Something To Remember: Your Own Advice

Sometimes, remembering and taking your own advice can be difficult.

It can be hard.

Time marches on and a new day comes, you turn around and it is like you never made the revelation that time before. You have to do it all over again, but luckily though, it reveals itself quicker than the last time.

One day though, it finally begins to stick. That old time feeling comes back and you remember.

All of this to say, remember that time I shared with you the story of the wardrobe? It is an important life lesson and it is one that has been circling back around for me of late. So, I figured I would share it with you again.


“My mother always says that the people in your life are like a Wardrobe… There are some people that are in your life for only a season. There are some that are in your life for a few seasons or several years. Then there are some that are, as they say, timeless, that are in your life for the long haul. For the rest of your life.”

Things change. That is how this life works. It is part of the human condition if you will. Part of the blessing when you choose to see it that way. It is part of what makes us who we are and gets us where we are going. Part of our journey. Everyone has experienced this.

Interestingly, this American Aquarium album was recently released. On it, is this track. PSA, there is some ‘adult’ language in the first half. Sorry, but hey, we keep things real here, and this is just that. At the beginning, he shares the story behind the song. Y’all know how I love that. It really brings the lyrics to life and makes you think.

The funny thing is, I was listening to this album on repeat and I did not even realize it or why. It hit me Sunday before I headed home from the farm. Do yourself a favor and have a listen to the whole album. Buy and listen to it on repeat.

Then naturally, I had to go and listen to this song.


“Oh, but seasons come for moving
Forces greater than ourselves
But there’s nothing we are losing
Keep it right there on the shelf
I guess I’ll see you when I see you
And pray you’re safe and well ’til then
And all the miles that lie between us
Will be a way back in the end
Oh, the time we shared was a blessing
I’d love to live it all again
I guess I’ll see you when I see you
Happy travels, my old friend”

And then the whole album because, hello.

Music, man. If need another form of proof that we are not alone in our struggles, music is it.

I said it then and I will say it again today because it is still true for me.

I am beyond grateful for all the people that used to be in my life, the people that are in my life, and for all the people yet to be in my life. You are all a blessing to me. You are part of what makes me who I am and part of what makes my life, my life. Thank you for everything you have taught me or given me. Thank you for making my life richer, bolder, and full of color. Thank you for the smiles and laughs. Thank you for being there and being you.

I hope I did the same for you.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Annabelle

Certain evenings at the farm, without any other people there, often bring back memories and make me miss a certain someone. Particularly when I am out walking in the pastures. I always have and always had, back then, a special buddy with me.

Two independent beings and kindred spirits, comfortable just being in the joined, shared silence that can only be had in that secure, comfortable way. They way of a life long relationship, but not needing all those years to get there. With that knowingness.

Glad and relieved for the lack of pressure and expectation, strolling through the pastures, not side by side, but not one in front either. Content just being present. In each other’s company. Accompanied only by the ambiance created by that country air and those country sounds. The breeze in the pecan trees, through the grass, and over the pond. The sun setting, ablaze with fire, and reflecting off the migrating ripples after the crash of a Bass on the surface. Likely preying on the recent hatch. The distant snort and swish of horse tails as the herd grazes. A cow mooing for her calf and the bull making his claim known to the neighboring herd. Backed up by the common clink of ice in a glass and the distant speaker playing real country music. The good kind. Old and new.

Something like this.

(Side note. Go treat yourself to this album. It is brand new, but as far as I can tell is as close to classic, old school country as it gets these days with a distinct modern arrangements. I am a sucker for all things steel, fiddle, and piano along with the guitar. I pre-ordered it a while back and so far it is great. I have been listening to Joshua Hedley for a while.) Now back to the story at hand. My buddy. The instigator of all these memories.

She had the luxury of being born out here. Well, right down the road technically, but close enough. As much a part of the landscape as the centuries old Live Oak up by the house.

My mother’s old Labrador Retriever, Annabelle.

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There is just something about a Lab, isn’t there?

A gal pal after my own heart she was. Middle Sister, K feels the same way, if not more.

Even though she was not mine, we grew to have a very deep connection in her later years. Especially during what I call my “Lost Year.” The year between my undergrad and graduate school. Not knowing what to do with my life and having trouble finding a job using my degree. In the end I bucked up and applied for grad school and began that journey within the year. Sometimes it feels like I miss that year, but really I just fondly remember those nights at the farm with Annabelle.

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We got her right before Oldest Sister, A went off to college.

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We would go to the farm together about three times a week during that year. It was glorious. She was my gal pal. My farm buddy. She knew the plan before I did and would rally her old bones. I had to help her get into the car so we could go, but I also had to stop her from jumping out of the car and hurting herself when we would arrive. She would run as best as she could until she had to take a nap.

