I can not help it with these memes, sorry, I am not sorry. They are just so apt.
Really though, at this point, I want to scratch out ‘2020’ in that first one and put in its place, ‘The Whole Of The Past Twelve Months.’
Well actually, ‘The Whole Of The Past Twelve Months And One Day.’
A year ago yesterday was one of the worst days of my life. I had to make that terrible awful decision and actually act on it. My life has not been the same since and I do not think it will ever be the same again, and not just because of that fateful day.
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." - Anatole France
I miss everything about her and us. The words will not even come now, a whole year and a day later. That fateful day I had no choice. None.
That day I had to set my Darcy Girl free from her pain of this earthly realm. There was absolutely nothing else I could do. I had to do it for her. She was not even six years old. That is one of the hardest parts I think. We were supposed to have so much more time.
I have been doing a lot of thinking over the last year and a day (and not so much writing). It has been quite a year and it went by in a flash, but lot has happened.
That thing there I mentioned earlier. Choices. Yes, that one. We take that right and privilege for granted. That is one thing I know. Choices and time, that is what I have been thinking a lot about.
A little after Darcy’s day, before traveling all over kingdom come of this country over the summer (hey, I rode horses, caught fish, and got a Merle pup!), I blathered on here on AHAmoments about how life is about saying yes. Not just yes, but YES. Remember that? No? It does not matter, it seems silly in retrospect, but I did. I went on about saying yes to things and people and living what is left of your life because it is a gift that can be taken away at any moment. You know, beyond our control, out of our hands, not our choice.
Not long before Darcy’s day, I made a big bet (completely unrelated to Darcy) that had a very big chance of not working out.
An incredibly long story short, that bet did indeed turn out to be a losing bet. I was lied to and cheated on. Deceived. Taken advantage of and disrespected. My time was wasted. I got severely disappointed (hey, still kinda am). Mad. Angry. Sad. Mad at myself as well.
But you want to know what? Yes, I know you do. I have no regrets. I still believe those things about a yes life that I mentioned even still. That is the only way to live a life. It is too short not to. There are more important things than all that other stuff. I would not have a Merle pup or a Lito man if I did not believe these things. Where would I be without those two!? Or my Cheetah!? Even with Darcy. What if I did not get her when I did? Who would I be and where would I be without having had her in my life???
"No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses."~Herman Melville
The truth is, just like this very life itself, none of it is on our time frames. That is for the Man Upstairs. AHAmoment and do not you forget it.
You see, I indeed did make that choice. Or choices, rather. Nobody else. That is on me. The choice to bet on a person knowing it had a high chance of not working out. If I am being honest, I even felt it deep inside in that hidden place, despite all the words, that it was not going to work out (hey there, gut feeling Holy Spirit, sorry I did not listen you. I am still learning.). I did not listen to it, I wanted it to be different. The way the words (not actions) sounded. It was supposed to be great. You do not win if you do not bid, right? That is what they say. I trusted and said yes. It was my choice. I believed and fought for it.
Here is the thing. I can make another choice right here in the story. And I have. I vowed to myself to continue to say yes and be open in life and opportunities and adventures and, yes, people. To live life in the front row. To learn and be better. Like I said then, I will say it now, I have lived a third of a lifetime (if I am blessed enough to live to old age). I have zero desire to waste any of it, or any more of it.
I have learned and am still learning from my past and all the life that I have lived over 31.5 years. That is what is making me smarter and wiser, so long as I listen to my gut feeling. Learning what He needs me to for His purpose. You have to ‘watch their actions,’ as a wise women told me. Not the words. Believe what you see and what is shown to you. Make the choice to learn it and leave it.
Do not take your time or choices for granted.
Life is still going on all around us whether or not we are going with it. The choice is yours no matter the situation, do not waste it. You can get wrapped up in all the rest if you want. Get mad and angry. I did for a little bit. Then step forward and on. Forward is always the answer, just like with horses. Leg on.
