This week, I had a spur of the moment visit with three friends. Each one imprinted a special moment on my heart.
On Monday morning, my electricity went off unexpectedly and since I had errands to run, I didn’t mind. At 10:55 A.M. I headed to town to have my oil changed and to wash the car. My growling stomach reminded me I had skipped breakfast and it was lunch time.
I decided boiled shrimp sounded perfect for lunch. Pulling into the parking lot at Fisherman’s Market, I anticipated eating alone. I ordered my lunch, headed to the table, picked up my phone, and started to checkout Facebook. Instead, I punched out a text, hoping Katie might want to join me if she hadn’t had a late breakfast. Score!!!! She did.
Less than thirty minutes later, we chatted over shrimp, fries, and hush puppies. Catching up on kids, grandchildren, and trips…we continued the conversation at her home, sitting on her swing watching the lake her backyard faces. We observed fish swimming, listened to the hammering of new construction going on in the neighborhood, and visited as old friends do. It was a lovely way to spend a few hours together doing nothing, but sharing our lives.
After work today, I made my way to Sally’s house for a last visit before travel plans pull us in different directions. Her pool beckoned and we answered the call. The wind felt wonderful as it blew, keeping the heat at bay.
Laughter and seriousness mingled, as we floated in the water, talking about family and faith. Friendship is very much like a pool…beautiful to observe, refreshing to join, and oh so pleasant to float in, sharing and trusting that it will be uplifting as life moves along. Nothing is more satisfying than a friend who loves you like a sister.
Earlier in the day, Robbi invited me to come over and feed a baby calf whose mom passed away after birthing it. So after Sally’s, off I went to feed a calf.
Feeding a calf with a bottle is precious. It doesn’t take long befoe it sucks it down and I’m holding an empty bottle. After we petted and admired the sweet calf, we enjoyed a cup of coffee on her front porch watching the heifers and their calves in the field close to us.
Soon her husband, Ben came home and joined us. Watching the heifers and calves move around the pasture is entertaining. Their funny mooing being repeated is like listening to a comedy routine. I never realized that there are so many different types of mooing.
As time passed, I felt like I should leave even though I was enjoying myself immensely visiting on that porch. I confess it didn’t take much to convince me to stay a bit longer. Ben suggested we go check the cows with calves to see if any of the new babies looked unhealthy.
They have this truck-like type of vehicle from another country that they use for driving around in the pasture. The steering wheel is on the right hand side. It has obviously seen better days, but there’s something so charming about riding in that thing! Robbi backed out. I sat in the cab and Ben rode on the tailgate. After Ben opened the gate, Robbi drove into the pasture, around cows and calves, looking for specific calves to check on due to health issues. We were looking for the calf belonging to cow #9.
We slowly crept past moms and babies, lumbering over uneven pasture land. We found the calf in question, down by the pond by himself. When Ben got out to check his health, the small calf got up and promptly teetered off heading back towards the other cows.
As Ben walked, the calf moved, keeping ahead of him. There’s something endearing about cowboys as they work. We followed Ben, as he followed that small creature paitently.
A decision was made to move the cows and calves to another pasture. Now, if you know Ben, then you know that he likes to kid around. When he asked me if I wanted to call the cows, I thought he was joking with me. My knowledge is almost zero about cows. However thanks to Ben, I now know the difference between a cow and a heifer and a bull and a steer.
Ben showed me how to call the cows. To tell the truth, I thought he was pulling my leg and I was expecting him and Robbi to burst out laughing when I made this weird calling sound. Indeed not! I put my hands around my mouth and made the sound and those cows and calves came running. I have to tell you that I did feel pretty powerful! I communicated with cows (insert loud giggle).
Ben waited until the cows gathered with their calves. They were mooing and pressing toward one another at the gate. Robbi patted a few crooning sweet words of affection. She knows the cows well. They are named by number on a tag and the tag identifies which year they were born. It was sweet to watch.
We stood back and Ben opened the gate. Cows and calves rushed through on their way to find new grass to eat. A few younger calves hesitated going through the gate and stayed on that side, trying to decide if it was wise to go through the gate. The one sickly calf didn’t show up with the others.
Robbi drove us back to the calf and Ben gently ushered the tiny one towards the other pasture with a long stick. I had a thought about God gently guiding us towards where we should go, when Robbi said almost the same thing I was thinking about cowboys being like shepherds.
We ended the evening sitting in the backyard, watching the sun set behind the horizon as pinks and oranges streaked the sky. Country music played on Ben’s phone and I watched this family do what was obviously a common event for them. That was one loveliest sunsets I have seen, not because of the colors, but because of that love that glowed around me. I felt very honored to be included.
Three friends whose life affected mine in the sweetest way possible. Simple visits, but filled with caring, joy, and love. Windows into their lives, given, shared, and received.