I have found myself tired and weary lately, mostly having set the bar way too high with expectations of myself for the work to be done on Ten-Acre Ranch. Mowing and gardening has started early this year – about a month ahead of schedule. Acquiring fifty-two acres of an adjoining pecan orchard last fall added an additional element to the workload. An orchard that has not been maintained in more than twenty years presents a lot of work. Despite acquiring a limb rake to help with cleanup, it still has not taken much to find myself feeling overwhelmed and hopeless about making progress. And now, spring rains have come and of course the mosquitoes arrived with it, and various weeds have begun to take over. With all the wet weather of late, my outdoor work has been at a standstill for a while and will not resume until things dry up a good bit. Of course by then, the place will be a jungle of green. During these spring months, I really only have a short window of time to get wood gathering and burning done because, once the heat of summer comes on, I will not want to be in the woods – with the snakes – at all.
And though Ronnie and Emma deer are, for the most part, doing well, Ronnie recently had a mishap of running into a tree or fence and injured his nose. For more than a week he had swelling along the bridge of his nose and seemed to have a bit of a concussion. Not to be outdone, Emma managed to get caught up in barbed-wire somewhere and skinned up her hind quarters. She also had a few puncture wounds and superficial tears of her hide. I have been thankful that, for the last couple of weeks, Emma and Ronnie have chosen to stay close to home while they heal up a bit, where at least they are safer from predators. Those two are always a worry for me.
On a good note, I have been adjusting to a much easier schedule in the house. On the dog front, it has been just Mr. T to care for, and he is still a fairly easy keeper. With Zoe and Bear gone, I have not had to run a hospice care for aging dogs – cooking special meals and cleaning up messes that could not be helped. Still, in some ways the adjustment was strange. I suddenly felt as though I had all of this time on my hands, but was not quite sure what to do with it. So I began by putting my time to good use by getting my house back in order and doing a lot of deep cleaning. I put away pee pads and I took down the dog gates that were no longer necessary. I put away all the dog medicines and supplies that Bear required, and only kept what I needed for Mr. T.
And then one day, totally out of the blue, FD came home with this:
I was not happy. This was not part of my plan. You know I always have a plan. And raising a puppy certainly was the last thing I wanted to do now. I was just enjoying a little freedom from dogs and deer. And to boot, I had always preferred the rescue dog route. I firmly believe in giving a home to a dog that desperately needs one. But I could tell FD was thrilled and happy, and I never have been able to deny FD of anything that makes him happy.
Lamenting my displeasure to my sister Juli, she reminded me that things are not always about us. She encouraged me to give it a chance and not overthink things. And then later, when I was talking to my mom, I explained that while this puppy was cute and hilarious, I just had not planned on having another dog, at least for a very long while. To this, Mom replied, in a most loving tone, “Well you know forty-some years ago we had a little surprise that we were not expecting at all. The news was a shock. But look how she turned out. What would our family have done without her? She was the little peacemaker and love bug that we all needed at the time.” My heart softened with Mom’s words. My baby sister had been the love of my life. The delight of my heart. For a twelve year-old girl, that baby sister was like having a live doll of my own. In fact, she has been the only real experience I have had in life with raising a baby. I adored her… and I still do. Mom’s words really spoke to me about my reaction to surprises in life. Why did I always tend to veer to the negative when something did not go along with my plans? Why could I not embrace the joy in the unexpected? How many times have I grimaced at taking on an orphaned animal or rescue dog, thinking of all of the work and changes it meant in our household, only to fall in love and find great delight in the experience. Thinking about it, these things have always turned out better than I initially anticipated.
So I named my latest surprise Oscar, which means “friend of deer”. He is an Imperial Japanese Chin. And of course, like my sister Juli did so many years ago, he has stolen my heart and brought new energy into our home. Mr. T is acting like a youngster again. He and Oscar play together and they are often found lying on Mr. T’s bed together. And Oscar adores his big brother. Even Emma and Ronnie have gotten used to him too, though Emma ignores him for the most part and Ronnie is still trying to figure out what that little nipping creature is.
I think maybe I have spent way too much time making plans and having expectations about how things should be. And in doing so, I have only managed to exhaust myself to the point of being weary and overwhelmed. Actually, life is perfect as it is. And surrendering to the flow of life does not have to mean we lose anything. Rather, it can be the best thing to happen to us – if we only let it…
© 2017 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…