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Monday, April 28, 2014

End of an Era

The last couple of weeks have been full and interesting. There's been a spring blizzard where the snow struck the valley ground and melted, almost immediately upon impact, but hung around on upper levels.

There have been lashings of rain where I couldn't see much in front of me and the roads were three inches deep in water. There's been sunshine, grass growing, the earth looks greener and flowers are both blooming and spent. In other words, it looks like spring! However, just in case I've grown accustomed to the warmer temps, spring is teasing with frost bitten nights that are precluded by dragging in of plants, small and large. 
The hummingbird feeder was put out 1 April and on Easter Sunday the first bird arrived. Since then, there have been three and more are expected. "Experts" say, "Put out feeders 1 May" but they are wrong and here's proof positive. I also keep feeders up until end of September because the humming birds like to stay later than first of September.
Lots of turkeys have been spotted; one day a rafter of more than two dozen and today, seven. Ben Franklin wanted to make the wild turkey our national bird but the vote went to a carrion bird, the American bald eagle. 
I managed to get a, blurry, photo of turkeys flying across the road...always an amazing sight!
M R Dks! 
This spring has been the most poignant, bittersweet of any since I've lived here, or, any I can remember. Last spring, the first after Dave's death, surely was the same but I can't remember; that entire first year is such a blur and, unlike the ducks, I barely kept my head above water. No one died so I must have done my job as a steward but, in order to gather any inkling of anything that happened, I have to refer to this blog. It's the only memory I have of that first year. 
Regular readers know what an extremely bitter and difficult winter I had; February and March were brutal in the extreme with low temps, blizzards, high winds and it took all the physical strength I had to plow through. This winter made a bitter pill easier to swallow; the sheep and alpacas have been given to someone who will care for them as I or any other good steward should. 
One alpaca was gathered in with the sheep while the other three were put into the back of the truck. They only had a couple of hours journey and the new owners report everyone is fine and have recovered nicely from their ordeal. I was strong and didn't keep even one ewe, not even Carly's sister because I felt she'd be better off with her flock. They've been together close to twenty years and it would be upsetting to separate them. Carly was separated only because it was her choice. She wandered up the driveway, into the yard and one day announced, "Mom, I'm home!" She lived in the yard for the last few years of her life and loved the extra attention and food.
It's the end of an era at Thistle Cove Farm. Yes, I did cry when they left but I know the new owners are good stewards and gave me permission to visit.  It's strange, to look over the pasture and not see sheep or alpacas; counting noses doesn't take as much time these days. 

Many thanks to you who have prayed for my Beloved Sistah, Stephanie. She goes for tests and we're hopeful a determination will be made that will provide direction for new meds. She's holding up, praying and, within her new limitations, trying to live a normal life. We're all still praying for a full and complete recovery; please, won't you join us in prayer?

God willing, there are more changes coming, In His time and will; this I accept. Bless you for reading, and if you pray or comment, bless you for that as well. If you want to send a PM, it will be gratefully accepted and responded to; if not, that's fine as well. As time permits, I will be around to visit, keep the kettle on and brownies made, you are loved.

Blessings ~ good home for sheep and alpacas ~ sunshine ~ turkeys ~ mallards ~ hummingbirds ~ gentle rain ~ spring blizzard ~ change ~

44 comments:

kathyinozarks said...

changes are always so hard-hugs-prayes co ming your way for your sister

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

You always paint such a picture with your words...almost like being there on the farm. I know it must be strange to see the sheep go, but it is good you know they are being cared for, and you can stop by for a visit, if you like. Life is always changing and evolving...usually much faster than I'd like!

Sparky @ My Thoughts Exactly said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. I can feel how hard this is through your eloquently written words. It's OK Sandra. You're doing the right thing. God must be telling you, "It's time to move on my child. It's time to heal. Let me hold you for awhile." I keep praying that someone will buy the farm. When it's time, you'll know it.
I hope you're not going to give up blogging. We would all miss hearing your thoughts very much.
God bless. xx

Catherine said...

You are taking your changes with courage and grace. You faith will carry you.
I will pray for you and your sister.
I will pray for your heart to be less burdened and for brighter days ahead for you.
Blessings dear, Catherine xo

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

I am glad that you are able to lighten your load, but sorry for the tears. Your animals are so well cared for and loved.

Tea and brownies? I'll be right over.

Praying for you, friend.

Fondly,
Glenda

NanaDiana said...

Oh- That must have been so bittersweet to see an end to that which you have loved and nurtured. It is the path of our life, isn't it? Birthing (a person, an idea, a dream) and then seeing it grow and ultimately move on to a different level than we expected. Your time was well spent and your time and effort paid off-just maybe not in the way you were expecting.

God bless you AND I will pray for your sister and a healing for her- xo Diana

dori said...

Hallo, dear Thistle, this was a brave and hard decision. Catherina and Glenda and the other friends are right.

You said good bye to very beautiful and well cared animal-friends. You gave them all energy you had and now you had the good energy to give them into good hands and into God's hands.

