Happy New Year,
I thought it fitting to share an excerpt from Finding My Way to Moose River Farm about the end of a typical day. Before saying goodbye to the old and embracing the new I wanted to acknowledge what a blessing living here truly is. The simple act of falling asleep, knowing that all creatures are safe and sound from the barn to our bed and many places in between is one of my greatest comforts So come along as I 'tuck in' my animal family on a cold winter's night.
All is well…
The late evening is my favorite time to visit with the horses and goats in the barn. After dinner I have a tendency to fall asleep in an overstuffed leather chair with at least three dogs piled on top of me. Sometimes it is as late as before I wake up and head out to the barn. While pulling on my winter ‘uniform’ that consists of a warm jacket, wool hat and gloves, the Westies, (Puppy Play), make one more visit to the yard to take care of their bedtime business. They return to the house quickly just as I am slipping my feet back into barn boots. A blast of cold air assaults my face as I close the back door behind me.
This time Fiona, (No More Pigs and More About Fiona), isn’t with me. During the winter, she goes to bed early, around in the afternoon. At that time she comes in from her last visit to the barn glistening with snowflakes that melt quickly when she enters the warm house. She heads for her crate that is in the same room where Rosemary, (Animals in the Classroom), is sleeping on her electric heating pad. Fiona gets right into her bed and begins scratching at the assortment of ripped saddle pads, blankets and towels. All of these items were once whole, but Fiona enjoys tearing them up with her strong snout and teeth. Eventually she lies down satisfied with the nest she has made.
“Umph,” is the last syllable that she speaks. Soon her deep breathing signifies that she is fast asleep. When the temperature dips to bitter cold, I stop in to cover her with an extra blanket.
On my way to the barn I glance up at the millions of stars that twinkle so brilliantly in the black
Adirondack sky. The crunchy snow below my feet sparkles in
harmony with the glowing stars. Despite
the bitter cold, it is a beautiful night.
At the tackroom door I stomp my feet to eliminate snow before I turn the knob and enter the heated space. The horses hear me coming and begin to whinny and nicker in anticipation of my visit. I grab several carrots from the refrigerator and open another door into the cold barn. The aisle floods with light when I flip on the switch. Then I apologize when every head sticking out to greet me squints and blinks excessively from the glare. Starting with Target and working my way clockwise I stop at each stall and offer a piece of carrot to the occupant. Next, I deliver one flake of hay to each horse as a snack. Luckily, I have several buckets of water on reserve in the tackroom and use them to top off the heated buckets hanging inside the stalls. That way I don’t have to waste time dragging the hose out of the tackroom and then draining it carefully after use.
For the final time today, (or first time, if you consider what time it is), I visit each stall with the wheelbarrow and a pitchfork to remove any manure produced since dinner, six hours ago.
Before shutting off the lights I divide one flake of hay for the three goats and offer each of them an apple cinnamon horse treat.
“G’night goaties! G’night horsy boys and girls,” I whisper on my way out the front of the barn. Light glowing from the living room windows beckons me back toward the warm interior of the house. Once inside I peel off my uniform and head up to bed. On the way I pick up our long haired Dachshund puppy, Hayden, (Finding Hayden), and turn off all the lights.
“Vrrr, rdddr, frd d fr,” Hayden sighs. I carry him in complete darkness up the stairs with Nina and
in tow to our bedroom on the second floor.
Sixteen hours ago my day began here.
I place Hayden and
on the bed and head to the bathroom to
change. Thin cotton pajamas replace my
fleece riding tights and wool sweater.
With face washed and teeth brushed I make my way to the bed in the
dark. Climbing into the flannel sheets
is a signal to Huxley, (Welcome Huxley), (who went to bed with Rod three hours earlier), to climb
in with me and press his whole toasty body against my chest. Niles
curls up on the edge of Rod’s pillow and above my head. Nina jumps up on the bed and pushes her way
under the sheets to her assigned spot between Rod’s feet. The puppy, too hairy to find comfort under
the sheets lies on his back against Rod’s leg and sighs. Niles
As I drift off to sleep my mind makes a mental inventory of our family and their whereabouts at the moment. Satisfied that everybody is safe, I allow myself to let go and fall into a deep sleep. Eventually, my breathing synchronizes with the rhythm of Moose River Farm. In that rhythm there is a promise, (Summer's Promise), that all is well. All is well…
|Good night Moose River Farm!|
|Happy New Year!|