I have written, more than once, about how the Eeyore in me tends to look first to the down side of everything. For instance, when FD’s mother passed away in March, all I could see around me was a lot of chaos and overwhelming work to do. The house she lived in had not been deep cleaned in forty years. Most of her parents belongings, and the ministry work of her previous husband was stored in boxes on top of boxes all throughout the house and garage. She, like many people of her time, tended to hoard items and could not throw anything out because “she might need it later for something”. And, because she was a doomsday prepper to some extent, cases of dried foods and 5-gallon buckets of grain were stacked to the ceiling in some areas. There were cases of home-canned fruits and vegetables, some of which had spoiled and spilled down onto the cases of food below them. Her last husband added to the hoarding with his own passion – infomercial shopping. Exercise equipment that had never been opened, hundreds of books that had never been read, kitchen items and gadgets that had never been used, man-gadget tools and, worst of all (to me), boxes and stacks of health supplements that filled the entire breakfast nook in the kitchen. Even the outside yard was neglected. It had once been a showcase property of iris and beautiful shrubs. But, unfortunately, nothing much had been done to groom anything over the years, except the small bit of tree trimming and removal of dead trees that FD and I had managed when we first moved here.
Given the circumstances, I might have allowed the Eeyore in me to become negative but, instead, I focused on what was happening all around me. Mostly, that the vultures had arrived as they do each spring. I was reminded each morning as they warmed their wings in the sun that FD and I were warming our own wings for a new beginning here on the ranch. As the vultures took flight each day, I took flight too, doing work that needed to be done here on the place, and doing a little deep cleaning at the other house when time allowed. We were still entertaining a few family members who had come to help go through things, while organizing and cleaning a bit along the way. Little by little over the next three months, FD and I managed to get things in working order at the rock house (what we now call his grandparents house). There is still much to do though, and it may be years, and maybe until FD retires, to be able to fix things up as nicely as we would like. Still, we do not yet have a definite plan for the house.
This spring brought a lot of rain and flooding to our area. The orchard flourished with weeds more than six feet tall in areas. Trees gave way in the muck, toppling over, and the insects were out of control, as were the weeds. We tried to control the musk thistle again this year but it became too big of a project for us. Now the cockleburs are thriving at the slough, which is vast with water and wider than I’ve ever seen it. We are seeing more water fowl than we’ve ever noticed before. And around our home I have to admit I was happy not to have to drag a water hose around to my flower beds and gardens until this past week. The garden is overgrown with weeds and, instead of being overwhelmed or upset, I just wait for a day (maybe) when things slow down a bit and I can make a dent in the weeding, if for nothing more than around the few plants I managed to get in so late in the season. Sometimes, there is bi-weekly mowing to do. The rain upped my workload, but it was a beautiful thing to be drenched day after day in a “cleansing” of sorts, on this place.
With all that was going on with cleanup of the rock house and the addition of more chickens, I made the decision to quit doing wildlife rehabilitation for the next year or two, maybe even until FD retired in a few more years. I knew with all there was to do with two houses now and all of the work involved in cleanup both at the house and yard, that it was time for a break. I solidified that decision by telling everyone that I was giving it up, and concentrating on working on the rock house, raising more chickens (our current flock is old and not giving us many eggs anymore), and trying to get back to work in the orchard. But Mother Nature had a different plan.
I had just received a mail order of twenty-two chicks, when the farm center in town called about twelve juvenile chickens that had arrived. I was not really ready for the “teenager” chicks yet, but it was exciting to think of having bountiful farm fresh eggs again, and being able to sell some to our neighbors and friends. Then, a call came about a little buck deer. In response, I offered to provide transport to Wildcare, since I had no plans to raise any wildlife this year. However, not two miles after picking up the little fella, he began mewing and my heart softened. And, instead of listening to my inner Eeyore, I allowed the vulture in me to “glide and soar”, leading me to turn the truck around and take the little buck home. We call him Tukker.
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