I heared about new storms in the Middle West - such hard times nowadays!

Best whishes for your sister!

And I want to say:God has thousand good new ideas for you!!!!!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

So they bought the farm, that is good news. No one likes change and will be praying for you along with my continued prayer for your sister.
((HUGS))

Pom Pom said...

You're a strong girl.

Blackberry Lane said...

Change is so very hard. I continue to remember you and your sister in prayer, Sandra. May God continue to give you strength and wisdom.

Lynne said...

Huge change . . . the counting noses grabbed at my heart. As I understand . . . the farm is still yours and the animals have moved to a new home? I imagine this will soften some of your responsibility and hard work and a wise first step as you look on down the road. I hope the doggies are still warming your toes at night.

My caring and prayers continue for you . . . and for your sister too . . .

Country Gal said...

Lo many changes for you , I to felt my heart drop when you wrote no more counting noses . I am praying all the other changes in your world are positive ones .

Quinn said...

Oh Sandra, I feel for you, I really do. Sometimes even the best decisions - better than we could have hoped to arrange, even - are just plain painful.
Sending a hug to you, and to your sister also. And I hope and pray other decisions will be easier on the heart.

Buttons said...

Oh Sandra I do understand how hard this must have been but it is a good thing and you kept them all together and it is wonderful that you could do that. I am crying as I am pretty sure I know this has to hurt no matter how much it had to be done. HUGS HUGS B

Deborah Montgomery said...

So sorry for your loss; you have given your animals a very good home it sounds like. I will be praying for you and your sister.

CelestinaMarie@SouthernDayDreams said...

Hi Sandra, so bittersweet my friend but your courage and strength come right through your words. Your animals will have a good home that you sent them off too. That is being a good steward.
Changes are certain in life isn't it??

So glad your sister is holding up. Prayers for her and you going forward. God is with you and HIS will be done!!

Enjoy the springtime and seeing the hummers at the feeder. I have not seen ours yet, but I know they are coming.

Hugs and Blessings!!

Lisa Richards said...

What an adjustment it is to let go of animals. Especially when you've had them for so long. May God hold you as you continue with the changes that are inevitable for those of us who find ourselves living a new life alone. Change is hard for this old dog, but God has new things ahead!

Vicki W said...

I'm glad you found such a good home for your friends!

annie said...

Bless your heart, you have been more than a steward to them, more like a "Mom". Sending hugs and prayers for you and your sister. I have the utmost respect for you, and the good you have done. God Bless You!

Lindah said...

Change is hard. Even good change is hard. It's good to know that you can visit your flock, even if you don't. Your sister is in my prayers. And you, too!

Romi C said...

Thank you for your comment in my blog.

I am praying with you.

GretchenJoanna said...

God bless you, Dear. I'm glad you have the will to write about all the changes, and bring us all into your world. It's heartening to hear how you have made use of the history of your life as told in your old blog posts - and I'm sure that just writing down the days helps process all that goes on.
I wish I could come and eat a brownie with you!

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Dearest Sandra:

We do, at least to a degree for one can never be that other person, empathise with all that you write here and how you must feel as everything around you begins to change.

But we believe you to be a strong person and with that certainty we know that you will come through all that even now lies ahead. The future will be very different but we are sure that it too will brings its rewards.

Meanwhile be assured that you are, as always, in our thoughts and prayers.

Lynn said...

I'm glad that you have good stewards to take up your stewardship with your gorgeous animals, we all know this has had to be difficult but can there be some consolation in them (new stewards). Prayers for your Stephanie...and my thoughts are with you too (thank you for the info on the Jerusalem donkey, interesting)

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Dearest Sandra ~ You are such a strong lady and I'm sure letting go of your animal family was hard to do. Bless your heart!

I know what you mean about the first year after your husband's leaving this planet for his heavenly home, being a blur. We do what we have to do to get along. I'm sure he's very proud of you and rooting for you too, as you walk by faith.

You and your sister are in my prayers.

Love and hugs to you ~ FlowerLady

KathyB. said...

It is bittersweet for me to read this because I have been reading your blog long before I began blogging and know how precious your sheep are to you. So many changes are needful , but still a bit sad. Knowing you are still very vigorous and interested in all God has in store for you though assures me you have many new adventures to come. Let the new adventures begin !

Nancy's Notes said...

I admire your strength! Will be thinking and praying for you, take care~

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

You have gone through so many difficult times and hard changes..may God continue to strengthen you ! :)

La Petite Gallery said...

Sandra, I'll pray for her. Sounds like you have so much on your plate. That farm is a lot to handle.
My Daughter and I visit an alpaca
farm the other side of town. They are sweet animals.
I think you are a wise Lady. Big hug Sandy.
yvonne

Karen said...

Prayers for your sister, and for you as you navigate these new waters. You have done a fine job stewarding the animals and have put them in competent hands as you move forward.

When one door closes, another opens... we look forward to your journey, and perhaps less farm work on the horizon!!...

Debbie Huffaker said...

