Annie is sick. Her disease came on suddenly. A few days a go she was barely limping, then overnight, she became nearly paralyzed with a stiff pain in her front legs. I called the vet, who thinks she has a crippling case of Lyme, and tomorrow we're going for antibiotics and shots. She'll be okay, but she's not herself. Last night she couldn't even move. It's so hard to see a dog you know can pump uphill in harness during a blizzard—barely able to stand. I have been beside myself with worry.
Jazz ran away this morning. You just can't know the panic. Sibes are not farm dogs. They run away. They can't be trusted with small animals. They are wolves on the lam. Anyway, he loped out the screen door I left open by mistake, and ran off towards the poultry and Finn. (Both of which he would've happily ripped apart). Yet, he didn't. Here's what happened: I saw him run off, but was so occupied with helping Annie hobble outside to relieve herself, I couldn't stop him. I gave up on him. All I could do was hope he'd come back to me and not hurt the livestock. But in my head all I could think was "One dog is dying, the other ran off" As Annie whined from the aches of holding up her own body weight, I started to cry. Sometimes everything happens at once. It's too much.
Then Annie howled from the pain of standing, and collapsed into my arms. Jazz heard this (and in a highly unSiberian husky way) turned on a dime and ran back to his girls. He trotted right through the threshold of the screened porch door, head high, golden eyes searching for the pain. Then he sat beside us. He watched me holding Annie, limp and whimpering. He saw me teary and breathing heavy. He gave up his golden chance at blood and freedom to make sure we were okay. I love him so much. He's a good man.
I hugged him and Annie on that dirty Vermont porch like they were the most important things in the world.
I have no idea how any of you are getting through this life without dogs. You're stronger than I.
I woke up this morning to the sound of pounding rain. In my previous life (before my world revolved around planting, feeding, and fences) waking up to rain was one of my favorite things—meditative and simple. Today however, I knew it meant sloshing in a downpour to take care of a lot of damp and hungry animals. But I have learned to blueprint my mornings out on such occasions. I'll play upbeat music on the record player while I cook up some breakfast. I put on good rain gear when I venture into the angry Vermont morning. And I make sure I set aside enough time when I get back in the cabin for a longer shower and an extra cup of coffee. It amazes me what patience, a hot shower, and coffee can get you through.
This past weekend was delicious. The photo is a small sample of the bounty that was my weekend. I'm now hitting that time of year when every meal comes out of the backyard. I spent the weekend devouring farm omelets with melted VT cheddar cheese, fresh salads from the garden, homemade breads and pies for dinner and dessert, and just savoring every bite. The best meals you could ever eat you pay for in sweat, blisters, and dough under the fingernails. I promise.
So, another Fiddler's Summer update is coming along. I'm going to tell you about my current fiddle: an 80-100-year-old Czech shop fiddle that has become my best friend. But before I do, I just wanted to make clear to all of you out there that there is no "official start date" to all this business. You can sign up anytime, and there is no real rules to follow either. I just set out the guidelines to help you teach yourself. We're all chatting about it together as we stumble along. It's the only way to learn. I want you to take that book, your fiddles, and a few minutes every day to get to know each other, and then please report back here with your advice, links, videos and comments. So far so many of you are already helping each other out, and I swell with pride when I see the back and forth in the comments.
P.S. Looks like two of the kits are sold and will be picked up by some blog readers in June. Two to go. Wish all us rabbit folks luck.
Enjoy the story of a young writer living in Washington County with her fancy dogs, sheep, lots of chickens, fiber & meat rabbits, geese, ducks, turkeys, a hive and a garden. Expect to hear a lot about mountain music, the civil war, local food, and my friends along the way. It's a big time folks.
And when the children are safe in bed, at one of the great holidays like the Fourth of July, New Years, or Halloween, we can bring out some spirits and turn on the music, and the men and the women who are still among the living can get loose and really wild. So that's the final meaning of "wild"- the esoteric meaning, the deepest and most scary. Those who are ready for it will come to it. Please do not repeat this to the uninitiated. -gs