All of that to say, that, even with all of that, the storms we go through (and we all do go through storms), they do not last. For anyone. We have so many rainbows. So many silver linings. So much wonder and light. So many blessings. That is right, WE. All of us. There is a reason for all of it, a greater purpose. We are learning through the journey to that purpose.
Like I said, I would not have Merle for not that awful day a year and a day ago.
Onward and upwards, my friends.
Learn from yesterday, live for today, and tomorrow is a new, blessed day! Go be your best self and be good to people.
Walk in love, dear readers, I hope these images of my loves brighten your 2020. Or Last Twelve Months And One Day.
Anyone still there? Tap. Tap tap.
Look! The pecans are coming! It is all in the natural way of things.
Err….by Monday, I clearly mean Tuesday. It is Tuesday. All day. It was Tuesday all morning and it will still be Tuesday all afternoon. Or, just a second Monday.
OK. Now that is clear…
I am back in the office. Well not at this very actual moment. I am at home for lunch, but I am back working in the office. I have not been in since I do not remember when. It feels odd. Strange.
Anyone else back in the office?
I mean, I obviously knew this day was coming and I could not work remotely forever.
I just really got used to it. That small taste. It felt right. More in the right direction.
Life got more pleasant. I turned off the news and ignored the media. I had so much quality time with Merle. My breaks were outside petting the horses and giving them treats. I worked outside on the porch half of the time. There was fresh country air and sunshine. Walking and fetch. Riding. Clear views. No concrete or buildings. Even for the days that I was in town last week, I was on my patio with Merle at my feet.
I mean, I had to put real clothes and makeup on for the first time since this all started! My left eye has been protest twitching all morning! You should have seen the look Merle gave me this morning.
One day, dear readers, one day.
For today, I have a job.
For today, I am recharged and realigned.
For today, I have all these happy memories of these guys to remind me.
Perspective, my people! They are my muse anyway, on this Muesday and every other day.
I am not sure who has it better, the horses or Merle.
He is such a dude.
Nothing like a good ride on a spring day with the egrets.
He says there are birds over there.
That look, I tell you.
Tell me, how is your Tuesday going?
Walk in love, dear readers. Smile at someone today, even if it is just with your eyes.
What is the word from the bird? Have you had a good day? How the heck are you?
It is May, right? How did that happen??? I have something to show and tell you, but it will have to wait just a minute.
Let me be honest here for a quick sec. I have no idea most days what day it actually is. I no longer know how long this has all been going on. Anyone else?
I have not worn makeup this whole entire time (my eyes I think have never been happier). I have trimmed my own hair twice (I was over due for a trim in the beginning of March). Once, I cut it with dull scissors. Whoops. Luckily for me, there has been no need to put work clothes on so I have lived in farm clothes. When this all started my house was a mess and I just left it that way. Unorganized. Things not in their places. Laundry. Yikes, the laundry. It was EVERYWHERE and in all states (a luxury as I live alone. I can do that if I want. Even if it drives me crazy). Also very dusty as it has been sitting, not lived in. I will not mention the pollen I had tracked in from walking through my patio when I came to check on it. And the hay and cut grass.
No, I will not do that.
Wait, I just did. Eh, whatever.
Yes, I just said that. All of it. You can judge me.
In spite of all of that, life is chugging along. Not much has changed since the beginning of this ‘rona time (sorry, I am not sorry, I like calling it the ‘rona) and I do not think I would have it any other way.
I have pretty much only seen my family. I have gotten a lot of fresh air and horse time as I have been living at the farm this whole time. I am also a bit tanner because I have been bad by not putting sunscreen on and wearing a hat at all times. I am getting a lot of the sunshine vitamin! I go to bed early and wake up, well, moderately early for me. I am normally a 5:30 AM riser. Lately, I have been staying in bed till almost 7! I manage to get my work done and have gotten pretty good at working just about anywhere. I did break down and get a monitor, keyboard, and mouse at some point and that makes it easier to work from my laptop. I get to see the horses graze across the pasture as I work. You can give me this view over any downtown, high rise CEO office. I have been trying to soak every moment in.
