Thursday, October 7, 2010


    I have been considering this post for a bit.   What makes a friend?  I have mulled this over for a few weeks now.  Some of my friends are rather new, and many, many are quite old ( as in I have been friends with them for many years, not age-related).   Some friends to me are inanimate objects,  for instance, these fall mornings as I step outside to do chores, it is still dark.  But I look into the sky and see my friend Orion gazing out into the heavens from his kneeling vantage point.  He is friendly to me because he is always there, unchanging, I can count on him being there for me to see.  I have been looking a lot into the heavens, learning the constellations and the stars that they are comprised of.  Betelgeuse is one of the stars in the Orion constellation,  I like this star solely because of its name.  Pronounced "beetlejuice", this star reminds me of the movie starring Micheal Keaton, and I really enjoyed that movie!    Another star in the Orion constellation is Bellatrix, and for those Harry P fans, we know who she is certainly along with her cousins Sirius and Regulus ( both are also heavenly bodies seen in the autumn skies here in Minnesota).  I never was able to make a connection with J.K. Rowling for how she chose the names of her characters, I think she too, looked into the heavens and was inspired.  Without doing any homework on this, I can only speculate, but the names ARE there.  My friends, the stars.    

     Speaking of stars, I am friends with Vin Diesel, at least on Facebook I am... He posts regularly, and always lets his FB friends know how grateful he is to be in the place he is currently at status wise.  I have always admired Vin,  he seems to be a man of integrity, something I value highly in my world.

     Honesty, integrity, faithfulness and kindness are some of the things I value in my friends.  I have many friends, some are not good friends they are on the outskirts of my friendship circle.  My true friends are good friends.   I have not unfriended many people in my life.  A couple of .loser boyfriends, and 2 women are all that come to me right now.

     The one friendship I regret losing now, Nancy was her name and she was beautiful, but nice.  She loved flirting with guys and I loved hanging out with her cuz I knew all the hot guys were going to want to get to meet her ( and me by association).  But one night of partying showed me her true colors, see she had just gotten married to this really hot, hot lead singer of a band ( we went to a lot of bars and met a lot of hot band members).  I knew Terry ( her husband), and liked him, he was a nice guy and didn't need to have his wife going off to party with some other band for all hours of the night.  I told her I wasn't interested in partying with this band, and we should get home, Nancy didn't like hearing that.  She was about to go off with this band without me even though I had driven her to this bar ( somewhere near Marshall , Lind ballroom I believe), and I wasn't about to let that happen. So I finally get her away from the band and get her into my car to head the long drive back to Montevideo ( that is where we lived near).  She was so mad at me she told me we were no longer friends, and she never wanted to speak to me again.  I agreed, and the silent car ride has lengthened into 20+ years.  I never made up with her again.  I sometimes wonder though, how she is doing, we had many fun times before this together.

   The second friendship I happily set aside last year. The person in question proved themselves to be dishonest, untrustworthy and unreliable. 

    My friends are much better people than this.   The people I choose to surround myself with are supportive, considerate, trustworthy, honest and kind.  My trainer for instance,  a terrific person who has been crapped on several times in her life.  Someone burglarized her barn, not just once, but twice!  This woman doesn't have a palace, and works so hard for what she has.  Why should she be the person to lose so much?  I often ask God that question.  His answer?  He doesn't always give us what we WANT, but he ALWAYS gives us what we NEED.  I don't know the how or the why of my trainer needing to be burglarized twice, but God has the plan,  I need the faith to follow what his plan is for me and my friends.  I do pray, and I include my trainer in my prayers.

   I have some really good friends that I have had since I was a child.  I don't get to see them often, but when we get together, we just pick up where we left off in our friendship.  I like to use the analogy of putting on my most comfortable pair of shoes.   Comfortable old shoes are a high priority to me and they clearly are high on my list of things I am grateful for  (right up there with hot running water)! That is how my old friends feel to me.

     I also have friends among the animals.  Clearly, all our animals here on our small hobby farm are friends,  My son and I name them all ( except for the bees, they move too fast to bee named...).  We have our 10 horses, which of course have been with us for many years.  Coni is 30 and she has been with me since she was born.  She is my heart horse, there is such a special bond between she and I we know each other...  Sahib is my other heart horse, and it is clear he loves me, as much as I love him.  Non horsey people have even noticed this bond.  They can see how he looks at me and can see the love emanating from him and they see my love for my horse also.  This is friendship.  I look forward to developing our riding partnership as well as our bond.  I have ridden him a couple of times now, since he got back from my trainer's farm and small baby steps will ensure that bond continuing to grow.
   I grieve for some of my animal friends.  Last year, an owl killed my friend Gary.  Gary was a large Pekin drake.  He loved me and I loved him, we were good friends.  Gary would always come when I called for him and it was hilarious to see this huge duck running and flapping his wings in his excitement to come and see what kind of game we were going to play!   He loved to play tag with my feet.  I would quickly shuffle my feet and he would almost trip over himself trying to catch each foot as it moved!  He loved grabbing on to my shoe laces and untie my tennis shoes.  My boots were frustrating for him, there was nothing for him to untie...  If I mistakenly wore sandals or flip flops outside I had to be very wary of Gary, because he liked nothing better than to come up ( especially when I was distracted) and nip my feet.  That stings, a lot!!!Try it sometime, take a tweezers and pinch a tiny piece of skin on the top of your foot as hard as you can.  That is kind of what it was like for Gary to catch me in flip flops!!!
   Gary liked to sleep next to the house, in the summer so he could be there quacking in his hoarse drake voice as soon as I opened the door each morning.   Sadly, this practice is what led to his demise.  I found him one October morning, with the Great Horned Owl that killed him standing over him feeding.  Shock overwhelmed my grief.  This owl not only killed my friend Gary, but it was more than willing to take on all 5 dogs that surrounded it as I unknowingly let them outside that morning!  I could see it starting to hop toward the mini Dachshund  Bailey, and I rushed outside grabbing the closest item I could find.  A broom.  Yes, I took on an owl with a broom, and guess what? An owl ( esp one of that size) isn't intimidated by a wild woman swinging a broom... I even connected with it, didn't even phase the thing.  It hopped off into the wild where I still here it sometimes at twilight as I am doing chores.  I then hustle to lock all my birds safely into their coops, and make sure the smaller dogs are safely inside before continuing on with my chores for the evening.  I won't lose another friend to an owl's hunger.
    I have sadly lost several birds this fall.  Gone are Betty and Agnes, followed by the only duck I hadn't named, the small black Runner female.  Then Rosy got sick and I found her dead last Monday, she is buried by Gary.  Helen disappeared next, she was a Black Swedish duck who loved her Cheerios, and clamored for them every morning.  Saffron disappeared next, and she was the one bird I thought had the best survival instincts, I figured she of all my chickens would be wise enough to sense danger before it was too late, I was wrong I guess. Now my Mallard duck Goldy is gone, she was Gary's mate and I enjoyed watching her antics as she begged for treats.  Yesterday, I lost one of my exhibition birds Ash, she was a blue Cochin, just about 7 months old, next year I was going to be entering her and her sister Smoke ( get it, Smoke and Ash???... I thought it kind of cool if you say it fast....) in some poultry competitions.   I am trying to keep my girls safe, but I think  coyote has discovered the reliable feast available to him during the day at the Erickson farm.   I don't lose birds at night, only when they free range during the day.
    So I say good by to some of my friends, and I will always remember them fondly.  My other friends, human and animal, I will continue to support through thought, word and deed.  There is nothing like a good friendship.

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