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Thursday, September 18, 2014

My ideas to the congregation at First Congregational United Church of Christ


On Sunday September 14 our minister could not make it to our service so I volunteered to assist Steve Parke by giving the sermon part of the program.  Since I have friends and family who read this and could not attend, here it is in all by the paragraphs I read from a book.  Enjoy and I hope you take something with you when you leave.  

Lou

 I THINK I SHOULD FIRST TELL YOU A BIT ABOUT MYSELF, SO YOU CAN UNDERSTAND WHERE I AM COMING FROM.  I WAS BORN LOUELLA BETH BARTHOLOMEW OCTOBER 1, 1941, TO RUEBEN AND CHRISTINE BARTHOLOMEW IN NICKERSON, KANSAS, POPULATION 1000 SOULS GIVE OR TAKE A FEW.  WE WERE SHARE CROPPERS WITH A MAN IN TOWN.  I HAD AN OLDER SISTER AND A BROTHER.  SHORTLY AFTER MY BIRTH WE WERE THROWN INTO WORLD WAR 2, BUT I DON’T REALLY THINK THAT WAS MY FAULT!   OVER THE NEXT 6 YEARS I WAS BLESSED WITH 3 MORE SISTERS.  POVERTY WAS OUR LIFE, BUT BACK IN THOSE DAYS EVERYONE WAS POOR SO IT DID NOT MATTER.  BY THE TIME I ENTERED HIGH SCHOOL, I BEGAN TO SEE THAT WHILE POVERTY WAS THE NORM, THERE WERE PEOPLE ACTUALLY CLIMBING OUT OF POVERTY AND LIVING IN MUCH BETTER HOMES THAN WE HAD.  WE HAD NO RUNNING WATER OR ELECTRICITY AND WE WERE OFTEN THE BRUNT OF JOKES.  MY BROTHER ALTERED HIS BIRTH CERTIFICATE WHEN HE WAS 16 TO MAKE HIM 18 AND OFF HE WENT TO THE ARMY, THEREBY ESCAPING THE SHARE CROPPER LIFE.
I LIVED WITH MY GRANDMOTHER AND GREAT GRANDMOTHER FOR A YEAR AND THAT WAS WHEN I LEARNED TO CROCHET AND TO READ MY BIBLE.  I WAS NOT ALLOWED TO READ LIBRARY BOOKS, ONLY THE BIBLE.  MY REQUIRED BOOK REPORT WAS ON THE BIBLE.  I WENT TO A CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH IN THE LITTLE TOWN OF PLEVNA.  I DO NOT THINK IT WAS A UCC CHURCH, BUT IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN.
WE MOVED TO HUTCHINSON, KANSAS, MY SENIOR YEAR AND I IMMEDIATELY DROPPED OUT OF SCHOOL AND RAN AWAY.  I MARRIED A MAN I HAD KNOWN FOR 3 WEEKS, HAD 5 KIDS IN RAPID SUCCESSION, DIVORCED, REMARRIED REPLAYED THAT SCENARIO THREE TIMES, RAISED MY KIDS ALONE, MOVED TO COLORADO, MARRIED A COUPLE MORE TIMES AND THEN FINALLY MARRIED KENNY.  KENNY WAS A STABILIZING FORCE IN MY LIFE AND TAUGHT ME THAT I WAS A WORTHY PERSON, BOUGHT ME A HOME AND GAVE ME STABILITY THUS OPENING THE WAY FOR ME TO BE THE WOMAN I AM TODAY.    
WHEN I WAS YOUNG, CHURCH WAS MY REFUGE.  FOLLOWING MY FIRST DIVORCE, CHURCH WAS FORGOTTEN.  I DID SEND THE KIDS, BUT I DID NOT GO.  WHILE I DID NOT GO TO CHURCH, I NEVER TURNED MY BACK ON GOD.  HE WAS ALWAYS THERE AND SOME TIMES IN MY DARKEST HOURS HE WAS THE ONLY FRIEND I HAD.  I THANK HIM THAT HE WAS A BETTER FRIEND TO ME THAN I WAS TO HIM.  THERE ARE PARTS OF MY LIFE THAT I HAVE NEVER TALKED ABOUT AND NEVER WILL, BUT I STAND BEFORE YOU NOW, A WOMAN MADE OF THOSE PARTS.    