Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘visitors

Family Visits

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In my rush out-of-town for the weekend, I skipped over the adventure we enjoyed on Friday with visiting family. Three generations! My great-niece, Brooke, and great-nephew, Drew, each brought a friend, arriving with my niece, Tricia and my sister, Judy.

Friday morning started with significant thunderstorm, but by afternoon, the weather was pleasant for hanging out with the chickens and doing some exercises with the horses.

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Cyndie spent the rainy morning in the kitchen, baking fresh buns and some chocolate chip cookies. Combined with the snacks Judy and Tricia brought, and some brats Cyndie had grilled the day before, we had plenty of fuel for the adventures.

Hunter was the star horse of the day, seen above making faces with Drew and participating in some communication connections in the round pen with Brooke. It is thrilling to witness the horse-human interactions as they play out. I think I get as much pleasure watching as the people who are engaged in the activity.

It looked like Hunter was getting a fair share of pleasure out of it, too.

The chickens were pretty happy to have a lot of hands feeding them fruit scraps from Cyndie’s morning kitchen projects. That’s a much better way to dispose of food scraps that are otherwise commonly ground up in sink disposals and flushed into municipal waste water systems. Since we don’t have a kitchen disposal, if our food scraps don’t go to the chickens, they end up in the compost bin.

Shortly after getting a bite to eat, I dashed off for the lake place, but I did hear the kids trying to negotiate their way into an overnight. There was too much fun to be had and not enough time to fit it all in.

Their glee was so inspiring, it renewed my appreciation for everything our place has to offer. Living it day after day changes the perspective. It was refreshing to have their invigorating, contagious energy knock me from taking the adventure of this life for granted.

I always say, this place never reaches its full potential until company shows up for a visit.

Especially when they are able to stay long enough to try out an exercise in the round pen with one of the horses.

Thanks for making the trip over on Friday, Judy, Tricia, and kids! It was a blast having you here!

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Written by johnwhays

August 6, 2018 at 6:00 am

Posted in Chronicle

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More Family

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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.

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Written by johnwhays

August 12, 2017 at 9:42 am

Monday Ponderings

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We opened our home to guests this weekend and were richly rewarded. Once again, we enjoyed evidence of how Wintervale comes alive with the addition of visitors. I, in particular, enjoyed the chance to talk with new acquaintances.

The weather was spectacular. Warm as a summer day, but with the lower angle of sunshine that late September offers. Our maple trees are peaking their color change to fluorescent orange. This time of year, days like this offer a chance to absorb every last possible feature to our core, in hopes it might somehow provide extra ballast for enduring the winter months when they arrive.

On Saturday, I met some folks (and their families) that Cyndie now works with at her (relatively) new job. Sunday, our precious friend, Melissa and her daughters came to spend some time. During their visit, our daughter, Elysa, and her friend, Anne, walked in the door, to our great joy and surprise. Later, I spotted the text message from Elysa, informing us of her plan.

The two days served to re-energize us and provided inspiration to keep after our dream of making Wintervale always be a place that will inspire others. With all the leftover food treats that remain from Cyndie’s bountiful spread, I could use a lot more visitors right now to help keep me from ultimately consuming it all myself.

Today, I get back to work trying to make appreciable progress on at least one of the 4-or-5-various projects I have started that deserve timely attention. If I am lucky enough to have landscapers or fence installers show up, that will be a bonus that determines the immediate priority. If I can’t decide, there is always watering to be done for the new grass seed I put down. That’s an easy way to consume a couple of hours.

DSCN2409eI’ve turned over mole-control to Delilah. She seems to enjoy digging up the spots where they have created tunnels in the lawn. It’s not actually effective, in terms of controlling the population of moles, but it does serve to keep her out of other trouble for a reasonable span of time.

Happy Monday, one and all!

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Written by johnwhays

September 29, 2014 at 6:00 am

Got Company?

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Our guests have arrived! Let the fun begin.

Delilah was so excited to meet them, she peed. We stayed up later last night than I have been awake for as long as I can remember. Did I even make it to midnight last New Years? I don’t think so. When we finally went to sleep, it was already this morning, that’s how late it was.

Temperatures should be mild today, so we will be able to give them a soft introduction to our northern version of winter.

That’s it. I don’t have time to write more. We’ve got company!

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Written by johnwhays

December 18, 2013 at 7:00 am