Random Paragraphs on Summer

This is my first full summer in Wisconsin in 30 some years. It is turning out as I remembered it, short and sweet, full of vividly colored flowers and nesting birds of all sizes. Family dinners outdoors are weekly events. There are gray, rainy days but that only makes it more amazing when the sun comes out and everything is watered and cool and green. Summer is my favorite season (as is spring, fall and winter).

We are no longer out in the trailer in the meadow. It was a tough time in some ways, but I’m going to remember all the amazing moments looking out the window at the real world. As we stayed on, the deer got used to our presence there and got back to their routines of grazing and play. I started recognizing the call of the red tail hawk and knew just where to look for him. The evening fog drifting in, the fireflies, the stillness as the birds stopped singing. Beautiful memories, all.

Play time
Leaving the meadow
Eventide

The garden. I had forgotten the satisfaction of seeing a plot of ground with nothing but stakes and strings turn into row after row of fresh green plants. All the lessons that come with a garden are coming back to mind, how everything has its time to mature and be ready for harvest, how neat edges and straight rows not only create order but are beautiful and functional, how good gardens take regular tending and lots of hours of work. A garden can be a metaphor for life itself – I always find myself thinking of that when I’m pulling weeds.

My least favorite part is “thinning”. I always end up planting small seeds, ones that are hard to see and handle, much too close together. If they germinate well and grow, I know they will have to be thinned out as they get bigger or they will not develop as they should. It’s painful to pull out perfectly good plants. It’s hard to decide which ones to leave and which to pluck. Again, I think of the many applications to life in general. There is wisdom to be learned in a garden.

Too many beet plants leave no room to grow. Which must go?

Christmas On Call

The blogging world is full of posts about Christmas, lights, trees, presents, the good of it and the bad of it.  None of that here. We spent the holiday with the lady horse doctor who was on call all weekend.  The best decoration we saw was not red and green but was best described as ROYGBIV.  It was a stormy drive up to Jacksonville and for the last hour we saw the most beautiful rainbow directly in front of us.  It was the most vivid, bright rainbow I have ever seen and it just kept getting better and better.  My pictures don’t do it justice but here it is…

the prettiest decoration we saw
the prettiest decoration we saw

Being on call for Dr. Julia means having to go everywhere with the vet truck and two cell phones just in case someone needs an emergency visit.  She got through Christmas Eve and the next morning with no calls. Finally,during the one celebratory dinner that we were invited to, the answering service finally found out she was the designated doctor and the calls started coming.  Off she went to help a suffering horse.

I say that she had to take the vet truck, but part of the challenge of the weekend was that her truck was in the shop getting wheel bearings replaced.  She borrowed a truck from one of the other docs and it had to go back to him the next morning.  So, for Friday morning’s calls she had to bear the indignity of driving around in “the Mary Kay car” as she calls it (no it’s not a pink Cadillac, It’s my gray Mazda with a small MK sticker in the back window…). And I got to come along.  We put on a couple hundred miles driving up to the Jekyll Island area to check out a horse with a swollen eye.  It was a sunny, warm day and the Georgia coast was stunning. I want to go back when I have time to stay. While I’m thinking about it, if anyone wants to help me start fund raising to get Dr. Julia a good truck that doesn’t break down every other week, let’s do it.

Sinus infections.  Yes, horses get them and they have a lot of sinuses in those long heads.  The next stop was to check out a horse with copious, foul smelling drainage coming out of it’s nose.  Dr. Weldon and Dr. Julia got to put a camera up this horse’s nostril and rule out a tumor/lesion, after which Dr. J. punched a hole into the sinus and irrigated it.  Not your average Christmas activity.  Not smelling at all like pine boughs and cinnamon.  It was gross.

See the little square over the sinus area where the hair has been shaved.
See the little square over the sinus area where the hair has been shaved.

numbing the area
numbing the area

working the large bore needle into the sinus to drain and irrigate
working the large bore needle into the sinus to drain and irrigate

looks brutal but it works (I've seen just about the same procedure done to humans)
looks brutal but it works (I’ve seen just about the same procedure done to humans)

This horse felt a lot better when she was done.  Really.

The next day when her own truck was back, Dr. J graciously allowed the husband to ride with her on morning calls and he found it very interesting. His only complaint was there weren’t any stops for food and it was way past lunch by the time she brought him back. She still had to do one more barn call up in Georgia.

What a great weekend it was.  I love spending time with my grown children, seeing what they do, what makes up their days. There is time to talk while we drive or fix meals together, or watch Master Chef episodes back to back.  I love to help with the housecleaning and dishwashing, I don’t mind sleeping on the couch, letting the dog out or feeding the cats.  It’s all good.

Sunday morning we threw our bags in the Mary Kay car and headed out into the fog toward home. Dr. J was standing at the door and there was a text on my phone, “I miss you already.” We waved and cried.  And those are the things that I will remember about Christmas on call.

(Order Mary Kay from me in 2015 and help fund a vet truck for a struggling horse doctor ... just sayin'.)
(Order Mary Kay from me in 2015 and help fund a vet truck for a struggling horse doctor … just sayin’.)

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