Monday, November 26, 2012

The Marriage of The Baskets - "rescue your basket while ye may"

 In part of the after Thanksgiving, seasonal cleanup in the last few days, I found two woven baskets.

One was a large market type of basket used to pick in The Garry Farm fields and it had developed a very widespread soft area and could not carry anything heavier than about 2 pound although it was very large.    The second one was a "girly" baskey with lace glued around it, but clearly the entire base was coming away from thesides as it had been used as a heavy duty "toter" at the farm.
The market basket with its weak area
The girly basket clearly pulling away from the side

I sat looking at both of these and wondered about any future use of them.  Because if ever there were a "recycling" farm, it is amazing how many of our items here are found are left at the gate or purchased for just a little a few years ago. Fixed up and given new purpose.....So after looking at both for about 5 minutes, because I was just confident they had more life to them somehow!

And so it began:   the "Marriage of the Baskets".    The base of the "girly basket" was attached to the the area of the Market basket that had become weak ....This took about 20 minutes because I didn't have basket weaving or repair training, but I did remove some of those sides of the girly basket and use them as weaving pieces, so the baskets could be married. Together they were stronger and better and the best parts of each made this a blessed marriage.   Now please do not tell others to come see the "basketcase" marriage story.    This is not about that... LOL
The repaired base !
 And now that I think of this story of the baskets at the Garry Farm, isn't this how good marriages really are?

Bringing different strengths and interests, but together complementing each other.  They are one in the Spirit.  Yes, I wish for all my dear friends a Basket Marriage.  Woven together over time and experience, each partner helping the other until what they have is a strong and a giving marriage ..... Let Love, Peace, humility, gentleness and patience be your weaving strips.

Ephesians 4:2-3

Common English Bible (CEB)
Conduct yourselves with all humility, gentleness, and patience. Accept each other with love, and make an effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit with the peace that ties you together.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Veterans Recognition of one of my Favorite Veterans, My Dad

Dad was military Marine (during WWII).  After that it was college via the GI Bill, marriage and a family of 3, wife and 2 girls.    He was always a hard working man even in his last year of life as he battled cancer.  One of his expressions said several times in his lifetime to me, "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, Nancy Jo"....While in military he apparently picked up the above expression as I believe there were no other military in his family line, although he did grow up in the port of Mobile, Alabama. He was deployed during wartime to a submarine in the Aleutian Islands.  I cannot imagine being in that hot and antiquated machine, so far away from home.

Afterwards, he went through years of College after the war while supporting a wife and 2 young girls.   Everytime I whimpered or whined or cried, he said this expression. "Nancy Jo, pull yourself up by your bootstraps young lady!"  Well his stern, firm voice got my attention and I went from huge heart wrenching cries to snuffled and muffled sobs with little girl heaving shoulders.

After a week full of expectations that I "toughen up",  little Nancy Jo (my preteen name) said between my sobs, "But Daddy you won't buy me any cowboy boots, member!"

Well that giant Man - 6 ft 2 inches and still growing looking at me and his frown and deep voice changed and a grin started and then filled his face as he reached down and held his baby girl, "Aw, you know you're right, you don't have any boots....I love you." as he gave me a huge hug that almost broke my ribs!!!! And I can still feel it to this day, decades later.

Dad I think of you keeping safe in such awful conditions, barely able to  communicate back home. I know you wrote letters daily, but they often left in a package only every month or so.  But choosing to protect the country that you loved, I never heard you speak much of the hardships and isolation.  I thank you for toughening me up a little, but NOT too much and I thank you for the ongoing examples of perseverence and loyalty and intelligence and most of all faith and hope even in the face of incredible uncertainties.

From all that you did for our family and friends and also for those who were wanting to be scientists and mathematicians, engineers and more, you helped open the doors to colleges for the non traditional students - women included! You were amazing and a pioneer in many ways.  I am sorry you were not well enough to go gliding but I think of how awesome those wings must be!

Dad, you know I always wanted cowboy boots but didn't get any till I bought some when I was in my late 20's but recently I was in my farming boots and literally had to pull myself out from a slide in the duck area!  Dad, I still love you and miss you and one day, when my time on earth is done, I know I will see you and I hope that God will let me have some angel boots with bootstraps, in case when I go "angelling", I'll let the folks on earth pull them up by my bootstraps!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fredster, Our Geriatric Rabbit & Tender Mercies

Fredster on His Healthy Day Miracle

Just about 10 days ago, my mind and heart were focused around our senior mini rex rabbit, Fredster, who appeared so frail that morning. Overnight the cold had come in, with high winds and a temperature drop of over 30 degrees from the day before and I was afraid he had caught quite a chill. He was huddled in the corner closest to the door as if to plea for help.  I held and craddled him and  I made him a big bed of hay, brought him leaves to make it soft after holding him and telling him I loved him.  Brought him some tender leaves from strawberry cuttings, lots more fresh fallen leaves which he normally loves to eat like paper chips, and other taste treats, checked him all over for trauma, made sure teeth were not off, nothing choking him,  no ear mites, food was fresh, water was good,or other problems, nothing. I thought to myself ‘he is "slowing down", which just shocked me to the core as he had never had a day of illness.   As I added his years up, I realized that he had been with us at the Garry Farm for almost 6 years and we have been his third home. I was told from his prior owner that she had him for three years and bought him from someone who had him for she thought a couple of years.   So Fredster is at least at 11 years old,  maybe more.  I knew on that first checkup that he was not suffering.  I petted him and touched any areas that might have been old age issues but no touchiness and no gritting of teeth which can come from rabbit if fearful or hurting.

I ran, tears streaming down my face,  to tell Jacque about him.   And I still remember him saying “well, maybe he just had a bad night’.    He promised to check on him. We prayed out loud over him and I know all during the day, Fredster was on my heart, soul and mind.  I was shocked as I added up all the years, that he was a minimum of 11 years old, because as late as this past Spring, he was a Daddy.  As I recall that colder morning thinking of him, of how overcome with love and appreciation for this rabbit.   He is always  the rabbit to come straight to me in the morning, more excited to see me than feed...   He has always been a calm one to sit in laps and been quite a love to us and many visitors to the farm. 

I checked on him several times that day and by evening he seemed better and the next day back to his hopping self.   So why the change?    I would say prayers were answered.    I know that I would never want Fredster or any of our pets to suffer.   That no matter how I personally feel, I want to be there and when it’s time for any of them to pass along, I pray it will be peaceful, painfree and that each will know that security and love.   That day, I thought about bringing him inside, but that would be selfish on my part.  He has always been outside. and if he could talk, I feel certain he would say no, let me stay here, I see leaves, my bunny friends around me and I am ok.   Right after he first looked so sickly and sat so quietly,  he looked around to his two friends on either side as and blinked at them as if to acknowledge them. 

Well,PTL,  Fredster remains alive and doing well.  I know that our Lord gives us many little miracles here on the farm.  Fredster's return to health was not through anything we did but it was of God. Thank you Lord for the years with Fredster and your tender loving mercies to give us these bonus days with his vigor restored.  That you have given us the privilege to tend these animals on your land.  Amen
Here's Fredster next to his bud, CocoaPuffs