Friday, January 14, 2011


Twenty five degrees and no wind feels positively balmy.

At least it felt almost balmy as I milked Coco late this evening. Rachel and Jason invited me out to supper, just the three of us, to Maw and Paw's Diner in Eagle Rock. I considered a salad, then decided on the cheeseburger. What else does one eat at Maw and Paw's Diner? We enjoyed each other's company and laughed a lot as we consumed those burgers.

I didn't feel like going out to milk, but Coco came up to the back door and stood there so patiently...

After building up the fire, I grabbed the warm wash rag (for udder cleaning) and a nice stainless steel milk bucket and grabbed the grain. Some for her, and some for Priscilla. Mary stood to the side and watched curiously. All seemed so still on the farm. No other movement from the rest of the farm animals. They were tucked in the barn. Not a breath of wind to chill my bones or tangle the willow tree.

The moon is larger than half. I suppose she will be full middle of next week? The weather man suggests that we have a few days of warmer weather ahead of us and I am so very relieved. The respite gives all of us a little extra boost so we will be ready to endure the next onslaught of bitter weather. If Priscilla is going to have her calf, one of these warmer days would certainly be nice, now wouldn't it?

Folklore suggests that full moons bring on births. No research to back that up. Actually, research seems to indicate that the moon cycle doesn't appear to affect labor and delivery. But it gives us something to talk about, anyway. Let's not tell Priscilla anything about that research and see what she has to say.

PS I went back to read some of last year's blog posts. I typically do that to see what weather patterns we were experiencing, or where we were on the farm cycle twelve months ago. Or twenty four months ago. It was amazing how painful it felt to read about such ordinary trivial farm activities. Grief is so ongoing. Even with trivial stuff happening now, and a few normal moments. I guess a year ago I never really believed we would ever be going through normal farm life, milking, seeing the moon change, watching the seasons move forward, and be doing it without Philip. Sometimes I feel guilty for moving forward. Other days I realize it is the only thing for us to do. This morning I had a chat with him, as I sat in front of the woodstove with my coffee and Bible. I told him how much I miss him and how painful it is to see the kids move forward without their dad. I told him how thankful I am that he is no longer in pain. I asked him a few questions and listened for the sound of his voice. It was there, but quite faint.

This morning's Psalm was Psalm 16. I remember reading it just days after Philip's death. Here are some scriptures that rang out for me:
"The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup, you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed I have a beautiful inheritance."

I can't believe that it is possible for me to say that my boundaries have fallen in pleasant places after the death of my husband, the one who loved me and our five children. It is surreal to say that I have a beautiful inheritance after such a horrible thing happened to our family.

But it is true.

I would give just about anything to have things be back to normal, but they won't ever be back to the old normal ever again. Even so, with pain and tears that still surge most every single day, I can wholeheartedly say that when I look out over our fields, when I sit with the children around our table or around the fire with a story, when I squat down to milk Coco and hear the stream of pure milk, I believe I have a wonderful inheritance and indeed, my lot and portion in life has fallen within a lovely boundary.

Isn't life full of perplexing paradoxes? And a plethora of emotions?

Now the silence of the evening has been replaced by yipping coyotes in the distance and howling dogs in the yard. The fire is roaring, the house is warm and peace reigns. For the moment.


Leonora said...

Thank you for this beautiful, uplifting post.

Debbie Millman said...

Got caught up on your blog today...just want you to know I'm still reading:) and still here:) Love you, friend....