Winters are hard.
They are cold and windy, or at least they are supposed to be. We have been blessed with some very nice days this Winter. I really try to appreciate and use those days to my advantage but, at the same time, they really make me dread what is inevitably around the corner.
The cold and the wind.
With the colder Winter days, there are added chores when it comes to taking care of the menagerie of animals on this place. I love it when people tell me that they always have wanted a horse, and they romanticize the owning and caring for one. To these people, I say, "Pick the worst weather-middle of Winter when it is below freezing or middle of Summer when it is triple digits-then come and see me." The worse the weather, the harder the work and the longer you are outside in it. That is just the way it goes.
The other down side to Winter is the lack of daylight. It doesn't help me when it is 5:00pm and getting dark. I am already scheduling challenged and therefore I am not a fan of Day-light Savings Time. Plus, I love the sun. I love seeing it, feeling it. The sun is a good thing. Now, before you diagnose me with SAD (Seasonal affective disorder) you should know that I am a serious doubter. When the professionals came up with SAD, I thought, "Okay, here is another angle." Hasn't SAD been around for a long time? Didn't we used to call it the Winter Blues? I mean, as long as I can remember there has been Spring Fever, Right?
(Do not send me hateful comments or emails if you have or know of someone that has been diagnosed with SAD. Depression is a real thing, and I do live in TEXAS. Our Winters are a piece of cake compared to other parts of the World, and I know this. That is why I never want to have to leave this State, and having to leave is the only way that I will do it.)
While I am gearing up for some cold weather in the coming days, I am sad about something else. I lost a dear friend earlier this year, and for some reason these past few days she has really been on my mind. I miss her and that makes me sad. Now, not for one minute do I think she is missing me. She is with the LORD, and I am sure that it is a Glorious time for her. She is not sad.
My dear friend was 94 years old when she left me.
Yes, you read that correctly. 94 years old - Can you believe it?
What is even more amazing about her is all that she still did. She lived by herself. She enjoyed working in her yard. She hired some local boys to do the hard work, but she would be present to supervise and oversee everything they did. The sweetest thing was that they would pull a chair around the yard for her so that she could see and sit down if she needed to. They were very good to her, and I respect them for that. That is not something you typically see in High School kids.
She still did her own shopping, but she finally gave up her car and driving. She had some vision problems and made the decision on her own. One thing about her, once she locked in on something, that was it. She made the decision not to drive, and within a few weeks she sold her car, and then had plans to remodel her little garage so that it would be a nice gathering place for friends.
She never stopped planning for next year.
She taught me a lot of things, and I will never forget her, but what I have been missing the most is when she would give me a call, and if I wasn't here, she would leave me the same message.
"This is the City Girl calling the Country Girl. I guess you are still outside working. Call me when you come in and take a break."
You have to understand that I live outside the city limits of a "Two Horse" town, and she lived inside the city limits of a "One Horse" town. So to say that she was a "City Girl" was a little bit of a stretch, but I knew what she meant. She loved hearing what I had been doing, and she knew the names of my horses and what was going on with who. She knew what was being planted and if it was successful or not. Absolutely amazing mind and very sharp.
Her and her husband had also owned and operated a farm in their earlier years and I believe she still owned some of that farm when she passed away. She was the first to talk about how hard the work was, but she never really complained about having to do it. She told me once that she would drive the tractor and her husband would be in a cart behind her, harvesting (I can't remember what), and she would be hot and want to go in, so very gradually, she would increase the speed until he would be back there just throwing a fit. Then she would just laugh, enjoying the memory. I never met her husband. He was gone long before our friendship began, but I have no doubt that he had his hands full. She knew in the end, that all of that hard work had paid off and it was something that she spoke of fondly.
On the days when I would miss her call, I would come in and get her message and we would take a long break together. I would usually let her talk until she was finished. I never wanted to be the one to have to get off the phone. I felt like she talked with enough people that were busy and needed to go. I never wanted to be one of them. Most of the time we would talk for about an hour and a half. I would use the time to fold laundry.
You wouldn't believe how the laundry has piled up since I don't have those breaks to count on.
Anyway - that is how the story goes, and I miss those messages.
Until next time...
The Country Girl
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