Sunday, January 18, 2015

It is a New Year, 2015

December 21, 2014 it walked in the door.  I never saw it coming but it knocked me on the floor.  I was so prepared, more decorating for the holidays than I had done in all the years we had lived here.  The Christmas rolls were in the fridge waiting for Christmas morning when I would bring them out for the final rise and then baked.  Some of our farm raised chicken was thawing which I was planning on making into chicken salad to put on the rolls. The next morning, I could not muster the strength to get out of the bed.  Mr. Bootsie to the rescue, he went to the barn lot and took care of my babies for me.  In a couple of days I felt as if I was bouncing back.  On the 27th, it showed it's ugly head once again and this time Mr. Bootsie could not get out of the bed.  I was strong enough to make my way to the barn lot and take care of the animals who depend on us.  During this time of year food and water is very important.

I found myself not doing very well before the New Year and I was sleeping most of the day.  Some way we balanced doing our chores but that was all.  No meals were being prepared.  Cereal became our friend, it was easy and quick.  I called our Doctor and yes, you should come in this afternoon.  After he checked out both of us, he presented a few small pieces of paper and told me the drug store was closed but go there in the morning and get the meds.  If there is no change in 3 days to call him and we would move to another direction but he felt we had what we needed.  Following his directions we could feel a little improvement in 3 days and felt he must have nailed the problem.

As I look back, 2014 has been a hard year.  Never did I think I would see the end of my brother's life and it would happen so quickly.  Some of his family came over for a farm day visit and he joined them. He always left with his hen fruit, I remember that day as if it were yesterday.  There were others here and I gave all of them eggs.   My brother was sitting in his car and I gave him a dozen eggs,  He smiled and said, "Thank you for the hen fruit, you will never know how I have enjoyed your eggs."  Mr. Bootsie had taken him on the cart so he could be with his family who had come to take pictures of their little one with our baby animals.  This was first time he had seen our operation.  He was always interested but  he fell in love with my Belle.  She had her first baby and was very protective of ones she did not know getting close to her baby; however, there was a sense that my brother was safe.  As my brother was driving away that beautiful, sunny afternoon I felt something in my body, an empty place.  We knew he was doing as good as he had in the past but today I felt Bubba would never return to Triple Creek Farm.

My Belle

Time marched on quickly and my brother's earthly journey ended.  I was away from the farm far more than I would have thought, my brother had children, grown grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  I  never thought I would have been the person he would start turning to.  I quickly found myself making food to take to the hospital/rehab center and receiving calls from him for what he wanted.  One day he called, "Do you have any tomatoes?" Yes.  "Do you have any mayonnaise?"   Yes, I have Duke's.  Joking I said to him, "I know what you want, I will bring it tomorrow."  I packed my cooler and off to the rehab center I went.  As my bubba was eating his tomato sandwich you could not measure the smile on his face.  He savored every bite.  I took a kitchen towel to catch the drippings,  but there were very few.  I used about half of the large brandywine tomato for the sandwich.  After eating the sandwich, Bubba asked for the knife and tomato, he began cutting up the tomato reaching for the Duke's he loaded the tomato.  I weighed the tomato before leaving home, Bubba had eaten over a pound of brandywine tomato.  When I left the rehab center that day, I knew I could not have done anything which would have made him any happier.

I was baking zucchini bread for him every couple of days, slicing and wrapping it so it would stay fresh.  He had plenty to share if he wanted.  I was asked to can snaps for him and his wife,  they were planning on eating these beans this winter.   I picked, cleaned and canned beans for him as he told me he did not enjoy the grocery store beans like the ones I canned.

I had been going to the hospital which put us on the  road 2 hours every day we went, also, taking care of my animals and garden.  I kept picking the garden so it would keep producing.  I was feeding string beans to the goats, tomatoes to the chickens and my compost pile was busy with fresh produce.  I was milking the goats and making cheese.  I never gave up all summer.  I was so pleased my cucumbers did not have a good crop year because I always made pickles for Bubba.

I stopped milking the goats around the first of October.  No more cheese to be made.  I was thinking this is one job I am glad to have over.  If I sit down, I would fall asleep.  If we went anywhere I was like a baby in the car, I would go to sleep.  It got to the point I really was not doing a good job of making meals for us.  I went through the motion and put something on the table.  I started doubting myself all of the time.  I never once thought I could be worn out.  Well, after 2 weeks of getting a lot of rest, I have realized just how worn out I was.  I have never said never in my life but this could change in the future.  Fatigue is not my friend, I was the one who baked all of the bread we ate, I cooked all of our meals, planted the garden and started all of my plants from seed.

Well, there may be less garden, because I have learned I can only use so much.  This is my first start in my program to take care of myself.  But after being sick for 3 weeks and still working on getting really well, I know I am the only work horse I have and time has come for me to start taking care of myself.

At this time I am the only member of my Happy Hallow family who is still alive.  I have stood by and watched my family slip away, one by one.  But I have my memories and some of them are already shared with you.  I just hope there is time for more sharing, as I work to keep my farm up and moving forward.  Yes. it is a new year!!!

My Brother, Bubba