I avoid most all news (real, fake, or any other kind). I had the most extreme case of the Sunday ‘What Day Is It’ blues at the prospect of going back into the office soon. I should just be grateful that I still have a job at this point. I came back to town yesterday to get my life house back in order and begin getting my regular schedule back in place.
I have zero desire to put work clothes back on or start wearing makeup again. I am however, looking forward to getting my hair cut by the one and only person I let do it (besides, uh, myself) at some point. My house is looking like its old self again after my mad woman cleaning spree and I am mostly l caught up on laundry. My patio is all raked and clean of pollen and leaves and I have gathered all the clothes I need to donate. As much as I love being at the farm at with my horses (and these past weeks have been basically a dream living out there), I have missed my own space.
Enough about all of that. There are more important things to show and tell, especially for those that are unable to get out. How about some of my views over the past few weeks?!
These sunrises, man. The Lord does not mess around with His paintings! The only thing that makes them even better is a posing Lito. I even had a mug of coffee in my hand.
And egrets. They add a special touch, do they not?
I picked dewberries while drinking a glass of rose. Mamma said picking dewberries is as fun as an Easter egg hunt. I do believe she must be right because I had a joy of a time. She even went out and picked some more berries to make sure we had enough.
I then put those little gems of dewberries into a dewberry crumble pie. Boy howdy, that is one dang good pie. In addition to these wild dewberries, we also have wild mustang grapes growing here. Lots of them. Later this summer when they are fully ripe, I am going to make some jelly. It has been fun watching the grapes emerge on the vines.
The sunsets also never disappoint and watching them every evening does not take away how special they all are. Just look at that sun shining down on my ponies.
The beauty of spring continues to spring for the cactus blossoms.
Another view of spring and summer that I love is the storms. Y’all know I love watching storms. It does not matter where I am, but being a witness to them at the farm is really special.
This particular storm mostly avoided us and gave us very little rain, but it gave us quite a show to watch.
I had a very special ride on my best boy Lito right before I came back.
It was the right amount of spring breezy and we had a great lope out in the meadow pasture. The kind that makes you just grin from ear to ear and get giddy. And makes you giggle like a kid and remember all those memories and feelings and just what that special thing is inside you. He reads my mind. I do not even think I asked him for it. We just felt it one moment and just as lovely as you please we were dancing down the fence line.
Now. For the absolutely most important thing that I have to tell you.
He is back! And just. Look. At. Him. My life feels right again.
My life has had an emptiness about it without him.
And without his look.
He seems just as happy to be back.
I just love that setter stride.
I have to admit, having him away was even harder than I thought it would be with everything going on. Even with being able to visit him.
I am so glad to have my buddy back.
Walk in love, dear readers. Tell me something, anything!
These indeed are trying times for all, in more ways than just this ‘rona business.
Hey, gotta keep it light and positive. It is what we do here!
In all seriousness though, we all got down to the basics pretty dang quick. Writing got shoved to the back burner and then right off the back of the stove all together.
Certainly not because I did not want to write to you!
We packed up food and other necessities and went to our safe place, the farm. I have been living here now with my family for over two weeks. Logging in remotely and working (which has been frustrating). Crossing farm chores and projects off the list (feels amazing). Cooking and baking. And, of course, soaking up all the horse time and riding I can.
I will not get into everything that Covid-19 entails or the politics or anything that everyone is talking about. All the things that have been right in front of us for weeks. It is very likely that I, along with many others, will be without my job soon because of the oil prices. I do not think there is anyone who is not feeling the weight of this in some way or another (hey howdy, you’re not alone!!!). I know I have not been immune to it. It is all just heavy no matter what. We have been taking periodic breaks from it all by turning off the news, not getting onto social media, and doing farm things. Only checking in and updating every couple of days. I have gotten into the habit of just leaving my phone and not being available (liberating).
