My year in review posts will come in the next few days but for now.
Stay safe and warm my friends, and all the best in 2014! Yippee,the Year of the Horse!
So it is Christmas eve already, and are we ready? Well close enough, the gifts are wrapped and the tree is up, the food is prepped and we have so dog cookies to put out for "Santa Paws "
So I guess we are as ready as we can be. Ready, and so very blessed . We will be surrounded by family and the comfort and safety of our home and love, not much more we could ask for is there?
Well there are one or two things I would ask if I may be so bold?
Let me tell you first about my encounter at the gas station today, I was in line with so many others when a native lady stepped ahead of me, she said "Oh I just went to grab my coffee" I have to admit to being mildly irritated that she stepped in but I thought Oh its Christmas , and smiled. She then turned to me and told me she was headed to Edmonton, because her adopted daughter had passed away last night in a car accident,and that she had also just recently lost a beloved Uncle.
As the words poured out of her I was dumbstruck! Such a lot of pain for this poor lady and her family. I uttered the usual heartfelt platitudes and tried to keep the tears out of my eyes, but really what words are enough?? All she was buying was a bag of chips and a coffee, but I finally said, just go , I've got this . She turned to me as though I had bought her the world and hugged me sobbing (those who know me know I never let anyone cry alone so you can imagine what I did, all the way home).
So what am I being so bold to ask?
If you have a mind to please pray for this lady (who's name I did not get) and all of the others who are struggling with loss, and fear, trying to get home,and for those who will not make it home again.
And also if you see someone who needs a little help, just a smile a nod or a helping hand , remember the reason for this season, and give them what you can.
I wrote this first poem today, after not writing for a long time after being so moved by this lady;
God bless the weary travellers
We know not where they're bound
How far they may have yet to go
Or what trials they have found
Offer a hand Or share in a smile
Something to carry them
Warm through the miles
Remember their journey Though not like your own
Is the same in the way We all long for our home
This second is one I wrote some time ago, but also a wish I pray for each year;
Wishing all a very Merry Christmas, wrapped in the love of family and the grace of God
It popped into my head yesterday, as I was slogging through chores in the snow and cold thinking it would be nice sometimes if I didn't have to do that. Then I stopped to give Johnny a pet on the nose and a cookie to Annie, I snuggled Andee and I remembered. Why I love these creatures so much and why I wouldn't give it up for the world. It can be hard work but it is so very worth it. In the cold weather when I have to shovel snowing, or fork hay, check waters in cold and wind,where I have my hat and scarf on so tight I have to turn a full circle to look over my shoulder.
In the summer when it's stinkin' hot but I'm still out checking the mares and foals . Sometimes riding but often just spending time enjoying the fruits of my labors. Handling these quiet gentle creatures and knowing that at least part of what they become is a direct result if the work I do . What does that have to do with my FB post? Quite a lot actually, I had horses in my life all the time I was growing up but they were the farm horses, I was able to ride but only when they were not being used . Like many horse crazy little girls I dreamed of the day I would have my very own horse. I have shared the story of how I scrimped and save and finally bought my first horse at the age of 13 . And as hard as it was for me to wait for that day, I really do think it served me well to "earn" her She was not a gift as such, but in many ways, she and the time it took for me to get her were better gifts after all. With those gifts I built my own joy, and a sense of pride.
Many gifts that we receive at Christmas or birthdays when we are young are enjoyed in the moment, and soon cast aside for bigger brighter dreams. Because I had to save my money and earn my horse I became determined to not let that go and have a sense of pride and accomplishment and not only achieving the purchase of my own horse, but in all I could do with her and my future. That first horse was the foundation of what is become fern Valley Appaloosas, a lifelong journey that I have truly been blessed with.Would I have kept with these horses had I not earning my stripes so to speak ?
It's hard to say, I do believe that those gifts of patience, determination, and the understanding that we just don't always get what we want, just because we want it, are a huge part of why I did . And why I can call myself with confidence a horsewoman.
So to all the little girls who dream of a pony, whatever age you are. That dream can come true, its just a matter of time, patience and...
Stay safe my friends
Tails, Trails and Campfire Stories: Photographs, Poetry and Musings of an Alberta Farm Girl by Sherry Sikstrom Trafford Publishing
reviewed by Carissa Harwood