I HAVE BEEN POOR SO I HELP THE POOR.  I HAVE SEEN DEATH , DYING, SICKNESS, AND MENTAL ILLNESS, SO I HOLD MY HAND OUT TO THOSE WHO NEED ME.  I HAVE BEEN JUDGED, SO I DO NOT JUDGE.  I TRY TO LISTEN AND HEAR GOD TELL ME WHERE TO GO NEXT, AND IT WORKS!  SEVERAL YEARS AGO HE LED THROUGH THE DOORS OF THIS CHURCH AND SEVERAL MONTHS BACK HE LED TERESA AND I TO BECOME YOUR MODERATOR.  DID YOU THINK ALL THAT HAPPENED BY ACCIDENT?  I THINK NOT.  I HOPE THAT IS NOT A DECISION YOU REGRET.  JUST STICK WITH ME HERE FOR A LITTLE BIT.
OUR SISTER CHURCH ACROSS TOWN IS TAKING A DIFFERENT APPROACH.  THEY WANT TO TIGHTEN THINGS DOWN, CHANGE THINGS, REWRITE THINGS AND I WISH THEM WELL ON THAT,  BUT I THINK I GOT THIS FIGURED OUT.
GOD ALSO LED ME TO VOLUNTEER AT HOSPICE.  I WORK THE ELEVENTH HOUR PROGRAM THERE.  FOR THOSE OF YOU NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE NEW HOSPICE RULES IT IS KNOWN AS SANGRE DE CRISTO HOSPICE AND PALLIATIVE CARE.  IT USED TO BE THAT IF YOU WENT INTO HOSPICE YOU WOULD BE DEAD IN 6 MONTHS.  NOT SO ANYMORE.  THE PALLIATIVE CARE IS FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO HANG ON TO LIFE, TAKE THEIR MEDICINE AND HOPEFULLY GET OUT OF THE HOSPICE PROGRAM.  THAT HAPPENS A LOT, BUT THERE ARE PEOLE WHO ARE DEFINITELY DYING AND WELCOME THE JOURNEY WHILE OTHERS ARE NOT QUITE SO EAGER.  AS THEY NEAR THE END WE REFER TO IT AS THE ELEVENTH HOUR, AND THAT IS MY SPEICALTY.  I SET WITH THEM AS THEY NEAR THE NEXT JOURNEY.  SOMETIMES THEY HAVE FAMILY, BUT NOT ALWAYS AND THOSE ARE THE ONES I PREFER.  THAT WAS THE CASE WITH A MAN NAMED BILL.  HIS FAMILY ARRIVED, BUT NOT UNTIL HE WAS GONE.  HE TALKED BY PHONE WITH HIS MOTHER BEFORE HE BEGAN HIS FINAL ASSENT.   HE HAD A VERY PEACEFUL CROSSING AND THAT IS WHAT WE STRIVE FOR.
 SO I MEET PEOPLE WHO ARE TRANSITIONING FROM THIS LIFE TO THE NEXT AND NOT ALWAYS IMMEDIATELY.  ONE OF THESE IS SAMMIE .  MY FIRST CONTACT WITH SAMMIE WAS 6 HOURS, DURING WHICH HER FAMILY ATTENDED A REUNION.  SINCE SHE IS NEARING, BUT NOT QUITE THERE YET, WHE IS LUCID AND WELCOMES COMPANY.  SHE DOES HAVE A LARGE FAMILY, BUT THEY ARE VERY BUSY WITH THEIR LIVES WHICH LEAVES HER CRAVING COMPANY.  SHE IS A WOMAN WHO IS DEVOTED TO GOD AND SHE BOASTS THAT SHE HAS A DIRECT LINE TO GOD.  SO I TOLD HER ABOUT MY CHURCH AND HOW WE WERE STRUGGLING TO KEEP OUR DOORS OPEN.  SHE SAID SHE WOULD PRAY FOR US AND SHE HAS BEEN DOING THAT!  SHE IS VERY SIMPLE IN HER BELIEF AND HAS WRITTEN A SMALL BOOK WHICH HER DAUGHTER PUBLISHED FOR HER.  SHE SAID SHE WOKE UP ONE NIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND WAS DRIVEN TO WRITE ALL THIS DOWN AS IT CAME INTO HER HEAD.  IT IS SO SIMPLE THE WAY SAMMIE PUTS IT.  I WANT TO READ YOU 2 PARAGRAPHS AND THEN LEAVE THIS BOOK IN MAYFLOWER HALL FOR YOU.
PAGE 3, 2 PARAGAPHS.
