doesn't close  her eyes at night and make up a task list for God to fulfill.  

I told her that my prayers lately have been a mess of help-me-help-me-I'm-desperate-help-me.  
She starts off by listing what she's thankful for.  

Well if you start that, even if your life is a total wreck and you think you've got nothing to be thankful for, you can start at the very most basic thing... YOU ARE STILL BREATHING.  

Doesn't this match up with my whole new thing about the Tiny Steps?

So I tried it.  The bedroom window was open, with the crickets cricketing and the big trucks swishing down the highway outside.  I had a choice.  Feel disgruntled by the lumpy old mattress or focus on being there, in the country, in my childhood home.  It turns out that my thankfulness list was pretty darn long. 

Sweetie came up with that all on her own.  She is a genius.  

I went to sleep with visions of farmhouses and barns and hay fields and barn cats and saddle racks in my head.  I can't say I slept well, but judging by my shift of mood, it's okay.  Yep.  It's okay, and I'll take it.

I also got a few more paragraphs done in my next epic novel.  I squeezed that in between dishes and laundry.  Look at me go, eh?  I can't do everything but I can do some things!

Stay tuned... I'll be back here and there without warning.  I'm just full of surprises...


CindyDianne said...

Yay! Whatever the reason you're feeling better - it's a gift horse. And you know what they say about that!

I think I'll take Sweetie's advice too.

It's good to "see" you!

I wanna hear about your visit with Biddie. I wanna hear about the horses!

Driving at 12! I love that! That was when I learned to drive on something other than hay fields. Congratulations to Bucky for being a good driver!

Balloon Pirate said...

Glad you're doing better. I make a gratitude list every night, and thank God for all that I have. It helps, especially when the kids are away for a month.

My morning meditation is when I like to figure out what God wants me to do. It's usually so much more cooler than what I want anyways, so I've stopped asking for stuff.

By the way, my (12-year-old) son's writing a novel too: George and Rikki's Uneventful Quest for the Land of Cheese.

I'm going to buy the film rights.


Olly said...

Sounds like you had a great week. Good to get away sometimes!

Biddie said...

So glad that you are feeling better. I think that it is the country air, family and friends, and the slower pace..
I pray like that, too. I list what I am thankful for. My kids, are usuallly first, and then comes the rest of family - TMOC, Lovely, Lucky and you, of course.
After you left the other day, the girls were bugging me for more stories of Jethro in 'the olden days.'
Of course, I obliged :)
Poor Ruby had her nose all out of joint. She really didn't expect the two boys to get along so well. That is one spoiled dog!
It was so good to see you again. The visits always seem to short, and I missed seeing Jethro, of course. Still, a nice afternoon. :)

Tod said...

Glad to hear that you're feeling better!

Heidi the Hick said...

Cindy... I will not look it in the mouth!

The quick version of my visit with Biddie was that it was too darn short. All visits with Biddie are too short. We didn't get started off til after lunch (had to take Mom to work so I could have her car) then had to get home on time for supper with Dad, which is odd now that I think about it... cuz the man knows how to use a can opener... anyways, I got to see her whole family and that's getting increasingly rare with the girls getting older and more social.

The dogs were hilarious!

As for Bucky, he's a good driver, so far, but most of all he's not letting it get to his head.

Pirate, seriously, your boy and mine either must meet or should never meet. Believe me when I say that I want to read that novel!!

Y'know what, I think meditating is darn hard. Sometimes I think God must get really sick of all the mental junk mail.

Olly, it was good to get away. I love my neighbourhood and the folks in it, but my soul needs the country!

Biddie, I think you're right - the slower pace is good for me. I spent the week thinking how big and fast and busy Smallburg has gotten. Then I got home and went, "Holy crap, there is a HIGHWAY right straight up through the middle of my town!!!" Yuck!

Our visits are too rare. Like, I was there for a week and only got a few hours visit with you. I figured there must be blogbuddies who would think I'm nuts! A half hour drive away and I only visit once??? Well, at least I could call you for free, and did, and you know how much I hate using the phone!!!

As for Ruby? I dunno... can you really consider ROYALTY to be spoiled??? I think it's her basic right. But poor girl... to be ignored by those two stinky boy dogs... understandable that she'd be miffed, I think!

Tod, thank you, and I am glad to be feeling better!

Anonymous said...

I could see your happy smiling, relaxed face whilst reading this post, glad you are feeling better x

Balloon Pirate said...

RE: our boys: I would vote for the former rather than the latter.


Lynn Sinclair said...

"Green acres is the place to be
Farm living is the life for me
Land spreading out,
so far and wide
Keep Manhattan,
just give me that countryside"

The theme song from the tv show "Green Acres" says it all. Hmm ... am I showing my age?

coffeypot said...

Glad you are back and feeling better. Sometimes spending a bit of quality time with family and doing everything, yet nothing, can really rejuvenate your batteries. I'm happy for you.

Anita said...

This is such a great post... I love how happy you sound!
Sweetie's idea is sort of like my "gratitude journal" I read about in "Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude By Sarah Ban Breathnach"...

JKB said...

This is great, you sound really happy! I am so happy!

Heidi said...

I am so happy you are finding a peace and contentment at last! It's great to hear you so happy.

There is something about being at "home" (my folk's) for me too. Last week my sister and her family were up and we all spent the week at our childhood home. Great food. Long, lazy conversations, daily entertainment provided by the kids. Sweet fellowship. Ahhhh... there is nothing quite so refreshing!

Trailboss said...

I can so relate to living life with gratitude. I have been doing that for almost a year now and my goodness, what a HUGE difference it has made in mine and my family's lives. I only ask God to watch over my loved ones nothing more, nothing less. Being grateful for what we 'have' as opposed to asking for 'this and that to happen' is so different. But it is wonderful. I honestly do not think I will ever pray or live any other way.