Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

More Family

with 4 comments

Yesterday we enjoyed a visit with more family when my sister, Judy, and her daughter, Tricia, and kids stopped by for a dose of Wintervale that delightfully just kept on going, despite their intention to make it brief.

I treasure the opportunity to share the preciousness of idle time among our animals and strolling around our grounds. When the participants are as thrilled by what they find here as Cyndie and I are, it is both energizing and confirming. 

The experience is what I believe it to be. Rejuvenating. Inspiring. Mesmerizing.

The kids didn’t want to leave. I couldn’t blame them one bit.

There are chickens! The horses! They walked/ran the labyrinth, laid on the hammocks, split wood for a fire, made s’mores. We ate fresh-picked sweet corn and cooked burgers over the fire. What’s not to like?

The best part for me was sharing some custom time among the herd, just standing or sitting near the horses while they munched on sweet clover in the arena space. We pulled out the giant soccer ball for the horses, but it held little appeal compared to the greens at their feet.

As we stood observing, the horses eventually oriented themselves right in front of us, chomping away about as close as they could get. Coming from our previous snack of corn on the cob, we recognized that they were gobbling the grass with very similar motions and zeal.

Quietly hanging out with the horses is time I am able to enjoy every day, but drop-in guests rarely get the opportunity, with the inherent hazards of unexpected horse reactions and unfamiliar humans creating unnecessary risk. Cyndie offered a crash-course of safety instruction and the group was able to enter the horses’ space for some unscripted interacting.

Hunter was particularly appreciative of all the attention being lavished and he soaked up the scratches for all he was worth. The picture Tricia captured of Brooke’s kiss while Hunter closed his eyes is a wonderful depiction of the sentiments.













Written by johnwhays

August 12, 2017 at 9:42 am

4 Responses

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  1. I loved seeing this so much it made me want to cry with joy. I can understand why both you and Cyndie have fallen in love with living there with your family of a – dog, cat, horse, chickens and all the wild animals that surrounds you in such a peaceful setting called Wintervale. You have worked hard to make this such a beautiful setting and for those of us who come to visit and enjoy all that you have done I congratulate you both for all of your efforts and hard work.
    love you both!!!!!!!!!!!

    Grandma Marie or otherwise know as MOM

    August 12, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    • Thank you! You are so kind, and your generous support to us is an invaluable contribution to creating what Wintervale has become. Love right back to you!


      August 12, 2017 at 11:53 pm

  2. Today I’m still basking in the peace and joy that is Wintervale. Your animals are an attraction but most of the credit for this sanctuary goes to you and Cyndie 💞 All your hard work and passion do not go unnoticed 💗 As we finally headed home there were gushing exclamations of joy from the kids and wishes to achieve what you have for their futures. Thanks sooooo much💖


    August 12, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    • Warms my heart to read. And we didn’t even get the “LOVE” flag up to welcome you…


      August 12, 2017 at 11:51 pm

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