 I CAN FEEL A DIFFERENCE IN THE WHOLE ATTITUDE OF OUR CHURCH SINCE SHE RATTLED THE HOT LINE TO GOD.   I THINK MOST OF US ARE JUST KIND OF PUTTING ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER AND PLODDING DOWN THE ROAD.  I KNOW I WAS UNTIL SAMMIE WOKE ME UP.  APATHY ACCOMPLISHES NOTHING.
WHEN YOU GET UP IN THE MORNING, DO YOU WONDER WHAT KIND OF DAY YOU WILL HAVE?   OH, CRAP, TRAFFIC IS GOING TO BE A BEAR!  AND IT IS.  I KNOW THE GROCERY STORE IS GOING TO HAVE LINES A MILE LONG.  AND IT DOES.  BET THERE WON’T BE 20 PEOPLE IN CHURCH TODAY.  AND THERE ISN’T.
SAMMIE  SCOFFS AT ME.  SHE EXPLAINS IT THIS WAY.  GOD LOVES YOU.  GOD WANTS YOU TO BE HAPPY.  IF FILLLING THE CHURCH WILL MAKE YOU HAPPY, JUST TELL HIM AND HE WILL FILL THE CHURCH, BUT YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE THAT IT WILL HAPPEN.  GOD CAN NOT DO IT BY HIMSELF.  HE NEEDS ALL OF US TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.  GOD LIVES IN ALL OF US AND WE HAVE GOT TO LET GOD SHOW THROUGH OUR FACES.  STRANGERS READ US.  IF THEY SEE US WITH OUR FACES DRAWN AND WORRIED, THEY TURN AWAY.  SOME PEOPLE MIGHT CALL IT KARMA, THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING, DUMB LUCK, BUT I HAVE FOUND THAT IF I HOLD REAL STILL, THE ANSWER AND THE ACTION SEEM TO POP IN MY HEAD.  AND IF I DO NOT QUESTION, BUT JUST DO WHAT THAT LITTLE VOICE (FOR WANT OF A BETTER WORD) TELLS ME, I FIND MYSELF WHERE I BELONG, DOING WHAT I SHOULD BE DOING.
WHAT I WANT US TO DO IS PRACTICE WHAT SAMMIE PREACHES!  GOD IS LOVE AND HE WANTS US HAPPY.  HE WANTS THIS CHURCH TO FLOURISH.  HE WANTS KIDS IN THE PEWS AND MONEY IN THE COFFER.  HE DOESN’T JUST WANT US TO EXIST.  HE WANTS US TO THRIVE!  HE WANTS US OUT IN THE WORLD HELPING PEOPLE.  REMEMBER THE SONG “THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE?”  I’M GONNA LET IT SHINE.   AND “AS YOU HAVE DONE THIS TO THE LEAST OF THESE, MY BROTHER, YOU HAVE DONE IT TO ME.”  “IF YOU HAVE THE FAITH THE SIZE OF A MUSTARD SEED, YOU CAN SAY “MOVE” TO THE MOUNTAIN AND IT WILL MOVE”
I SAW WHAT HAPPENED WITH JOEY.  I KNOW WE CAN MAKE MIRACLES HAPPEN.  I SEE IT EVERY DAY WHEN I SEE A HUNGRY CHILD FED.  I SEE IT WHEN THE TRUNK OF MY CAR, WHICH IS FILLED BY TOWNSPEOPLE, IS EMPTIED AT LOS POBRES.   OUR CHURCH IS A WORK OF ART AND WE ARE THE CARETAKERS OF THAT ART.  LET US TRY AN EXPERIMENT FOR JUST ONE WEEK.   WHEN YOU GO TO BED EACH NIGHT, TURN ALL OF YOUR CARES OVER TO GOD.  WHEN THEY ARE TURNED OVER TO HIM, THEY ARE NO LONGER YOUR CONCERNS.  THANK HIM FOR ALL HE IS GOING TO DO BOTH IN YOUR LIFE AND IN OUR CHURCH.  THANK HIM FOR BRINGING NEW PEOPLE TO OUR CHURCH.  THANK HIM FOR GIVING YOU WISDOM AND THE WORDS TO SPREAD HIS GOSPEL.  DO NOT WONDER IF HE WILL,  BUT RATHER   ASSUME HE IS ALREADY ON IT.  THEN SMILE AT YOURSELF IN THE MIRROR, CRAWL IN YOUR BED AND GO TO SLEEP!  IT IS NOW IN GODS HANDS! 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

