Despite the six degree temperatures, the horses and Hector the Mule had to get some family love. There is nothing like a good pony smooch to warm you up on a cold day. And pony smooches are easy to come by if you have apples in your hands and granola bars in your pocket.
Dark stays dark
Light stays away
Maybe it is just the cold, dreary winter skies.
Guess who doesn’t mind the cold. He also would not get caught so I could put on a blanket! Stubborn rascal.
OK, remember the fairy tale of the kindly shoe maker? At night, the good little elves would come out and do his work and tidy the workshop. Well, I think I have elves too – only these elves are EVIL!! I dust, sweep, mop, and tidy during the day. While my husband is in the hospital, my dogs and I are the only ones in the house. I have a severe cold or flu or distemper or something, so I am not doing any crafting or baking or much of anything. In fact, I keep coughing and sneezing so much, it activates the clapper. The lamp is going on and off all day.
But when I wake up, the house looks like there was a frat party here last night!! There is laundry and dishes and dust and muddy paw prints and clutter – and how did the trash can get full!! Come on!! How is this possible?
So I tidied up again. I made up a cup of tea and curled up on the couch with Baby Dawg. I glanced over at the kitchen floor and there are two hair balls laughing at me – mocking me!! When I catch one of those elves, he is in for a whomping!!
Despite the cold temperatures (dipping under 20 degrees), Gertie Goose still insists on her morning bath routine. I keep two kiddie pools for her, with several spares in the garage – so she will always have clean water. She followed up her bath with an ear of corn (not easy to find this time of year but she does so love it so well worth the expense).
Gertie must be over 20, as she has been here on our farm for 20 years. She and two others just showed up one day and decided they would like here. Gertie is the only one left and despite her bad temper and snippy disposition, we love her.
I have been letting Hector the mule into the pasture with the mares for a few hours every day. I was so excited to see them all peacefully munching hay together!! OK, I know they are not best friends yet, but they are bonding!
I love my husband very much. My husband is a good man with so many good qualities. He also is very “high maintenance” because of his disabilities, depression, and addictions. This is the third Christmas without our child, and my husband is hospitalized. Believe me, Time does NOT heal all wounds.
I hope this does not sound wrong, but sometimes, I feel invisible. When loved ones call, they are always so concerned about my husband and rarely ask about me. My husband needs care and treatment, and sometimes gets so concerned with himself, he doesn’t ask how I feel. He needs me to run errands and support him and give understanding – but doesn’t understand when I say I am tired.
Let me share a recent conversation:
Relative speaking to me: “He is just going through so much – holidays are difficult. I just cannot imagine what he is going through. He lost his son.”
Me: Silently thinking, He was my son too. I’m right here – in pain.
Relative advising me: “Well, you need to be strong for him.”
Me: Silent once again
After the relative left, my husband and I chatted.
Husband: “You need to call my friend so he’s not worried.”
Me: “Honey, I called all your family to keep them up to date about your care and situation. I am just really not up to more conversations today.”
Husband: “Well, he’s going to be worried. He knows I was struggling and yesterday was Christmas…it was hard. You need to call him.”
Me: “It was hard for me too and….”
Husband: Interrupted with attitude, “Just forget it. I will call him when I get out of the hospital.”
I know he is a good person, just struggling with his health issues. I am glad he cares about his friend, and does not want the friend to worry. But there are times I just want to scream, “Strong people break too! They break on the inside where no one sees. I am tired of being strong. I hurt too.” But, instead, I am silent. Maybe because I am just too wounded to speak up or maybe I don’t believe anyone is really listening. I’m not really sure anymore. So I go through the day, invisible. No one really SEES ME – they see a functioning avatar, an imaginary person – but not me.
But GOD is good and HE sends comfort, spirit helpers. My animals, they see ME. They hear ME even when I am silent. GOD SEES ME – HE sees all my flaws and all my sins and loves me anyway, especially when I feel unlovable. So, If you know a “strong person” maybe check in with them. Maybe they need a hug.
It’s Christmas. So I lit a candle, got out my best cowboy china, and fixed breakfast for me and my dogs, Charlie Tarheel and Baby Dawg. We feasted together on hash and eggs. I even baked a birthday cake for Jesus – but no chocolate for the critters. Then I sang Christmas carols – sorry dogs. But hey, the Bible says make a JOYFUL noise unto the LORD. Doesn’t say it has to sound good – just JOYFUL. So I believe my nasally, flat, off key screechings are pleasing and acceptable unto the LORD. The horses and the mule had a feast too – carrots and apples and granola. Gertie Goose had sweet corn on the cob (hard to find this time of year) and butter bread. Flip Flop kitty had Friskies Shreds, hash, and warm milk.
Everyone got a hug and a scratch. I hung onto my horses neck’s and cried into their manes. I hugged Hector the mule and sobbed on his shoulder. I clutched the kitty and shared my pain. Gertie Goose bit me on the thumb – hey, she’s a goose.
My dogs curled up with me on the couch and absorbed my grief and gave me their love. It seems the more I give my love away – the more love comes right back to me. GOD truly sent me COMFORT and PEACE today. And I will be able to visit my husband at the hospital this afternoon.