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Saying Good-bye to a Friend.

On the Farm . . . what's happening this week

Some new animals joined our farm over the holiday break. Aidan acquired a registered Grand Champion Red Broken (or spotted) male rabbit along with two young solid red does or females from Missouri. He is happy with his purchase of “Warhead” who will be the foundation of his breeding line. During the long drive to Missouri, he decided the name of his business will be Boingo Rabbitry. Boingo is a character in the animated movie “Hoodwinked” and also describes the perceived noise a rabbit’s hop would make if it made noise - in a silly way that appeals to Aidan.

Next to join were a pony and two pony crosses – a total of three, a reminder that Marlee doesn’t do anything “little.” They came from Bill’s dad’s farm. Bob, who is now living in an assisted living center, had several horses on his farm, and Bill’s sister Cindy spends lots of time caring for them. These three, Peachy, Izzy and Shadow, were kind of the outcasts and just Marlee’s size, so it seemed like a match.

Everyone is settling in, and we are learning alongside the kids how to care for rabbits and talk horse. Neigh, nicker, nicker!

January is here and that means 2016 CSA Shares are on sale. I’ve been busy updating our website, making marketing materials, and organizing delivery sites.

It's still a slower time for us. That is good in many ways but hard in others. Sometimes the slower pace combined with the holidays and the gray days of the season give me more time than I’d like to feel sorry for myself about my dad’s death almost two years ago. I find myself missing him. He loved the beauty of horses, and I’d love to share Marlee’s excitement with him. I want to hear him laugh again and hold his hand. I know it's important to feel my grief, but I get impatient with myself. I want to be past it. I want to move on. I’m told that doesn’t really happen. It can’t when you lose someone who was instrumental in your life. The loss always remains. It seems my challenge is acceptance of life . . . and the inevitable death of important people that comes with it.

This winter we planted several types of lettuce trying to find a couple that might be more cold hardy than others we’ve tried. Many are not performing well. Yesterday when Bill and I were in the hoophouse, I was face to face with the brown-tipped lettuce, and I was angry with myself for planting them instead of saving the space for a proven crop. I was short with Bill and generally unpleasant.

Then I received a text saying a dear family friend’s husband had passed away. I was brought up short. Mike was a veteran of the Vietnam War and suffered from Agent Orange exposure. He was in hospice so his death wasn’t a surprise, but still it was. As I thought about his family together in the hospital, my anger over the lettuce turned to sadness for them. They have been going through so much. The day-to-day ups and downs of looking after him as his body deteriorated were challenging. How hard it must be to put everything you have into caring for someone while knowing the result will be your loss. And yet how easy. Those arms holding you, that smile that makes you feel just right, that comfort of knowing that person is there for you. I know they're relieved he isn’t experiencing any more pain, but they're also heartbroken. It hurt us, their friends, to know they are now experiencing the harsh realities of that loss.

How hard it is to let people go. How hard it is to keep going. How hard it is to care about anything else. But go on, life does. Decisions have to be made, meals eaten, messes organized. But right now, right now, it feels like time to think about the important people in our lives. And to remember those who are no longer with us. How lucky we are to have had them in our lives. RIP Mike.

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