Tuesday, March 29, 2011
You know that old saying, "When it rains, it pours" and how it is usually used when describing not the weather, but the happenings during a certain season in someone's life? Well, if you live on the Crossroads Country Ranch in Western Washington about now, it might go something like "When it rains, it is relentless." This seems to describe life here the last couple of months! (And actually, it could also refer to the weather here!) We usually try not to complain, or focus on our troubles. Really! But at the moment, the exercise of writing down our woes and how the Lord has and is carrying us through, seems rather therapeutic . . . . or at least comical relief! About two months ago, things got kicked off with Stanley getting his very first head cold (involving a trip to the doctor and many sleepless nights) and the goats experiencing the great return of the dreaded heel mites. Then, a ewe (that was already sold and waiting to be delivered to her new home) became seriously ill. (Oh, so many sheep sicknesses and so little time to figure out what it is and how to treat it!) Sometime in there, Caroline got real sick with strep throat/tonsillitis. Then, a goat got really ill (we think from poisoning from the heel mite treatment.) The new-old diesel van that has been in and out of the mechanics' since we purchased it a year ago, quit working again (right after we spent $3,000.00 on a new transmission for it). About this time, we discovered that our yellow litter of nine puppies had contracted what seems to be a fairly rare skin infection. (This involved two vet visits, daily baths, and medication for them twice a day.) Stanley is sick again, and poor baby, can't sleep again at night, and we're pondering whether we should take him back to the doctor to be checked. Recently, the truck was making an awful noise and we realized the muffler had become detached (due to rust . . . hmmmm, wonder why? ;-) and it also needed some new u-joints. While all this was going on, Lydia was waging war with the new greenhouse she just purchased and was growing her seedlings in. The wind kept destroying it little by little, until eventually, it was being held together by duct tape! A week ago Sunday, while I was staying home from church with the sick baby, I looked out the window to find all of Lydia's sheep out of the safety of the pasture fence, and feasting on all the lush new green grass. (I think they knew I was home alone! ;-) Knowing that this can cause serious digestive issues for them, I quickly called the church and asked Lydia what to do. She thought it would be a good idea to get them wrangled back into the pasture. The only problem is, she said, we happen to be out of grain, so try putting rocks in the bucket and pretend to have grain when you lure them back in. Oh, and the most important thing, she said, is to not get rammed by the ram . . .that could be really bad! So, I put the sick baby down, rushed outside, and taking my life in my hands, managed to get the ram and one other sheep back behind the pasture fence. No sooner did I get back in the house tending to my sick baby, I looked out the upstairs bedroom window to find Lydia's greenhouse, completely picked up and mangled by the wind, in a heap across the garden fence. All of her seedlings she had worked so hard to salvage all along, were turned over as well. About this same time frame, the diarrhea began in Valerie's dog, Mabel. Then, one night soon after, Allie got into the kitchen trash, and began her week long sickness. And of course, not to be left out, our Pastor's dog, Heidi, that we happened to be boarding at the time, also came down with "stress induced colitis" which also meant lots of mess for us. (We opted to just take two of these three dogs to the vet.) Then, this Sunday, when we woke up for church, we discovered that Caroline is sick with tonsillitis again, not only feeling miserable, but unable to play the piano for their scheduled Sunday worship time. So the other girls scrambled real quick to pick some other songs that would be better suited for the reality of no pianist. Then, quickly, the rest of the family rushed off to church, as I stayed home again with the sick ones. About a half an hour later, I got a call from Ted at the church saying that they forgot the church computer they will all need for the service and asked if I would bring it to them. So I hopped in the van and drove all the way to and from church. Just as soon as I got home, and began tending to my sick baby once again, I hear a faint alarm sound in the distance . . . . . upon opening our back door, I realize Meemom and Papa Bob's house alarm is going off. So I hopped in the van again and rushed over there to meet the "intruder", turn off the alarm, and answer the call from the alarm people. (When the sheriff showed up an hour later, I opted to stay put and let him come to me if need be!) Then, last night, Valerie discovered that the other litter of three puppies across the house in the other garage have also come down with the same skin infection as the yellow pups. And would you believe that when I went to start the lawnmower recently, it wouldn't start, and upon closer inspection, gas was pouring out from it all over the ground? But, the great news is . . . our awesome God has been hard at work all along, healing us and the animals, and providing above and beyond for our every need through it all! And hopefully, we've learned a lot, grown a lot and can comfort others in their time of need!