We would walk out in the pastures together at sundown. At length, we would eventually come to a stop. Annabelle would walk out a few paces in front, stop, take a big breath of that country air looking back at me, and then sit and gaze off into the distance, like only a wise dog can. Eventually, when it got close to dark, we would make our way back up to the house.

She was a great dog even though she rarely listened to anyone. We had to put her down while I was in graduate school and we were left with a big hole in our lives. I would never recommend being dogless if you can help it. It is awful. It was a good thing Darcy was on her way.

Dogs are such amazing creatures. They sure do leave their mark in their short time here on earth. It is a wonder to me how we handle having them in our lives and move on after they are gone. Yet at the same time, I could never imagine my life without a dog in it. What gifts they are. They seem to make us aware of how human we are. The remind us that we do not have all the time in the world. If only we could do as much good as a dog does in its lifetime in our own.

They are never ‘just a dog.’ Do you know what I mean?

Anyway, I just wanted to share Annabelle with you as I was thinking of her.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Wine, Pie & Time

Time is an interesting thing.

A powerful thing. Giving things time can have impressive effects. Have you ever heard the term ‘just sleep on it’? Well, now you have if you had not before. If you just sit back and think it completely through and wait till morning, you will often get a more harmonious result from not being reactionary.

Time is also a healer. I know this is a universal thing across all cultures and most know it to be true. There are of course songs written about it. After a difficult life event, it feels like time goes at a snail’s pace. Even when you keep busy to keep your mind occupied and try to make the time go faster. Grasping at anything to get you farther from the memories. The feelings. The sadness. The hurt. The anger. You just keep going, taking one step at a time because that is all you can do.


“They say music takes you back to a time. And time is a healer of things.”

Then, it happens. Time has gone by without you realizing it and you look back and realize how far you have come. Amazed at how long ago that happened. How did it get to be years ago?

That happened to me today. Looking back, I never thought it would happen. I still think of that day two years ago often and I know I will the rest of my life. Even just a few days ago, without realizing that it has been two years. Two years does not seem like a long time to some that are removed from the situation. But it feels like so long ago. So much has happened and so much has changed in that time.

Two years ago, we had to put down our first horse. You can read about that day by clicking HERE. He was over 30 years old and we had him for over half his life. He changed my life. That day was so hard, yet so wonderful at the same time. There is such beauty present in the dichotomy of this earthly life. AHAmoment. How something so hard and difficult also presents such life, light, and love is amazing to me. Your faith and spirit are always there. AHAmoment. Something that never goes away. I feel so blessed that I was open to seeing it in that moment, at that time.

We drowned our sorrows in red wine and chocolate pie that night and listened to this song. It always reminds me of him. To this day, it is still my favorite remedy for loss and I recommend it to many.

I am grateful for time. The time I had with him. The time in the moment, even though it was so hard. The time to heal since then and the time I take to remember the memories.

There are many in my life that have lost in the past year. Lost family members or loved ones. Lost horses and dogs. Lost their homes. Tonight I think will be a wine and pie night in memory…after I run.

Walk in love, dear readers.

Soulshine

​​I forgot about this one.

I love when that happens. You find something amazing and then somehow you forget about it. That part is not so great, but then, something happens and you find it or rediscover it all over again. Twice the joy! Boom!

This song is one of those. Not even sure how I stumbled upon it either time, but I am glad I did! Soulsine performed by Gov’t Mule, written by Warren Haynes. Go get you some! Man oh man. Seriously, give this song a listen.


“When your world seems cold, you got to let your spirit take control.”

Talk about an AHAmoment.
(If the video does not show, copy and paste the link in your browser. It is not showing up for me for some reason….Really this whole interface is being goofy today.)
“When you can’t find the light
That guides you through a cloudy day
When the stars ain’t shinin’ bright
And you fill like you’ve lost you’re way
When the candle lights of home
Burn so very far away
Well you got to let your soul shine
Just like my daddy used to say
He used to say soul shine
It’s better than sunshine
It’s better than moonshine
Damn sure better than rain
Hey now people don’t mind
We all get this way sometimes
Got to let your soul shine
Shine till the break of day

I grew up thinkin’ that I had it made
Gonna make it on my own
But life can take the strongest man
And make him feel so alone
Now and then I feel a cold wind
Blowin’ through my achin’ bones
I think back to what my daddy said
He said Boy, in the darkness before the dawn

Let your soul shine
It’s better than sunshine
It’s better than moonshne
Damn sure better than rain
Yeah now people don’t mind
We all get this way sometimes
Got to let your soul shine
Shine till the break of day

