Friday, December 16, 2016

Colder Than Cold!

It's cold outside!

As I write this it is Thursday, noontime and the thermometer reads 10 degrees.
Add to that 20 to 30 mph winds (constant)
and you get something that feels like zero degrees (Fahrenheit)!

If perhaps I have given you a romantic impression of life on a farm...
here is a little reality check.

We were out of bed, dressed in multiple layers and out to do first feeding by 5 AM.
By 6:15  everyone had been fed, waters changed, and poop scooped.
 Hay had been thrown down from the hayloft to fill the feed room.

It would be wonderful to just sit by the fire while the winds whistle all day.
The thing is... it's days like this that require more frequent visits to check on the animals.

I feed hay more often (which requires more frequent poop clean-up)
so that everyone has enough fuel for their internal furnaces...
as animals rely upon their metabolism to keep warm in this weather.

Chicken waters get changed again in the afternoon
because wild birds become winter squatters in the henhouse (seeking warmth and food)
and in exchange poop in the waterers.
(I think we need to discuss this matter.)

The amazing thing about winter is that no matter how harsh the weather,
the animals seem to tolerate it better than they do the heat of summer.
(And truth be told, I do as well!)


On another subject....

Every time that I leave our farm and head to the city,
I pass this little house along the way.

It's always been a curiosity to me...
this cute little house.
It's lines make me think that it might have been a one-room school house in the past.

During warmer months, as I'd drive by, I would see it's owner...
an elderly, short and stout lady with pure white hair.
In the earlier years I would see her working around her yard,
keeping the weeds at bay...
or walking to the mailbox to check her daily delivery.
The last few years I would mostly see her sitting outside...
passing the day in the shade of her front porch,
her granny panties neatly hung to dry on a clothesline lining that porch.
Then this summer I noticed an Amish or Mennonite lady sitting with her each day
(a caretaker, I assumed).

A few weeks ago, a dumpster arrived at this bungalow;
several persons were moving the furniture out of the house.

The house now stands empty.
I assume the woman passed away.

It makes me sad...
sad that I never met this woman...
sad that I don't know her story. 
Sad, because I will never know if she was well-loved or if she is missed.
I hope her life was full...
I will miss seeing her...sitting on her porch.

And then I think to myself...
someday that will be me.

(See comment #3 for her story....Thanks!  kcchick!)


  1. That is a charming little place. It's funny how we get used to seeing things & people that we pass in life and then they go and it does make you wonder about them and their stories. It reiterates the fact that our life is a journey that does have an end and how important it is to be as happy as we can be and enjoy the moments in life. Gosh it does look cold where you are, keep warm and enjoy the weekend. Kind regards.

  2. What a beautiful lil' farm house. Isn't it amazing how something so everyday can become a part of your life? I hope she had many years of happiness and joy in that house. It looks like it would fit in quite nicely on your farm.
    Stay toasty!

  3. Bev, This little house was once indeed a school house where all the local children attending school. When it was sold sometime in the 1950's my great aunt and uncle Henry and Dora Fisher bought it and made it into a house. They raised their two sons there, Larry and Don Fisher. Uncle Hen had passed a good many years ago, but aunt Dora continued to stay living there,She was one of the kindest sweetest women that you would ever meet!!!!! She was 94 when she died a few months ago, she had bean to have a lot of health problems, but really want to stay in her house, hence the amish and Mennonite caregivers, but at the very end she got to bad, and they had to put her in a nursing home, she only lived for six more days!!!!! What a sad ending for a wonderful, thoughtful, caring woman!!!! Love you, Aunt Dora!!!!!

  4. Wow ... It's wonderful to hear this ladies story. What a marvellous age - She must have been very, very happy in her lovely little home and that is very nice indeed. Thanks to "kcchick" for telling her story because it certainly left me wondering about the lady.

  5. Cold for sure, -33 with the wind, here in northern Maine.I will be breaking into hubby's 5# sack of meal worms (Christmas present..he will never know) for the hens and mandarins.
    I have taken care of geriatric patients/ clients for 40 years and kcchick's story just struck home to me and want to thank her for sharing. Bev, I bet if you had of just stopped in she would of welcomed you and had a lot of great stories to tell you.

