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Our lives haven’t been normal lately. On top of our regular jobs, we have taken on yet another one. Several weeks back, a friend went in for routine surgery, and came back out with the Big C diagnosis. She and her husband have part interest in a business, and the Country Boy and I offered to help out while she recovered from surgery. Little did we know, this would turn into a long-term commitment. After much deliberation, we agreed that we would honor an extended term to the offer. As the Country Boy says, “Whatever it takes.” He and I both recognize an opportunity to serve our friends in a way that is very much so needed.

The day before we received the news of her diagnosis, I committed to Nancy to do a Farm Wife demonstration at the fair – which totals out to be 4 evenings from 5pm to 8pm, and today, which is Saturday, from 12 noon to 6pm. Again, CB and I sat down and discussed it. Neither one of us is much for welching on a promise, even if it will make things tough for us. So, we penciled in times and made out a rough schedule. For the next several months (probably well into the spring), we will be juggling work, farm and personal time. It will be interesting to see how it works out.

Oh. Did I mention? On top of all this, we have two new puppies – Wilson, who is a 3-month-old German Shepherd, and Bonnie, who is approximately 7 months old and a ‘dump’ dog (in other words, someone just dumped her out and left her to fend for herself). Woven into our already hectic schedule is house-training. Are we gluttons for punishment, or what???

This morning, I only had to work for three hours, and got back home in time to let the chickens out, feed the cats and run the dogs, before I had to get ready for the last day of the Fair. As I was standing in the pasture, I watched as a hawk glided gracefully across the sky. For some reason, the first thing that passed through my mind was ‘graceful silence’. She (he?) was absolutely awe inspiring to watch, and not a sound to be heard. Of course, I know birds don’t make noise when they fly, but this time it struck me with the full force of quiet. As I watched, I was treated to her flying directly towards me, and about two arm lengths above. She floated there in a gentle circle for a few seconds, then eased her way towards the pasture. I couldn’t help but just stand as still as possible and smile with the stunning beauty of it all. To me, it was a special gift of God’s love, and His knowledge that I needed just a few minutes of His compassion.

After a couple of minutes of watching, I turned for only a few seconds to check on the dogs, then turned back around to watch again. I was surprised to see that she was gone. Not higher up. Not further out across the pasture, but totally and completely gone. Rationally, I knew that she was probably resting in one of the trees closer to the house, but it was still fascinating to know that she could have disappeared that quickly. I returned my attention to the dogs and the world around me. And then I realized…

I am a Farm Wife. With all the extra hours and longer days, I have been away from the farm the better part of the time. I am up well before the sun, and I don’t return until long after it’s gone to bed again. It is a rare occasion for me to do just the simplest of tasks, like letting chickens out and feeding them, or locking them up for the night. And it has been longer still that I have had the luxury of standing perfectly still and absorbing the beauty of the farm world around me.

And I am grateful. I have discovered that, after almost 14 years on this farm, I still do not take it for granted, nor have I lost the awe that such sheer delight can bring to my days. My prayer is that I can celebrate those thoughts and feelings until I am old and gray – or rather, older and grayer. And that I can rejoice in having a God who understands that, and feeds me quiet moments like this when I need them most.

As for our schedule? We will work it out. The Country Boy and I make a good team, and have a tendency to automatically balance each other.   We will rejoice in the extra income as it pads our savings account a little bit, and take it back out when we need something else on the farm. And we will go to bed happy, knowing that in some small way, we are still in good enough health to serve those who need us. After all, what is a little scheduling confusion compared to helping a friend?