And now I have seen first hand...It was indeed a miracle!

Hopped in the little Ford Focus and headed east into the sun yesterday.  My purpose was to see my grandson, and a few of the great grand kids.  As most of you recall, Joe Seeger-Guebara, my grandson, rolled his car on May 9 of this year.  That was the evening before he was to graduate high school the day before Mother's Day.  He spent May 10-June 2 in a coma in Wichita, Kansas at the Via Christi Hospital and Trauma Unit.  Prayer requests were flying every where and no one gave up.  I confess, I was skeptical.
June 2, he was moved to Linclon, Nebraska, to the Madonna Rehab Center.  He was still in a coma.  After tests the doctor was explaining to Dona Seeger, his mother, that his discharge date would be August 22 and that he would still, no doubt be comatose.  Joe was propped up in a wheel chair at the time that diagnoses was given.  It apparently triggered something in his brain and he began struggling to stand up!   So they helped him stand.  It was clear in that picture that while he was standing between his mom and a therapist that he was still out to lunch!
I am here to tell you that prayer and perseverance will bring results!  3 months of diligence, prayer and sacrifice by his family and a lot of hard work by him brings us to his return home on August 22.  But I had to see for myself and that was the reason for the trip yesterday.  I give you Joe Seeger-Guebara and his grandma.
And true to his dream and the dedication of the fire department, his shirt.
In case you can not read that, it says "Firemen never die.  They just burn forever in the hearts of the people whose lives they saved."  Joey was a volunteer at the fire department and when he came home, they met him with the fire engines on main street.
This is his brother and Aunt.  Oh, and cinnamon rolls grandma made him!
Yep!  Aunts, neice (who is also my great grandaughter), cousin and  mother at his side, where she has been since May 9.  She is returning to her beauty shop in town on Tuesday.  
So the men folk went on the quest of prairie dog distruction, them being all good red necks in that area and the women folk went into town where Dona cut out hair and we finished up at "Flashback" which is in the old Dairy Queen building.  I had a cherry limeade.
And then my little car was pointed West and I hit the road back to Colorful Colorado!  But I did manage a few shots on the side.


But try as I might I can not capture the panorama of the Kansas sky with the low hanging clouds that look like I can reach out and touch them!  I do try.

So, welcome home Joey!  I understand you are going to the community college in Garden.  Never forget the people who spent the summer in prayer and more importantly, do not forget the man who answered those prayers.
If you have the faith of a mustard seed, you can move mountains!

                                                             Love, Grandma







Sunday, August 31, 2014

Tower Trail in Beulah and Stompin' Grounds Coffee Shop, Here we come.

Janet Altman and I decided that we were big girls and we could go hiking by ourselves, so the plan was made.  I would pick her up Friday morning at 8:00 AM and we would go to the Stompin" Grounds coffee shop in Beulah, which is owned and ran by my friend Jan.  We had a Green Tea Latte which I think is what it is.  She made hot green tea and frothed the milk in it and then we added honey.  First one she had made and it sounded good to us.  Course we had to add our own honey and she has this really weird honey thing which we had no luck at all with until she told us we were using it upside down.  Then it was good.
With the tea warming our bellies, we took our leave of Jan and the regulars at the shop.  Of course Jan had to give us parting advice about how to avoid bears and snakes and then told us that if she looked out the window and seen helicopters circling the mountain park and they were looking for us, she would come up there herself and get us!  OK, momma!  Not gonna get lost.  Well, I did get lost looking for the park, but eventually I found it.  Janet had never been up to Beulah to just kick around so I was the leader!  Imagine me a leader?  Well, here it is!
And here is the trail!
Might be a problem worth thinking about next time is the what to wear problem.  I, in my little mind, decided to dress to blend in with the scenery in the event there was a bear looking for a tender morsel before heading off for his long winter's nap.  I wore dung colored pants and a tan shirt and a tan hat.
She had the benefit of a boyfriend to give her advice.  He advised her to wear bright colors so the hunters would not shoot her.  I had definitely not thought of that.  I might have to get a boyfriend just to dress me for this hiking business.
Janet is atune to the earth and taught me a lot of things.  Like this is called "Natures toilet paper."  I was sure hoping I was not going to have to run around up there with my britches down looking for one of these plants. Luckily my luck held in that department!
She also found mountain sage.  She beleives that if you take from the earth you must replace it with something.  She was very careful not to pull it out by the roots. She said tobacco is a good replacement, but since neither one of us smoke,we had no tobacco.  She crumbled up a biscuit and we called that good.
I had to stop several times on the way up to let my body catch up with the altitude, but other than that, we were good.  When we got to the top I had that little thought in the back of my head that maybe this was not a loop trail and we were going to walk all the way to Westcliffe, so we turned around and headed back the way we came since we knew where that was.
All in all, it was a lovely hike and we not eaten by a bear, nor shot by a hunter and we were back home before noon.  I am sure looking forward to the next one.  It is so nice up there with no ringing phone and no one needing me for anything.  So, if you are interested, hit me up!  And if you would like to see my slide show, just click right here.











