Tuesday, February 15, 2011

On a Bad Day, I Always Remember...

Hey everyone.  I'm sorry I missed you earlier today.  I've had a couple of bad days.  I'll try not to burden you with too much of it, though.

I've got a plumbing problem at my house in town.  It goes back to when I had a new gas pack installed.  They had to take out my main drain line under the house to get the old furnace out.  When they put the drain line back in...well, the plumbing hasn't been the same since.  I found out the old pipes were really unhappy yesterday...just in time for Valentine's Day! 

I'm thinking of applying the "Three Strikes You're Out" rule with Cupid.  Last year on Valentine's Day, my pet rabbit, Jolly, died.  If next year things don't start looking better on Valentine's Day, The Cherub with the Bow and Arrow may be getting his pink slip from me!  At this point, I'd just settle for a mundane Valentine's Day!

Yes, Bart took me out to dinner last night.  He brought me a pot of purple calla lillies.  He apparently has faith I'll be better with them than I was with the orchid last year.  He also gave me a little bouquet cake.  He did just fine, folks...especially for a man who isn't good at romance.  It's not his fault about the bad days.

Then, today, Ruthie called me to look at Tar's expensive imported hay.  Tar can't eat the hay that grows around here.  It packs up in his colon and makes him colic.  So, what he can eat has to be hauled in from out of state.  RW, my mentor, brought me a load in January. 

I've had that hay stacked and stored under a tarp since then.  I was finishing some other hay I'd had stored for Tar, first.  Today, Ruthie pulled back the tarp and all of that new hay was molded.  Oh no! That's really bad.  We're talking about a lot of money here.

Looks like with the last snow and the four inches of rain we've gotten recently, the moisture seeped in through the seems of the tarp and under some patches.  Crap!  It's no one's fault but it still sucks.  When I've got some help here tomorrow, we'll have to unstack the hay and see if the sun will help salvage some of it. Tomorrow?  If it's so bad, why not today? 

It's Tuesday, so I didn't have any help this afternoon.  Poor Ruthie stayed an hour late and almost missed her class trying to help me with what we could do today.  And, since my life is never simple, I have to break down the round pen to have a place to unstack the hay to. 

A round pen is a series of corral panels that are portable and can be put together with metal pins to make a temporary place for horses to be exercised or kept.  The round pen I have set up is about 15 panels.  They aren't terribly heavy, maybe 75 lbs each.  But, they are bulky  measuring about 5' x 10' each. 

Taking the round pen down myself this afternoon would have been a real task. I could have done it, but did it make sense to do it by myself?  Would it make any difference?

In reality, I knew I wouldn't save any more hay any faster doing all of work by myself this afternoon. At times like these I try to imagine what my mentor, RW, would advise me to do.  I knew waiting until tomorrow would be his advice.  "You're not going to save any more hay doing it by yourself, than you'll save tomorrow with some help."  I can hear his voice in my mind, even as I type.

Now, you know what's on tomorrow's agenda when Rose and Dod get here.  It will still take all three of us at least two or three hours.  Today, Ruthie and I took the tarp off of the stack and let the sun dry it where it stood.

I actually cried over it, privately of course.  Shhh!  I am not a big crier.  It makes me very angry with myself when I get that weak. Others can cry and they aren't weak in my mind.  If I cry, it's a whole other story.  I lose all patience and respect for myself.  Usually, it takes a lot to make me cry.  But, this was literally the straw that broke the cowgirl's back today.

I occassionally get in what I call a Murphy's Law Cycle.  Everyone remember Murphy's Law?  Murphy's Law states:  Whatever can go wrong will go wrong.  Every so often, I have a rash of Murphy's Law decend upon me.  If this continues tomorrow, I think I may definately be in a cycle.  During those times, I remember my Aunt Virginia.

Aunt Virginia and Uncle Tom are gone from this Earth now.  They were my grandparents' best friends and my mother's godparents. They were extraordinary people.  They traveled extensively.  They were very intelligent, yet down to earth and very easy to talk to.  They were married as teenagers and remained in love until death parted them.

Their lives were not easy though.  Their lives were far from easy despite all of their good fortune.  They lost two children.  One shortly after birth and one as a toddler. They had very little family outside of each other.

Uncle Tom proceeded Aunt Virginia in death. He had lived to be quite old and as happens when you are old, all of your friends and family tend to have already died.  There were a lot of people at his funeral, but almost no family. 

My parents, my then-husband, my grandfather who had Alzheimer's, and I sat with Aunt Virginia at her request.  We were her only family.  We were the only ones in the family section with her.

Before we went into the church with her for Uncle Tom's funeral--the man to whom she had been married since she was 16 years old--she did not cry.  Aunt Virginia did not ascend the steps of her church in tears.  Aunt Virginia held my hand on one side and my mother's on the other and told us, "I am so thankful I had him for so long.  I am so thankful."

This was a woman with no biological family left.  This was a woman who'd lost her children.  This was a woman burying the love of her life and she was thankful.  How could I ever have another ungrateful moment in my life with an example like Aunt Virginia?

So, on days like today, when I feel like Murphy's Law is catching up with me,  I think of her.  After I had my cry.  After I got my wits about me with a plan of what to do about the plumbing and the hay, I thought of Aunt Virginia.

Nothing that's happening to me compares to what happened to her.  How can I let myelf get so upset? On bad days, I always remember Aunt Virginia.  I pull myself up by my own boot straps.  I remember to be grateful for what I have.

I am grateful there will be people here to help me with the hay tomorrow.  I'm grateful my homeowner's insurance will likely pay for the damage to my plumbing if the HVAC folks won't make it right.  I am grateful Bart came to help me with evening chores tonight-- after I'd litearlly been sick to my stomach with stress today.

I am grateful Ruthie stayed helping me until I made her leave so she wouldn't miss her class.  I am grateful for RW's voice of reason that's always in my mind at these times on the farm.

I am grateful for all that I have been given in this life and all of the people who've taught me lessons, like Aunt Virginia.  Thank you Aunt Virginia for always reminding me what's important...to be grateful in all things and at all times.

Good night everyone.  If you don't hear from me tomorrow it's because I'm salvaging hay.  Thanks for reading.

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