Who would have guessed a year with such a fabulous numeric designation as 2020 would have been such a barn burner? Double twenties - even numbers - pleasing to the eye and reduces to the sacred number 4! Also, it is the year of pause, just before a new decade.
This has been such a hard year for so many of my family and friends. It has been a very difficult year for the entire world. I admit I have not sought out news of countries in Africa, or smaller countries across the globe, the ones I likely cannot find on a map. I assume they might be doing a bit better than the United States because they are not populated by a huge demographic of selfish assholes, but maybe not! Americans certainly do not have the corner on assholiness. But, if I had to guess, we are in the majority in that category. The world continues to turn, and life goes on, despite everything good and bad and all in between. It always does.
My son contracted the corona virus just before Christmas. He is over the worst of it but continues to have chest pains. His sister took an oxygen meter to him and his oxygen levels are 98%, so that is good, I think. He experienced a lot of muscle aches and pains. I know many people prayed for him, and I am so deeply grateful. Thank you, each and every one of you. I pray for my children all the time but when something awful happens to them, I cannot seem to focus to pray for them. Friends and family take up my slack in that department. I will be even more mindful when people ask for prayers for their loved ones going forward.
My son and his big dog, Primo, are doing well in the big city, living in the ultra-modern apartment with a kitchen I would die for! They have an enormous wall of windows facing north and a wonderful large balcony. He is living the kind of life I only dreamt of when I was his age! I am proud of my son. He graduated the University of Kansas and later earned a MBA. He is doing well for himself.
Jake my poor, long suffering crippled dog met with yet another major misfortune this year when one of the horses stepped on his foot, crushing the bones. In an effort to avoid expensive surgery, the vet looked after him, keeping the bandages changed and confined to a small space. One of the young veterinarian aides there took a personal liking to Jake and offered him a lot of love and attention. While there, Jake died unexpectedly of natural causes. I miss him on the way to the barn every day and miss his particularly outrageous howling when the coyotes sing as they travel past the house in the creek. Mattie still looks for him. He has been set free of being crippled in three of his four legs, hopefully chasing rabbits in dog heaven now. (I hope that doesn't mean dog heaven is rabbit hell?) Farewell, Jakie. Godspeed.
So... back in January of 2020, I thought it would be a splendid idea to have three dogs! Yes. It was pre-pandemic psychosis! I sent a non-refundable deposit for another German Shepherd puppy, hoping for a full sister to Mattie. At the time of the fateful check-writing incident, my rationale was this: almost 2 years to get Mattie after sending a deposit. My new knees would be healed by the time the new puppy arrived. I would greatly enjoy a puppy, especially since I would be home all the time to take care of her.
Well, well, well... things do not always work out as you expect them to work out. First, the pandemic put the kibosh on knee surgery. Secondly, the wait time was significantly shorter for this puppy - almost 14 months shorter! So, into the void left by Jake, a bratty little half-sister to Mattie is destroying my life! Mattie is a very smart dog, but little Kenzie is even faster at learning. Mattie is civilized, dainty, quiet and obedient (at least in the house). Kenzie is loud and NEVER shuts up. She learns at lightning speed but really does not give a rat's ass what I want. I am NOT the boss of Kenzie who has tendencies remarkably akin to a certain snotty little red Quarter Horse mare I knew very well. Three alpha females trying to run things at the farm - what could go wrong? I am at a terrible disadvantage with very, very, very bad knees. Wish me luck.
This year my daughter made a major life shift from cats to a dog. Amidst the pandemic pressures, she purchased a red heeler puppy. She named him Dingo. He is a very smart little fellow but heelers are serious dogs. They are working dogs and do not have time for anything unless it is serious business. I call him the sheriff. He is always on duty, protecting my daughter but also presenting several difficult behaviors that challenge her. I must say that my daughter has risen to the occasion. Dingo is a sturdy, fearless, athletic hiking partner. Another year and he will be a consistently well behaved dog. I can only hope that Kenzie turns out as well!
My daughter moved to Lawrence and is in the midst of earning another Master's degree at the University of Kansas. She has also completed training for three alternative emotional healing methodologies in the last two years. She will soon graduate the Cultivating Emotional Balance training developed at the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies. The emotional balance research project arose from a dialogue between biobehavioral scientists and the Dalai Lama and Buddhist monks and scholars. After my daughter graduates with the second Masters, she will be working with people, teaching them to heal themselves. I am proud of my daughter.
Wally the white horse and Ginger the red horse are doing well. Wally puts up with Ginger's bossiness and sometimes I wish he would just kick the snot right out of her, but he never does. He loves her. I love her. We both know the easiest way to get through life is to let Ginger have her way in matters of treats, food and water. We all get along very well, thank you. (If horses are Supreme Beings, Ginger is the most supreme being of them all.)
It is quiet down on the farm. All around me the world is going to hell in a handbasket it seems, but right this minute, the Supreme Beings are leisurely eating their hay in the warm sunlight. The two German Shepherds are sleeping, one at my feet and one in her kennel inches away. I am drinking my well-earned morning tea and watching the birds at the feeder. It is dry and dusty in Wabaunsee County but rain is on the way, expected by next Tuesday - maybe as much as two inches. That means I'll be slogging through deep mud to feed the horses but we certainly need the rain, so I'll try not to cuss too loudly.
I am sorry for people who lost beloved family members and/or friends this year. I am sorry for those people who are struggling financially and for people struggling in every other way. I am sorry for the strife and fear my country is experiencing. We are Americans - we should do much better! I am sorry for the whole world struggling with the pandemic and frightening climate change. We are human beings - we should do much better!
I count my many blessings and give humble thanks for every iota of good fortune that has blessed my life. I am grateful that my family is safe right this moment. I hope your family is safe right this moment, too. I pray for a far better 2021 for every living thing on this earth.
|Jake Rest in Peace Good Boi|
|Kenzie the Brat|
|The Big Guys|
|Woman and Baby Sheriff|
|The Wallai Lama|
|The 2020 Kansas Sky|