As I sit here in my dining room, surrounded on all sides by stacks of homemade soap that need wrapping, in a an old farmhouse that is much too cold for morning comfort, favoring a thumb and an eye that both got the bad end of my lye pot, I can hear a young buckling goat, the one that will never stay in the fence, dancing on the metal roof of the well-house. I check outside and see that Finland, an aged whether (castrated male goat) looks to be doing okay, and I feel blessed that God holds me and my small farm in his hands and answers prayers…often before they are even asked.
Last night as I was feeding the animals, running a little behind as usual, I put Caritas’s (my thoroughbred) grain in his pan and walked off. I made a mental note to myself that I needed to fix the fence very soon so that the male goats that live with the horses could not get into Caritas’s feeding paddock and bother him for his grain. Just when I turned my back to start getting hay, I heard Finland (aka Finny) scream and I turned around to see Caritas lifting all 200 pounds of Finny into the air by his neck and then slamming him to the ground. I yelled at Caritas, who let go of Finny and went back to his grain as if nothing unusual had just happened.
I helped Finny to his feet and he was shaking. His right eye had blood coming out of it and both front legs seemed to not be working right. I couldn’t get him to move, so I began thinking about who I could call to come and shoot him. He seemed to be in so much pain. But as I stayed with him and helped him calm down, and checked him all over for injuries, I was finally able to get him moved out of Carita’s paddock and back to the pasture. I put a goat coat on him since he was shivering so bad and realized he must be in shock, and it might just be adrenaline that was enabling him to walk. At this point he still wouldn’t move, and was lifting one front leg off the ground and then the other. I was convinced they were broken, but I couldn’t feel any breaks.
I kissed him and hugged him and said a prayer for him and then left for Antonya’s very last obedience class that we were going to be late for. We made it to the class just one minute late and Tonya aced her test, thankfully.
When I got home, I went out to the pasture in the dark, expecting the worst, but was shocked to see Finny come up to the fence from his shed when I called for him. His eye had stopped bleeding and was still in its socket. I really don’t know why his eye was bloody. Caritas picked him up by his neck, not his eye, so I guess it was the pressure from being slammed on the ground that caused the bleeding.This morning, I went out to check on Finny and he and his friends were out in the overgrowth area munching blackberry briers. He seemed happy to see me and let me adjust his jacket and take a few pictures.
What a close call for Finny. A few days earlier I had a close call myself. I was not wearing safety goggles and managed to splash lye from the lye pot into my eye. I had gotten sodium hydroxide in my eye at work one time and they took me to the hospital and tortured me, after which I was fine. I figured I could stay at home be the master of my own torture session, so that is what I did. I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed some more. Between the water and the lye, I was convinced that if I fell asleep that night my eye would dissolve right out of it’s socket. I woke up the next morning with my eyelid glued shut, but the eye was still where it was supposed to be and in good working condition.
With the Christmas season bearing down upon up us, tight on the heels of a presidential election most people would just as soon forget, it’s easy to lose sight of how truly blessed we really are, and instead focus on things in our life that are not going right. It’s easy to get depressed this time of year by a lack of money to buy gifts, pay high electric bills, and cook elaborate family meals. Some of us are lonely… family and friends live so far apart and everyone is always busy. It’s hard to be happy when it’s 20 degrees outside and not much warmer inside. It’s easy to let hours and days of depressed thoughts turn into weeks and then months, and then years. But today, I am going to focus on everything GOOD in my life. Just taking 5 minutes aside, I made a list of blessings in my life that fills up an entire page. Even some of the negative things have turned out to be blessings in disguise. I am beginning to think that everything is a blessing in some way or another. Me and Finny both value our eyesight and our lives, quite a bit more this morning.
I challenge each of you to have bigger eyes to see the good things in your lives, and smaller eyes to see the bad. Let’s make this Christmas season the best ever. I plan to post happy Christmas happenings, here on the farm and elsewhere,
and would love to hear your happy Christmas stories too. Would you like to guest post on this blog? I can’t offer money, just a moment of fame on this very new blog. Please contact me if you have a post you’d like me to share.
Until another day, my friends.
Peace be with you.