Sunday, August 24, 2014

Lou Mercer Words of Wisdom: There is more than one way to skin a cat or a dog,...

Lou Mercer Words of Wisdom: There is more than one way to skin a cat or a dog,...: Soon after I lost my husband I decided to buy new furniture.  I opted for the microfiber, looks like leather, wears forever, and can hold ...

There is more than one way to skin a cat or a dog, for that matter.

Soon after I lost my husband I decided to buy new furniture.  I opted for the microfiber, looks like leather, wears forever, and can hold a dog hair against a jet engine vacuum.  Looked real good and is not foo-foo.  It was very soon that I decided I would need to cover it because the dog spent the day on it and left a pile of hair behind.  So I covered it.  Then I realized that I now had to wash the cover, dry it , and replace it every time I cleaned house.
I bought doggie beds for them.  That did no good.  Scolding, water bottles, and bells were no use what so ever.  I ordered 2 "scat mats" which are plastic runners with electric wires inside that shoots out a charge when the dog hops up there.  The only one that seemed to get any sort of reaction was company who sat on it and me when I forgot and put my hand on it.  You would have thought I would have remembered after the first 85 times.  When I watched dear Elvira walk the full length of the couch, yipping all the way, I decided that was a waste of batteries.
My next approach was the big sheets of bubble wrap with the big bubbles.  Decided on that when I stepped on it once and almost scared myself to death.  That method worked for about a year and I realized I had become known by visitors as "Queen of the red necks."  Frankly, I did not give a damn because the dogs were staying off the couches.  Famous last words.  Dear Daisy learned how to pull the bubble wrap off the couch and she could get white hair the complete length and breadth of the sofa.  According to my calculation and the amount of vacuum cleaner bags being used, that damn dog should be as bald as a billiard ball!
Bad Daisy!

I tried piling boxes on it which worked for a while.  When my patience was completely gone, I vacuumed one last time.  Then I stood it up on the arm and there it sets.  Either way, I can not set on it.  I get quizzical looks when company comes, but I am not a stickler for strange looks.  That happens fairly regular in my world!  
So here we have the couch that I can not set on, but smug in knowing neither can the dogs.  But as always in my world, I do not have the last word nor the last laugh.
This is dear Icarus, the calico cat that always has the last laugh!  Do you recognize where her new bed is located?

As for me, I will be perched on a wooden stool at the kitchen counter.  That is my place, until they change their minds and decide to share that space also!

You can not spinkle showers of happiness on other people without getting a few drops on yourself!



Saturday, August 23, 2014

Life continues here on South Road.