Your flowers are beautiful. I would LOVE to live on a farm. My Mamaw and Papaw had a small one when I was growing up and I so much enjoyed staying there (except, when they killed hogs). I've prayed for your sister for healing and peace and comfort!

Andrea Ostapovitch said...

I hope the new season speeds yours and your sister's healing. I love your precious farm, and believe you are in one of the best places in the world to heal, and love a beautiful life.
Hugs,
Andrea

Tara Dillard said...

Who is stewarding whom?

The land is tangible in its stewardship of humans.

Livestock too.

Cannot imagine the grief of stewarding your flock into new hands. But we take that on at the front end of any pet/livestock relationship. Joy/pain together.

Have you read Founding Fathers? How their agrarian life shaped the Constitution & more.....

XO T

Jill Cooper said...

You always have my prayers Sandra and now for your sister also. It must have been hard to see your flock go - somewhat like when our children go out into the world on their own. I'm glad you found a good new home for them. As someone else said - it's time for new adventures. Lots of hugs!

Meegan, Dreaming in the Gloaming said...

Sandra, I'm praying for your sister and for you. None of this can be easy for you. Just reading this post made me tear up as I remembered our wonderful visit with you and Dave at Thistle Cove. There is something magical about that place. Or maybe your love for it made it seem magical. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Sending love! Meegan

Woman Seeking Center said...

Sandra,

Releasing the knots and unraveling each thread of the "life~tapestry" you created on the farm with the love of your life takes a strength I can not imagine. Yet you do so with gentle (heartbroken) grace. I think your husband would be proud of your strength as you make these choices and changes...

The wonderful (tho difficult at times) truth is that even as each pulled thread falls at your feet, the memories of everything you built there, shared there, loved there will be yours forever.

Issy

Dawn González said...

Still praying for you and yours. Change can be so very hard.
Love to you, friend.

Carol said...

Dear Sandra, what a choice to make! But you did it gracefully and with good intentions and your animals are safe and loved once again. You are pretty well the most courageous woman I know. Blessings to you and yours, especially Stephanie. You are a rock, and an inspiration to me and I'm sure to all your readers. Go well!

Hilary said...

My heart aches for you......I know what you are talking about......it resonates with me so much. Since my head injury 2 and a half years ago, my life has changed. I need to give up things that I never thought I would have to. With getting older, and just life in general, times evolve. we don't always see it coming. And sometimes, even though right, change is difficult. I am thinking of you. wondering, what is next for you?

Gert said...

Sandra, My heart goes out to you. How difficult this choice had to be, but it will lead to new adventures, with God at your side all the way. My prayers are with you and for your sister!

Blessings,
Gert

LesleyAnn said...

Many prayers for you, your friend Stephanie and for Thistle Cove Farm.

God will continue to bless you. You are in my prayers.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Kathy, thank you and yes, it's hard but it's also time.

Linda, it was strange but they sheep and 'pacas have a great home; that helps me emotionally. Physically, it's a load of work off my back.

Sparky, you're so kind, thank you. It was hard but the right thing to do. I'm moving the farm name with me and will keep blogging at the new farm.

Catherine, thank you for your prayers and your visit; I am grateful for both gifts.

Glenda, thank you for your prayers; the animals and I are better off but it is the end of an era.

Diana, giving away the sheep was, especially, bittersweet but it's for the better for all of us.

Dori, the sheep and 'pacas have a great home and I feel good about giving them away. still sad though.

Debbie, no, haven't sold the farm yet, just gave away the sheep and 'pacas. good decision, but sad.

Pom, God is strong and I lean on Him...a LOT.

Mildred, this change is hard but it's also good.

Lynne, yes, I still own the farm but it's for sale; the sheep and 'pacas have moved to a new home. it's a good thing for all of us but bittersweet.

Country Gal, thank you and it's bittersweet but a good decision for all of us.

Quinn, it's a good decision but still sad; the animals have a good home and that's less work for me; all in all, a good thing all way 'round.

Buttons, it did need to be done and was a good decision but I still cried.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Deborah, thank you for your prayers; they are needed and appreciated.

Celestina, change is the only constant in life, other than Christ, He's the constant stability in life.

Lisa, I believe I can handle change as long as Jesus is with me.

Vicki, it was a hard decision but a good decision; still sad though.

Annie, it's a sad truth that I've been a better Mom to the animals than a lot of birth mothers.

Romi, thank you for your prayers and your visit; both are appreciated.

Gretchen, we are called to be transparent, are we not? Eventually, most everyone will be the one left behind; it's nice to know we're not alone.

Jane and Lance, not so strong am I but strong because I lean on Christ. without Him I have no strength at all. letting the sheep and 'pacas go to a new home was a good decision, for all of us but it was teary for me.

Donna said...

I am sorry that I haven't had a chance to visit and comment. DH's health issues have escalated and he's now in the hospital with PE. Time has been precious and will get more so.

I pray that you find strength and contentment with this new path you are forging. Yes, it is time for you to start a new chapter in your life. Grace and love to you, sweetie.

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