Our Hard Working, Long and Sunny Week in Which We Made New Friends and Grew Bolder but Didn’t Get to Visit with Kate DiCamillo

I haven’t had much time to write this week.

Shift work…runaway horses…new chicks on the farm…enough barnyard chores for a week’s worth of sunburn…

…it’s been a long week.

It’s been a great week, but a long week.

I bought a book last week and it reminded me to be bold.

So this week I’m trying.

But squished in next to trying to be being bold, I had to be productive and now, at the end of it, my arms are red, my nose is peeling, my barns are clean, and there’s a ton of dirt under my fingernails.

And the week has taught me all over again that every season brings new chores and new changes and new jobs and new critters.

Like the mare.

She showed up at my friend’s house a couple streets over. They managed to get her over to our place after she’d had a long morning on the run. There was a near deathly mishap when her owner came to pick her up and was careless and almost killed her, and I decided to be bold that day and I said No.

I won’t let this animal take another step.

I felt the boldness inside of me and it might have been sleeping but I remember now that it’s there and it roars loudly and when I heard it I hooked the lead rope onto the mare’s halter and I turned her around and I walked her back to my farm.

I learned that I really am a seasoned animal person now. A farmer. A rancher. Whatever you want to call it, one who is a caretaker of animals wants what’s best for the critter even when it might be inconvenient or hard or expensive or make you walk a bit.

This horse taught me that. This place has taught me that. It felt good. It felt right.

It felt bold.

And now the mare is hanging out with us for a while.

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One of our favorite authors in all the world made the trek to Alaska and we planned the trip through the mountain pass to go stand in line and shake her hand.

But when the mare came, we needed to change our plans. We altered the route of our day and one of my kids looked sad. She said Mama, I was kinda lookin forward to shakin Kate’s hand.

And truth be known, I was probably looking forward to it even more than she was because Kate knows how to put words on paper that dance together and doesn’t every writer strive for that and want to look someone in the eye who can do that and say good job?

You do it right and you live the words and you do it well and I appreciate all you do because that’s what I try to do too, and because we both devote ourselves to trying…to needing…to having to put down the lives and the love on paper…I feel connected to you and in awe of you and in kinship with you…all at the same time.

That’s what my handshake was going to say.

But since the mare was here and needed us, we instead did what writers will do and we sent words strewn out on paper, and of course a book signed with shaky hands.

I felt insecure.

Because what do you write to your hero who writes?

But I felt bold too.

Because getting past the scared and giving your hero the best of what you’ve made?

That made me use my moxie.

Our friend who’d also been planning, she packed it along with her and she hand-delivered it and she texted me and there it all was, in Kate’s hand…

And now she feels like a new old friend.

So we checked out every one of her books we could find at the library and we howled over the adventures of Louise and Monique and we spent time with Kate on this side of the pass.

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And then, last but not least, rounding out our new friends for the week, came the chicks. Fuzzy yellow, some brown, one black, little, peeping, baby chicks and I don’t think I’ll EVER get over how cute these things are when they’re fresh out of the egg.

There’s something about baby chickens that reminds me every time how fragile and delicate life is.

But how strong and resilient that life within every creature is too.

Bold.

These babies peck their way out of their shell when it’s time.

They survive the first awkward, gangly moments, live through being scooped up and plopped into a box with dozens of others like them to travel long distances at varying degrees of temperature and then they hit the feed stores just learning how to walk while they go on to practice eating, drinking, pecking and peeping their way up to the point of their death.

We bring them home and marvel at their smallness.

And how sturdy and confidently they stand.

How bold they are.

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These two, in honor of Kate…in honor of our week…in honor of boldness…

…we named these two Louise and Monique.

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Is there someone you’d like to befriend or who may need your care or love this week? Who are you loving on YOUR crazy little farm? How will you love them boldly?

Thanks for visiting. I’m hoping your upcoming week is a blessed and bold one.

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Our Hard Working, Long and Sunny Week in Which We Made New Friends and Grew Bolder but Didn’t Get to Visit with Kate DiCamillo

  1. Anonymous

    Oh my goodness! How we do live parallel lives! This past week, the same week of your boldness, I too was finding my own bit of boldness in the big city. Finding myself sans kids, husband, chores, etc for 7 hours each day for a whole 5 days, I daringly started going up to perfect strangers and complementing them. I chose my receivers well, not those who obviously received compliments on a regular bases. I chose those who looked like I usually felt; tired, wrung out, spent, undone, hurried, not compliment worthy. I told them honestly how much I liked their hair, their blouses, their glasses, whatever that struck me as beautiful at that moment. And each and everyone of them did the same thing, they lit up a beaming smile and shared it with me – I made that happen with a handful of words. In my boldness, it seems I too made them bold and more confident. At the end of the week, as I was standing in line at a warehouse store, I looked up at a sign high up on the wall behind the checkout, it said something to the effect: During our lives, it doesn’t matter what we gather, but what we scatter. I felt as God tossed me a smile of His own at that moment. I’m sorry you missed the opportunity to meet your writing hero, but God needed you and your knowledge of animals at home. You made a nice scattering of love when it was needed, I know you will be blessed for your efforts. Thank you for scattering your words too, they help so many. S. Waffer

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    1. Cassandra Post author

      Awww…I LOVE the thought of you spreading all that sunshine to those folks who needed it. I know your smile brightens my heart every.single.time. So I know it did for them too. Good for you brave sunshiny one…I love how you love people. ❤

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  2. Julia Lund

    What a packed week – I’m exhausted just reading about it 🙂 I am glad though, that through your disappointment, the ‘ordinary’ has touched you in such profound ways.

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