Even still, I feel even more blessed for the beauty all around me. It makes it easy to celebrate every day. All I have to do is look up. And you know what, it is the same for you! Just look up…or out.
Mother Nature and the change of seasons. We got a bunch of rain on Saturday (praise the Lord! For this and many other things!) which will grow some good grass for the stock and get a good start on our vegetable garden. The wildflowers. The birds frolicking. Our home bred heifers and their first calves. Family time. Being conscious to live simply. My horses, of course, because a horse is a horse of course!
Want to see just what I have been up to when I am not working? Well, have a look. Get a dose. Take a breath. Get some inspiration, dear readers!
Our lovely heart hole oak tree has its heart hole again! This is my favorite tree. I know I might have said that about some other trees before, but this is really and truly my favorite. Did you miss why? Well, you can find out here.
You want to see what else? If you look off in the distance past the heart hole by the pond, you can see the pecan trees starting to get their leaves (and progressively through all these photos). Like I said, they always get their leaves. This year seems early, but spring as a whole did come early. Every year is its own.
We have had many many caterpillars. So cool.
More walks with Lito, I tell you, are good for everything.
Rides on my Cheetah are also good for everything. With or without wildflowers.
New mammas and babies.
The lush river bottom. Just look at those baby blues and that light. This is such a special place and holds so many memories for all of us. We would spend hours down here as kids. I used to ride my childhood mare, Fresca down here on hot summer afternoons. I would let her eat all her favorites. A little walk down here the other day with Pops and Cousin W turned into a couple of hours talking about trees and grasses and wildlife. Good for everything.
Lots of baking! These are my special chocolate chip cookies. I have also made molasses cookies and raspberry crumble muffins. Mamma has been making muffins and cookies (and so much other good food in addition to everyone else). Sister K has also made muffins! It is only a matter of time before pumpkin and banana bread are made.
Having Petunia snuggles.
Projects and chores and more! This implement has been here since we bought the place, 22 years ago! It was the last remaining thing from the previous owners. There used to be a tree living in the middle of it. The tree finally died and we finally cleared enough brush from around and within it to get it hauled out. Quite a thing really!
We watched weather and spring unfold. Keep watching those pecan trees!
This is usually my view from my ‘remote office.’
Just look at those pecan tree leaves.
Do you recognize that specific tree?
If you do recognize it, you should, for you have seen it before! I guess it is my second favorite tree. Certainly my most favorite pecan tree!
More wildflowers! We get some bluebonnets and indian paintbrushes along the road here but we get a lot of these all around our place.
More caterpillars! A Monarch!
More weather. This was an early morning walk with coffee before sitting down on the computer to work.
Of course, more sunrises.
Wondering where my Merle man is? Fear not, he has been off at hunting camp learning. Just have a look. I miss him terribly and the last few weeks without him have been very difficult, but I am so proud of him and he has been doing very well. I am counting down the days till he is back home where he belongs.
So much to celebrate, dear readers, even in these, dare I say, uncertain times. Look up, stay positive, be a light. Keep the faith.
Share what you have been up to!
Walk in love, dear readers. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for some past AHAmoments uplifting reads!
Animals. They never cease to amaze me. I know I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but I do not care. I have no doubt in my mind that they are all gifts to us. Angels in their own right, sent here and given to us for a specific reason and purpose. Even if only for a short period of time in our eyes.
I think Mr. Dirty Toes Merle might just have one of the most beautiful souls out there. He wants to be a friend to everyone and he does not give up until he gets just that. I have watched it with my own eyes.
Just look have a look for yourself.
He has finally started to win a few of the heifers over. I was taking care of some chores in the barn when I looked over and saw MUTUAL LICKING. Never have I seen any of our dogs do this. Not even my Darcy.
Now if only I could capture his antics with the cat……..