triumph over trials

I hardly know how to express my joy of these past couple of weeks. My heart has nearly burst with pride in our boys; they’ve worked so hard to realize their goals. It has overflowed with appreciation for the Hubs, who shouldered the burden of transitioning the family dairy to the third generation. Opening our new facility is a triumph for each in equal measure.

Above all, I thank God for his faithfulness through three hundred and eight days of disruption on the heels of the raging fire which destroyed a milking facility. I could never  have imagined the tumult to follow as we were tested on every level imaginable. Time and again I wondered what would become of our dairy dreams.

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waiting impatiently

My impatient tendencies are no big secret, just ask the Hubs. Again last week this unfavorable characteristic was starkly illuminated. “Patience is a virtue,” Mrs. Danehy would admonish whenever one of her girls interrupted my piano lesson. Forty years on you might think I’d have it mastered? Nope. When my daughter-in-law reminds my granddaughter to put on her “patient pants,” I smile in empathy. I hope she learns more quickly than her GiGi.

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winter walk

Forget about the calendar. Winter is the longest season. A North Country winter is custom made waiting. Just as most of nature slumbers through the cold, we can’t seem to help ourselves from snuggling into flannel sheets earlier and earlier as daylight hours shrink. I simultaneously look forward to and dread winter each year, an internal tug-of-war once revealed in “Winter’s Gift.

But winter and I have made friends / For all of the reasons that defy friendships / To develop in spite of our differences
I’ve learned to accept her moodiness / And to ignore her bad behavior because / On her good days she is simply stellar

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remembering my dad

Today marks the tenth anniversary of my dad’s passing. I can still see him so clearly; it seems impossible a decade has passed. I’m reminded of his impact in large and small ways. Career decisions. Problem solving strategies. Likes and dislikes. Phobias and passions. Familiar characteristics reveal like trail markers around the bend as Dad’s sense of humor, abilities, and attributes present in grandchildren and great-grands alike. I am glad the generations continue to bear witness to my dad.

This morning I came across the video I made after dad’s memorial service. I slipped it into the DVD drive and slid back in time to a tiny Adirondack church packed tight with family and friends. The service was a rich and meaningful celebration of his life. My favorite part was when his grandchildren performed a heartfelt rendition of I’ll Fly Away, their voices raised on the wings of the hope he’d professed. I smiled, cherishing the distinct sounds of my children’s voices in the beautiful chorus.
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rv recon

Immediately after visiting the state fair, we set off to reconnoiter RVs. The Hubs has been hot on the trail of the “perfect” RV since we bailed on our rental and Quebec beluga trip in July. His exhaustive research yielded a pretty good idea of what we might want to purchase. He also discovered that between two Syracuse dealerships we could see most of those he thought we should investigate more closely.

After 35 years, let’s just say I know this man. Before we made the first stop, we had a little chat. Just for the record.

Me: “We aren’t buying anything today. Agreed? You sometimes get excited and make a spontaneous purchases. Just want to be sure we’re on the same page.”

He: “Well, I might have purchased a couple JetSkis without talking with you.  [Umm, yeah. Case in point!] But no, I would not purchase on this scale without discussion.”

Me: “Whew, that’s a relief. We’re just not ready.”

Even if all the stars aligned on make, model and price, I knew we were not ready to buy. We had nowhere to store it, for one thing. No time to use it, for another. We’d be foolish to burn through 6 or 8 months of warranty while we completed other obligations. It’s all too easy to become caught up in the possibilities and excitement of this new adventure. Prudence must prevail!
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blue ribbon day

A few weeks ago the Hubs and I spent a day at the state fair. It is a cheap date and a lot of fun when you time it right. We got lucky, it seems, especially with a break in the heat and humidity. The sky was heavily cluttered with clouds and crowds were down despite three-dollar-Thursday admission. Parking was only $5. Bonus: It was dairy day!

We smiled at the woman carrying a ginormous stuffed animal on a long trek back to the parking lot. We’d no interest in rides, games or trinkets any more than in performances or shows. We were running late due to a ’round about route — neither Google nor On Star GPS could get us to fairground parking without a hitch. Our first priority was lunch. Locally-sourced, if you please. Think Spiedie chicken or Dinosaur Bar-B-Que rather than fried dough and corn dogs. We planned a leisurely tour of agricultural barns and exhibits. Most of all, we looked forward to dairy displays.
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spirit of bart

I think every parent has a story or two they’d like to bury beyond retrieval? Something they said or did they sincerely regret? Something they hope and pray their chids will forget? Me, too. I suppose you’re lucky if it’s only one or two. (I have at least a few dozen.) So please don’t bother to continue unless you promise not to judge me!
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