The goose is history and life goes on around here.  I must confess that I was awakened by a strange sound in the night a couple times.  I wasn't afraid because the alarm system, the dogs, the moat around the outside and the solid core doors and deadbolts would slow an intruder down enough to give me time to jack a shell into the barrel of my 12 guage.  It was just something I had not heard before and I finally decided it was just a cougar and rolled over and went to sleep.  No sense poking a stick at something that can eat you, if you know what I mean.
So this morning I let the geese out and then packed my goodies and carried them out to the car to take to Hospice.  It was then I noticed a big horse standing in my yard.  I thought it was Ito who lives next door and eats all my carrots.  I started back to the house to get a carrot, thinking to lure him back to his pasture.  Whoops!  Ito was in his pen already.  I checked to see if his pen was secure and noticed the fence bent down in a couple places and the gate post bent.  Rascal was trying to lure Ito away!
So I drove down 2 doors since I already had the car running and would need it to get to town.  See out here 2 doors is not 2 doors.  It is more like an eighth of a mile by the time you figure my driveway, South Road and then their driveway.  Some kid answered the door and I told him his horse was over at my place and went back to my car and as I started for town I seen him picking his way across his driveway barefooted and I knew he was going to have  a long day if he didn't get his shoes on his feet.  Hell, we have goat heads out here bigger then McDonalds Big Mac.  Stickers are not our friends.
So, to the crux of the story, when I got home, the horse was once more behind his fence.  This made me remember the time when we first lived here and I planted Tulips out front.  I came home one afternoon to find a neighbors cow munching my Tulips.  It would have been their first year and as I stood looking down into the bitten off Tulip, I saw the colors they would have been had they not died an early death.  Red, Yellow, Orange and damn that cow.
Now this brings me to our lesson for the day which is "Good fences make good neighbors."  When Bill and Shirley lived next door, Bill had a bunch of banty chickens.  One rooster he prized very highly.  I had small part poodle, part something else named Sysnyck.  Sysnyck went over and brought the rooster to our yard to play with it.  Things got a little out of hand and Kenneth ended up beating the dog with the dead rooster to which Bill said, "The dog did not kill my rooster, you did!"  Things were tense, but if Bill had built a better fence my dog would not have been able to drag his rooster over here.  Right.
Clifford and Jacque moved in after they left and they had lots of dogs.  Cliff let his dogs run out back and one of my ducks managed to fly over the fence and right into the mouth of one of the dogs.  He should have built a higher fence.  Right?
The ducks were crawling through a hole in the fence and going up and playing in the ditch and upsetting Mr. Keys, so I had to re fence the whole place just to keep peace in the neighborhood.  That was right after Kenny passed away and the last thing I wanted to deal with at the time., but I know the rule about good fences and good neighbors.
The tomatoes are canned and cooling on the counter.  I visited 3 clients today and hopefully brightened their day. I took a walk earlier and walked up the ditch bank a little further then I thought and almost go stuck out in the dark, but now I am home, the dishwasher is running, the dogs have fresh water and hopefully all the fences are going to stay up and all the gates stay closed and I am going to sleep like a log.  Until next time....
Keep your powder dry!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A sad day here on South Road

This whole week was a real stresser, but today was the worst.  Wednesday I came home from sitting with a client for a break to find one of my geese upside down and paralyzed.  Since I had to go back and finish my vigil I put her in the goose house in a corner and closed her in so the other geese would not hurt her. The next morning she was still the same.  In the afternoon I carried her up to the yard and put her under a tree with water and grass.  Friday morning I knew she was not going to get any better and would need to be put out of her misery.  I made the arrangements to have it done the next morning.

Life is never that simple, is it?  Missed communications left me with no one to do the deed.  I knew I could not do it, but I still knew it had to be done.  I am aware there are those of you out there who would have been most willing to "chop her head off" or "wring her neck" or any other means by which to dispense the poor soul to the other side, free of her pain, but not me.  I held her and believe this or not, she let me.  She had the prettiest blue eyes.

I finally called a lady friend to see if her husband would do it.  Unfortunately they were in Telluride or Texas or some where that was not here.  But their son was here.  Of course he was here, he was no longer the little 15 year old boy I remembered.  He is now married with kids grown and gone and he would be most happy to help me out of this dilemma.  They were at a picnic and would come as soon as they ate.

And they did.  And he sent me inside and he took care of every thing and I was so relieved.  Now I am down to 9 geese.  Sammy assured me that he would always be willing to help me and I want you to know what a weight that takes off my mind.  He is a very kind man, but being a farmer he knows what needs done in the real world.  And he knows how I care for my animals.  That means a lot to an old woman living alone.

So tonight my heart is very heavy and only another animal lover can understand how I could care for a goose that is just feathers and poop mostly.  My geese hiss at me and stretch thier necks out like  they will attack me, but they won't.  And when I put them up tonight there was confusion, because they are creatures of habit and one of them is gone.  There were 3 Emidens in that hatching 3 years ago and now there are 2.  When the geese are all gone, I will sell the farm and move into town.  I now have 9 to go.