cherries

cherries

Those of you who know me also know that for many summers I would be out of town for work for five weeks. I am now semi-retired and no longer hold that job, and this is the first summer in 19(!) years that I am at home.

Amazing what you can find out when your life changes that drastically.

I found out that our little farm is a total joy now that I have regained the strength and stamina to work outside.

I found out that I like running errands with my husband instead of the ‘divide and conquer’ approach that our busy lives used to require.

I found out that chickens love strawberries.

I found out that we have two pie cherry trees in our yard.

Now, how did we live in this house for five years and NOT know that we have two (two!) cherry trees? Because we were away during cherry season every year — we would leave town before there was any fruit on the trees and return long after it was gone. We thought those two trees were some kind of ornamental shade trees that bloomed for a few days in the Spring.

Imagine our delight in finding fruit this year and then further discovering that these are pie cherries.

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Yesterday my husband and I spent about an hour together harvesting the ripe cherries, and there are still many more to go! Canning commences soon, and I’m planning this winter’s cherry cobblers already!

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To me, these cherries, these newly uncovered treasures, are a symbol of a life that has become more intentional. I’m no longer working full time, chasing a ‘career.’ I’m not out of town on a business trip every month or so. I don’t accumulate frequent flyer points anymore.

I’m home.

Home to enjoy slow evenings in our bucolic backyard, meals on the patio, Bible Study in the shade. Home to harvest strawberries and make strawberry jam. Home to gather the herbs before they bolt, drying them for freshest flavor through the winter months. Home to laugh at the antics of our chickens and dogs and horses, to enjoy the births of two foals and to get to know them as they grow. Home to watch the rest of the garden growing at a prodigious rate, anticipating the harvest of potatoes, corn, beans, squashes, and tomatoes that is to come.

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Charley cooling off in the underbrush. Because fur coat.

I didn’t know how terribly stressed and rushed I was until it all came to an abrupt end. And when the dust cleared, I realized that I now have the privilege of living my dream. For me, home is the place that I belong (and I don’t say that to imply that every woman belongs at home – I’m saying that for me, and me only). It turns out that canning and freezing, providing good and nourishing food grown in our own garden, are passions of mine. Good health and helping people recover theirs is a passion. Learning as much as I can about our amazing bodies and how they respond to nutrition and environment is a passion.

It turns out that my former job was not a passion.  Even though there were many aspects of it that I  enjoyed and many people involved whom I really liked, in the end it was a j.o.b.

God is faithful. Romans 8:28 tells us that all things (ALL) work together for good in the lives of His followers. I was forced to make a very drastic change, but God turned a seemingly negative situation into what is arguably one of the most positive changes of my entire life.

That was brought home to me in vivid and glorious color yesterday when we discovered the cherries.

Where’s your place? What’s your dream? Discovered any cherry trees lately?

 

 

 

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justice

justice

This morning saw the sad end of a promising colt’s life.

Little JoePablo was born on our farm two years ago, very early one June morning.

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My granddaughter and I were the first to clap eyes on him, around 4:00 in the morning. What a treat and a great memory for the two of us.

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As he grew, Joe proved to be strong willed and intelligent. Recently my nephew had begun lightly training him to be a rodeo horse, and the promise of his conformation and strength was obvious.

A couple of months ago three of the horses got out of our pasture in the middle of the night when part of the electric fence was accidentally left off. The police woke my husband, who called my nephew, and together, with the willing help of our local police (many of whom own horses), they began rounding up the horses to get them off the road. Three* police cars sat in the roadway, lights flashing. All up and down the road, drivers had patiently pulled over as the roundup operation was being completed.

Except for the idiot college student who blew through the entire thing, inattentive to the three* (three!) police cars with lights fully flashing and the other cars lining the shoulder of the road. The driver never even tried to stop, and crashed squarely into the three horses, with Little JoePablo going through the windshield. You can imagine the scene so I’ll spare you the details.

For two months Joe was faithfully tended by our equine vet and by my nephew and his family. But the suffering was never going to end and the injured leg was never going to be sound. The decision had to be made, and at 9:00 this morning we bid him goodbye and Godspeed. The vet sent him off peacefully, and Joe is no longer in pain.

Today we are wondering if there will be justice. The student who hit him was one of many from the Middle East who are paid handsomely to attend our Idaho State University. He drove a high end Mustang (the irony of that is not lost) into the midst of our horses. He got out of the drivers seat with a broken arm and aloud wondered who would be responsible for fixing his car.

While our horse lay bleeding on his hood.

I know that there are many Middle Eastern students who behave like the guests they are when they come to the United States to pursue an education, i.e. following the traffic laws, obtaining appropriate car insurance and a drivers license, treating people decently. This one did not. Sadly, his arrogance is not atypical among our local population of these male students. The statistics show that local court cases have increased due to many of these students.

When asked why he didn’t even try to stop, the driver replied that he couldn’t understand what was going on in front of him and so he just kept going —  at a speed that was over the posted speed limit.

What?

I want to be Christ-like in this situation. Everyone is valued by God (John 3:16), whether they know it or not, whether they behave that way or not, whether they choose to accept it or not. I am trying to remember that as I measure my words.

But today I’m angry, and rightly so, at the arrogant foreign nationals who look down on us and our culture but choose to live in our midst anyway — and continue to live according to their own culture’s behavior and values, not ours. Why do they choose to live among us, despite their contempt? Because they’re free when they’re here; they have no religious or familial supervision; their bank accounts are fat and happy, and they get to have a high old time at the expense of their government and ours.

Little JoePablo paid for this student’s arrogance, and that price was too high.

*updated June 7, 2015: My husband tells me I was off by one police car. The correct number is three, (my original blog post stated four). That’s still a LOT of flashing lights, whether three cars or four.