Sometimes a man can feel this emptiness
Like a woman has robbed him of his very soul
A woman too, God knows, she can feel like this
And when your world seems cold
You got to let your spirit take control

Let your soul shine
It’s better than sunshine
It’s better than moonshine
Damn sure better than rain
Lord now people don’t mind
We all get this way sometimes
Got to let your soul shine
Shine till the break of day

Oh, it’s better than sunshine
It’s better than moonshine
Damn sure better than rain
Yeah now people don’t mind
We all get this way sometimes
Got to let your soul shine
Shine till the break of day”

~WARREN HAYNES
Does not get much better than that, dear readers. What makes your soul shine?
Let your soul shine for the Lord, for you, and for those around you. Shine for those that are no longer here, those people and events that we remember and will never forget. Be a light for others, in all times, not just these difficult times. Now more than ever. Because you can and some can not. Because there are people out there protecting our rights to do so. Because there are people that have lost their lives doing just that.
Here is a snip-it of what makes my soul shine from this past weekend.

 

Walk in love this fine Monday!

Remember, it was not promised to you or any of us.

Easter

Easter is always a special time at the farm. Well, Easter in itself is obviously special in its own right, but it is different at the farm.

I remember the first Easter after my parents bought the place. I do not remember who all was there. I know my Father and at least one sister was there. I can not remember who else. Anyway, it was windy. It is always windy at the farm on Easter. We must have come out directly after church as we were in our church clothes. At the time, the place was raw. Well, raw its own way. It needed a ton of work and even more just plain cleaning up. It was cross fenced in every way you can imagine. I do not remember why, but my Dad climbed over a gate and when he stepped down on the other side, he landed right in a fresh cow patty while wearing his nice loafers. My sister and I probably thought that was pretty funny while dear old Dad did not.

We have always celebrated Easter in some way at the farm. It has changed over the past few years, as it happens when families grow, but it always feels the same. Special.

This year, it was somewhat of a revolving door with people coming and going. Middle Sister and her Hubby could not come to town because of work commitments (that part was not special…). My Parents, Eldest Sister’s Hubby, Niece, Nephew, and myself went out Thursday. Eldest Sister had to work on Good Friday. The men, that would be my Dad, Bro in law, and Nephew, went fishing Friday for the day and the ladies, my Mom, Me, and Niece, hung out at the farm. I think I mentioned that before and how I rode Cheetah, Lito, and Ike.

Saturday, my Aunt and Grandparents came out for lunch. When my Grandparents got there, I was just riding up to the house at the end of my ride on Lito. He was amazing, by the way, if you were wondering. He is getting really consistent and more balanced. For around 20 or so rides all spaced out, he is doing better than some that get ridden every day. At least in my mind. He is pretty tractable and rates really easily. I am surprised at how well he responds to my seat and even my voice. I am really excited for our hill country adventure. While we were on our ride, we discovered a brand new calf born not that long before. Nature never ceases to amaze me.

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Sister and her family went back to town to go to church in the afternoon and participate in the church Easter egg hunt. When my Aunt arrived, we had burgers, fries, and my Grandmother’s molasses cookies for lunch out on the porch, under the live oak. That tree and porch, I tell you, there is no better place to be. My grandparents went back to town later that afternoon and my Aunt stayed to spend the night.

Saturday evening, I spent some time riding Lito bareback in a halter, just relaxing and having fun. Making sure he remembers how to do that. That it is not always hard work. He remembered.

Sunset rolled around and we had even more porch time with a steak dinner and wine. I am so glad that my Aunt was able to come out and stay. Get a away, even if just for a short time. We are all still sad, but none more than her I am sure.

Sunday morning found us sitting there on the porch again drinking coffee, looking down the valley watching the fog rise, listening to gospel and nature. Words can not express the beauty of His creation, especially in that place. The rest of my coffee got cold so I grabbed Lito’s bridle and went and did my favorite Sunday morning thing. Ride bareback.

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We wrapped things up at the farm before lunch to head back to town and get ready for Easter diner with my Mom’s side of the family. I made and decorated a coconut cake. It was pretty dang good! Doesn’t look too bad either. Holidays are my favorite because I get to see both sets of grandparents close together. I am savoring all my time with them.


Happy times were had with the still at times sad. Slowly, the happy times will start to outshine the sad. Still grieving my Uncle, but we had a new calf born and we got to watch mamma introduce him to the heard. The kiddos got dirty and tired just like the dogs, running around and playing. Like it is supposed to be. I have had some amazing rides on my 2 dun babies. I rode Lito more times that I had even planned. We all had a good time together and wished that the rest of the family could have been there. God is great.

I hope y’all had a great Easter, creating new happy memories.

Walk in love, dear readers!