Summertime Visit

Each year I drive the long miles to pick up my grandson, Mr. J. He has come to my home each summer since he was four years old. He actually lived with me for nine months starting at age two. Circumstances with the divorce of his parents, and his mother moving to Texas, he needed a place to stay for awhile until she became settled. Granny’s house was a good place to go. Then his father came to Texas and stayed with us for nine months. So, for over a year he lived at our house.

When things settled and his parents found their rhythm in life, he came for visits. The length of time started as a whole month. But as children grow, they have other activities. This year Mr. J will visit for three weeks.

The drive to bring him to Texas and return him home is the worst part of our summertime visit. Two days on the road makes a long trip. On the trip to Texas we talk about the year and catch up. We also make plans for what we will do this visit.

This year, we are fishing and riding horses. His horse is not caring for a baby this year, and we will be able to go on rides. He has been riding her since he was two, they are both getting older. There will come a time when he will not be able to ride his beloved Vicky horse.

Fishing is another activity he started learning at the age of two. We would take him to the local lakes, hook the perch and let him reel in the fish. He has learned how to bait his own hook, take off his own fish, and how to put rigging on his pole. The first day of fishing this year, his first fish was a channel catfish, 20 1/2 inches long, weight 3.5 pounds. His largest fish he has brought to show was three years ago, a channel catfish 28 inches long.

But staying with Granny is not all play, there are the daily chores of taking care of the sheep and horses. We are also refinishing a dresser for his aunt who is having triplets. He has learned how to paint different items in the past visits, but this year he is learning how to hand sand and refinishing an old dresser, and make some minor improvements and repairs.

Two years ago when Covid-19 broke out and everyone was on lockdown, he could not come for summer visit. His mother said he was miserable. She said that would not happen again. His summertime visits are a recharge for him. A time to learn new things and just be a kid.

Mr. J and I have a special relationship, grandmother and grandson, but also best friends. He is able to talk to me about anything and everything, without feeling judgement or getting in trouble. We have worked through some of his hard problems, learned how to deal with emotions,the problems that arise from having divorced parents and step parents.

During our fishing trip, we discussed that these summertime visits will eventually come to an end. He is getting older. One year he will have a job, or be at college, and unable to take three or four weeks visits with Granny. He is getting older, growing up and will eventually have commitments and responsibilities, that he does not have today. Today, we will enjoy the talks on the lake banks waiting for the big catfish to bite, or feeling the rhythmic hoofbeats under us as we ride.

He also realizes that the day will come when his beloved Vicky horse will no longer be able to carry him on a ride, she is sixteen this year. His hope is to ride her filly born last year, when the filly will be old enough to ride. And perhaps, he will be able to train her, be the first on her back for the first ride.

It has been a cherished joy to teach my grandson the many lessons, first to be talk using words, to learning to ride alone, to catching and reeling in a 28 inch catfish. Memories we both will cherish for a lifetime and beyond.

So, if I miss a day or two from writing the next few weeks, I am out fishing or riding or working on a dresser, building more memories to recall in the future and a relationship for a lifetime.

amtolle

Weekend Workings

Change requires new ways of doing something, sometimes new plans and occasionally new location. The closure of the sheep and goat auction I have attended the past 5 years is a major change. Learning I am going to be a grandmother to triplets is a major change.

I am a sheep farmer, my income comes from the profit I make after paying expenses for selling the sheep I raise. Basic business plan is to keep expenses low in order to have more profit. The sheep auction was close to my farm. With the closure I had to determine where I am going to haul my market lambs in order to sell. I decided to sell the market lambs directly to the processor located three hour drive one way. The processor is honest and will give me a market price for the lambs. This processor purchased my market lambs at the sheep auction, I was saved the expense of transporting the market lambs the additional 2-3 hours farther.

My breeding sheep that I sell does not change. I have always sold the breeding stock directly off the farm. No change there. I will lose the opportunity to make contacts for those wanting breeding stock. I will have to go to social media to sell.

The one problem that took some time to work a plan on was where to sell the cull sheep. The cull sheep are ewes who have lived past 8 years of age or have problems delivering lambs. I have found a sheep auction located 3 hours drive from where I live, in the opposite direction of the processor to sell the cull ewes.

Sheep farm problems solved, at least for now.

Every week I receive information in the mail and phone calls of realtors stating they have a person interested in buying my home. The real estate market is very “hot” in my location. There are more people wanting to move into this area, than there are home available. Majority of real estate listings do not stay on the market past 30 days before being under contract of purchase. Quick sells are the norm for my location.

I received such a notice in the mail this past week, saying they were looking for a home for themselves. I decided to give them a call. They came out Saturday. People tell so many lies. They were not looking for themselves but was “fishing” for a listing in my area, for a quick sale and money in their pocket.

We have entertained the idea of selling our property with the desire to move closer to my daughter who is pregnant with triplets. I know that for the next several years a helping hand will be appreciated, or more a “taxi”. My daughter’s family wants their children to be around animals and see farm life. But with the size of their soon to be family, that is monetarily out of the picture. They will have to visit Granny’s and PawPaw’s place to see and experience farm life.

We will eventually move closer, but not today and not this year.

The other activity was planting the flower and vegetable garden area. I love working in the dirt. One of my favorite places to go shopping and even window shopping is a garden center or nursery. I love looking at plants. My husband took me to the local nursery. I was able to find some plants to add to my garden area.

I also discovered Chronicles Bells. They make the most lovely sounding windchimes. The soft, harmonious sound of the windchimes was relaxing and soothing to my busy mind. The drawback was the price, the windchimes I desired were $240.00 USD. More than my budget would allow at this time. They are on the waiting list, maybe Christmas gift list. If you have the opportunity to listen to these windchimes, they are worth the effort, and the money.

I planted and transplanted vegetables and flower in the garden area. I also had to do some clean up from the winter in order to plant. I took pictures and will have future posts on what and how I place plants in my garden area and containers.

We also did the regular activities of feeding animals, buying grain and dog food, groceries. There is always something that needs to be done on the farm. I enjoy what I do.

amtolle