We both seem to be drawn to the Hill Country of Kerrville Texas, West of San Antonio...but time will tell as we take a trip to drive that vast & free state. It's dry and that means no grass to cut!!! Yes!!!! I'll have my fill next Summer since my mowers will be gone. The sheep have done a smashing job this Summer keeping everything trimmed and since we have had a deficit of rain since June, they've had just enough until I hang up my Carthartt.
Hanging up my coat isn't easy. But it's washed and tucked away for stories to tell to my Grands when they ask why I take it out and wrap myself in it, smelling it as if to take me back to another time and place when I was given the immense privilege to tend God's creation. I'm sure there might even be a few pieces of straw & chaff left in the pockets with memories. And it will be stained with tears from subsequent fittings.
I'll recall the chickens that were my gateway drug to bigger animals; dipping baby day old chicks beaks into water teaching them to drink! The stories of our Thanksgiving turkey, Tommie Lee who took his revenge on us as he came out of the oven giving my beloved 2nd degree burns on his feet! I'll show them pictures of our first goat kids who had endless bounding energy; climbing, jumping and playing on their second day of life! The stories of my first calving and the absolute GLORY of seeing new life born on the farm. Also the sadness of loss and the difficult truth of raising your own food.
I'll tell them of my utmost calling to be a shepherd!!! A job that I will never forget as God taught me daily of His love for us, His sheep. The wagging tails of new born lambs suckling at their Mamas. I'll tell them that the quiet solitude of the barnyard was where I met God daily. How at bedtime He showed Himself to me in the quietness of the day. I will remember that it helped me more fully understand the meaning of a good shepherd. I will remember that I was proud to call myself a shepherd and a FarmHer.
I'll be 60 in 3 years and maintaining this place by myself for 30 years has come to a head.....I'm done. I've gladly done what I could while The Hired Hand worked a stressful day job. My health has been a struggle and it's time. (More on that later.)
We've found a young couple who have the energy, vision and youth to take over where we leave off. Hopefully it will all go well next year and we will hand over the keys of the homestead to them.
My art and my memories will fill that spot in my heart that yearns for life and adventure. And The Hired Hand and I will start our own adventures together into the great state of Texas.....its vast and endless display of Creator God's hand. Art retreats will connect me with my tribe of women who love God and love art! Trips back to Maryland will be just a plane ride away and since Grands aren't here yet.....it's all the easier...however it will not be easy...