  6. Bev, it made me sad, too, that she had passed, and that you were sad you didn't know her. Sometimes I feel such a pang of, is it guilt? That I don't just stop and take the time to meet and know people. I would think, "Well, it might scare her/him if I just approach them out of the blue," etc., etc. Or I think I might get "caught" in a very long conversation and I have so much to do. Sigh.

    I read Shonda Rhimes' "Year of Yes" and I think she would have stopped to talk to this woman. She spent a year saying YES to things she would have normally not had the courage/time/inclination to do, and just by saying yes to them, her life opened and altered beyond her wildest dreams. I think I have something to learn from her, and I always learn something from you, Bev! THANK YOU!! Karla from Coal City, IL

  7. Cold in the Midwest too!! Have a great Christmas this weekend!

  8. What a beautiful story you told of the little house and the lady who lived there.
    It also warms my heart how much you love and care for your animals. Thank You.

  9. Wow! Aunt Dora. How sweet that she touched your life and you felt her good energy. It shows that we all touch someones life even if we dont know it. :}
    Stay warm everyone and I agree with you about feeling more comfortable in the winter then in the brutal summer heat.

  10. oh i just love meeting old people like that. i love hearing their stories. i wonder who will live in that house now? it's great that you found out about her. we are freezing here too and might be in for a major ice event. it gets bad on top of this mountain and i have a road trip to go on tomorrow so i am hoping it won't be bad. isn't tomorrow your big xmas party?

  11. I'm sure your charges appreciate your loving care and attention...Sammy looks like he'd rather be on the couch in front of the fire..
    I know that house...Glad you were able to find out the story that goes with it.Stay warm..Watch the ice tomorrow..xxoo

  12. What a beautiful post and fortunate that a reader was able to provide the story behind the woman you used to see. I ponder the same way when I see homes and people like that -- as well as to what my future holds. Hold tight to a beautiful life.

    Anna Galentine

  13. Thanks Bev, for telling us about the little house that you passed so often. I'd say that the lady had a good life and only had to spend the last 6 days away from her dear house. God Bless Aunt Dora and all who cared about her, including you Bev. Peace to you all and stay warm!

  14. Well, guess I'll go have a good cry now!!!Lol
    How sad...but I love the house.
    Oh, and your sheep look a bit pissed...Hahaa

  15. How amazing is it that one of your readers knows the woman who lived in that house! Glad you got the backstory afterall. Thanks for sharing the story - I am a people watcher and a little house admirer, always have been. Atleast she was able to live in her home until just days before the very end, and a nice long life at that.

  16. Awww . . . loved the white house/previous school house story . . .
    Sad though too . . .

  17. Thank you so much for writing this post--this is my grandma's house. I must say, you really captured my grandma. You should have stopped to meet her. She loved company and you would have gotten the chance to meet an amazing women with a fascinating life story. Grandma loved her home and would have been so "tickled" to know it was the feature of one of your blogs. Have you noticed her wisteria when it blooms? Beautiful.

    Grandma was one of a kind and many of my favorite memories of my childhood were spent with my pap and her, as well as my brother and cousins, in that little house. It was a house filled with love and her famous sugar cookies. Grandma loved her family and friends, to bake, to garden, her cats and shopping at the Share and Care.

    She is dearly loved and badly missed. She was a wonderful grandma. I hope to be half as kind and caring as she was to others. This has been a difficult past few months for her family--there is just an empty place without her.

    Thank you again for posting this blog. Such wonderful memories of a beautiful heart. If you would like to know more, she actually wrote a few stories about her life growing up that I would be happy to share with you.

  18. Oh Bev,,, how lovely to hear about 'Dora"... sounds like the lovely kind of woman we all want to be,, family focused and enjoyed her sweet little home.. and Thank you to kcchick and to anonymous for sharing their story of Dora with us.

  19. An American in TokyoDecember 19, 2016 at 2:41 AM

    What a wonderful story! And that two of Aunt Dora's relatives were able to share about her with you and us! =)


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