DAY 67b-SIP- Give Me A Sign

During my bereavement support group meetings where I met Peg, one of the grieving widows suggested that we should ask our dead partners to send a sign. The sign can be anything a soft wind across your cheek, a butterfly landing near you. It was this lady’s way of dealing with her grief. I liked the idea and often asked Barb for a sign. Anything I’d say, just to let me know you are doing well. Days would pass, or even weeks and months without a single thing I could interpret as a sign. One day, I was walking on the bike path. It was the middle of the day, and sunny. I felt a presence next to me. It was the strangest thing to feel something so close to you yet not hear it. I turned my head ever so slowly to see a full grown deer walking alongside me just behind my head. I walk this path almost daily, I ride my bike on the path almost daily yet I have never seen a deer near the path. That day, not only did was there a deer on the path it was walking side by side with me. I couldn’t take it any longer even though we had only been together for a few seconds, I had to talk to it. As soon as I did, the deer startled and ran on ahead of me for about twenty yards then skittered off into the woods.

What I haven’t said yet is that my wife Barbara loved deer. She collected statues of deer. Her collection consisted of three hundred porcelain, paper mâché, made in Japan, made in China, made in USA collectible deer statues, most about the size of a salt shaker, and some were salt shakers. There is no question in my mind that this was a sign from Barb, I made a connection.

Last month I started asking Peggy to send me a sign. What the heck maybe it’ll work again. Since then there hasn’t been a single event that I would place in the class of being a sign.

Last evening I had just settled down to watch a movie, and found one titled “Brad’s Status” starring Ben Stiller. The story has him thinking that out of all his college clique he is the only one that is not famous, rich, or successful. The story is more than that, however and I liked it.

I clicked on the start button when a sudden every loud noise happened within a few feet from me. Startled I nearly jumped out of my skin with freight when a second loud bang happened within a microsecond of the first. I jumped up to learn the source of this mini explosion. There in front of me just behind the loveseat lay a framed picture with broken glass all over the floor. Th picture is one of Peg’s and my favorites by Ted DiGrazia of running wild horses. I hung it above the bar separating our dining room from the sun room. It was set high and had fallen seven feet, first bouncing off the marble counter immediately below and then to the floor. It took out my orchid plant on the way down. The first thing that popped into my mind was what happened, then the SIGN came to mind. Was this a sign from Peg?

A Sign From Peg, The Horses Galloped Off the Wall
Mustangs Free To Run At Last

I started to think of all the horse possibilities within our family. She has a son, whose wife and daughter are horse owners and horse lovers. I have a daughter-in-law who also has horses. Did something happen to one of these families? I wanted to call them on the spot to learn if all was well with them, but fought off the urge. If they had something happen they will let me know, in the meantime I’ll just categorize this as a sign from Peg, I connected once more.

Silver

Silver With Mother Buff

Silver With Mother Buff

While cleaning my desk in preparation to paint the room I cleared out two boxes of books. I put the books into the laundry room in the space Peg uses for folding clothes. What this did was make the pile of books a high visibility project. Not to mention, they were within the domain a highly charged woman who wanted her space back. I vowed not to return anything to my office that wasn’t an absolute necessity. So far, I am holding on to that self-imposed rule. The important junk is back in my office and now I find myself sorting through the left overs.

I came a cross a very old book with a battered cover, yellow pages, and ripped binding. The title is Silver, the Story of a Wild Horse by Thomas C. Hinkle, published in 1934 by William Morrow & Co, New York. There are a couple of hand written inscriptions on the inside cover. The first line says “Excelsior School Dist. 32. 6th grade, Jan, 1936. The second line reads Arlie Richard Davis, November 27, 1951, Xenia, Ill, RR#1. Once I saw the name Davis I knew where this book came from. Arlie Davis is my son-in-law’s father. Arlie is just a few years younger than me. Since I had never heard of Xenia, Illinois I looked it up. Xenia is in the southern third of the state in line with Saint Louis. The current population is 658. I urge you to visit the Xenia website to learn about this quaint little town in Illinois.

Since I knew the owner of this book, I felt a moral obligation to read it. I loved it. It is for kids ages 12 -80. A few years ago I wrote exclusively for kids and have a book on Kindle titled Dooley’s Dilemma which I recommend for your kids. Enough of the commercial. Silver is a story about wild horses. One horse in particular is an Arabian breed who is white. The author Hinkle has an amazing grasp of wild horses. He describes their habits, noises, fighting postures, and aversion to man, and is very descriptive. At first I thought the story would divert to a good guy, bad guy cowboy story. Instead Hinckley surprised me by drafting a story where the central characters are all wild horses. It is obvious that Hinkle had a love for these animals. If I had read this book in sixth grade, I would have loved it even more. This just proves to me that it is never too late to do stuff and to venture down paths never taken before.

Crane Meadows Grade-A Best

Yesterday, I had the wonderful pleasure of celebrating my youngest grandchild’s sixth birthday. He is a beautiful child who lives on a farm with horses. In fact he and his older brother have a unique pet named Buddy. Buddy is a pony. How cool is that?

This is the simplest way I can describe the process of making compost. Buddy has three friends in the barn with him. Together they form the foundation for an amazing process that turns hay into rich organic compost. The brown machine has a little help from farmers who harvest the grass and make it into hay. At the end, they get more help from the farmer who completes the process by aerating and aging the raw material that forms the basic ingredient of compost.

These photos best describe how Crane Meadows Farm produces Grade-A organic compost that every gardener covets.

Crane Meadows Farm begins with rich green alfalfa; harvested, dried, and baled.

Kitty, the barn cat, zealously guards the raw material headed for the compost process.

Buddy and friends eagerly grind the hay to begin the process.

What we don't want to be.

The brown machine digests the hay and exhausts raw pellets ready for the next step.

Pellets stacked and ready for the next step.

The raw pellets move to bin-one for three months of aging.

The pellet mash transfers to bin-two for aeration, and another three months of aging.

The mash moves to bin-three. Note the color and texture change after nine months.

Farmer Steve tests the one year old shovel ready Crane Meadow’s Grade-A Product.

Farmer Steve loads Grade-A into transport modules.

Grade-A packaged and ready for shipment via long distance carrier.

Transport modules loaded on the Death Star for the long haul.

Horticultural material nourished with Crane Meadow’s Grade-A compost.

The

End

 

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