Hello Saturday

I have been dreaming today.

I drove to Sherwood, North Dakota this morning to pick up packages. I was thinking about things I have been studying and it led to this question, “if I could have a visit with Nanny right now, what would she say?” As I thought about her life as it connects with mine, I pondered the importance she placed on her two nights out every week. That is when she would practice with the Saskatoon Choral Society and the choir at Third Avenue United. She loved those times. I also thought about how much she loved knitting and needle point. Evidence of her handiwork was all over her house, her afghans are cherished by many of us to this day.

My sister Jan and my brother Bob with three of our cousins in Nanny’s house. Four of her framed needlepoint on the wall behind them.

I remember my Nanny as a content person, flexible, steady and creative.

This is my Nanny.

It came to me quicker than I could have imagined what she would say to me if she was sitting in the passenger seat of my vehicle, she would say, “you are so lucky to have so many ways to express your creativity.” That shifted my mindset. I was tired and feeling burdened by the work I needed to accomplish today. That musing, and I really could imagine her saying that, was a reminder that the time I live in means I have options. I get to write and publish as much as I wish to. I can even work on publishing a book. I have access to music options too. Almost any song I want to try singing is availabe on Youtube music as a karaoke track. It is definitely not as good as live music but for a woman in the boonies its a darn fine option.

Somehow all that opened doors for a bit more dreaming. Dreaming about singing more. How could I make that work? As a start I pulled out my phone and pulled up my favorite karaoke tracks and sang almost all the way back to Carnduff. It was good for me.

Things got pretty hardcore practical after that. Russ needed me to pick up supplies at the vet clinic, I had a lengthy grocery list to attend to, I got a call from Russell saying he was making lunch, that perked up my step and the day quickly unfolded. We are having our ranch volunteers for supper tomorrow night. Its a night to celebrate the work we have accomplished together over the year. We will need lots of space and so today held lots of tidying. Jill has been a huge help, we worked side by side and tried to imitate the routine of our cleaning lady (who is on maternity leave.) Cleaning is alot more fun and rewarding with a partner I have to say.

Its almost time to dream again, the pillow kind of dreams. I am working on some fun stuff and it is so nice to have dreams percolating in the day and night.

A Memorable Gift

This Christmas had more than the usual amount of gifts that are memorable in some extra way. Gifts that bring extra smiles or memories for one reason or another. I thought blogging about them might be fun. What follows is the first of them, hopefully time will allow me to record more very soon.

Late last week Russ and I spent a few hours delivering some of the Bar MW crew gifts we have ready. It was fun. It was with some surprise that we arrived at the Gilliland’s and found this remarkable pair of natural beauties waiting to be gifted to us.

They were created for us by Jackie and the kids, and meant to symbolize Russ and I, I think.

I enjoy noting how the star Garland has a curly hair effect on the female and how epic that fur is as a topper.

The Russell figure has a buckle of sorts and some of the essential cowboy swag, the hat and kerchief.

In the first 24 hours at home there was some kind of showdown between the figures and we think Coffee dog. There were bark shavings all over the ground at one point, we had not heard a skirmish but Coffee looked guilty. Two episodes of that and then it stopped. We regained hope that the figures would make it to Christmas 2022.

Christmas eve, with everything in place, they stood guard on either side of the tree. In the morning all was well, except the Kathy figure had lost her nose. We think Coffe knows something about that.

I am sitting here wondering just what it is about these wacky characters that makes them feel so special.

Is it that we have so much affection for and enjoyment of these friends and this gift says “we feel the same about you.”

Here is Evan and Russ having a good moment this summer.

Is it that a gift like this says, “We see you. You are a cowboy and that makes a difference to us. You are a pair and that matters.” Feeling seen is such a profound gift.

On a summer evening Russ had the chance to show Marisol a trick for bridling here.

Is it that the gift is creative and unique and playful, and we value this stuff alot. Maybe. That makes sense.

Gifts are one of the things that inspired so much excitement in me when I was a child. The reality of receiving gifts felt wondrous. As an adult that has changed. Without sounding cliche the joy is found in the giving. This gift reminded me of the joy of childhood when we were surprised. Surprised by what we received and reminded that what matters to us is seen by others. I think that is why the birth we celebrate at Christmas is so consequential. It was such a surprise to receive God in human form and everything about the unfolding story that followed said, “I see you, I get it.”

Great gifts.