“Stay kind. It makes you beautiful.” ~ Najwa Zebian
What a busy day this has been. Lots of business to be done in Lexington, then it was off to the homeland of Eastern Kentucky where more business got done. But in amongst all this business busy-ness was a lot of great visiting. Like when Jill LeMaster and her nephew, Jacob, dropped by. They brought delicious foods to mom, and they also brought a selfie-stick. I’d never used a selfie stick before. Here’s my first try. Everyone I ran into today was happy and helpful. Such joy.
“You’re always one decision away from a totally different life.” ~ Unknown
Dad hasn’t been able to participate in DAV activities the way he used to, but this year, despite having pneumonia, he was able to lay the wreath at the DAV Memorial Day Event in West Liberty. It was hot, too. Real hot. While he did his thing, with Jill standing in the wings watching over him, mom and I went to decorate at Malone. We came back for them, then went to Dairy Queen to cool off with some sweet treats. It’s really important that folks, any folks no matter their age or infirmities, be able to participate as long as they’re able. And when one is able to make it happen, one must. It feels good to help. I’m grateful everybody in the family, including Jill, was able to do something to honor our vets and ancestors this year. Here’s to many more banana splits with my two favorite vets.
“Know that there is divine balance in everything. Without darkness there can be no light
and without spirituality there can be no physicality. You are being guided through this.”
~ Crow (Brian Oberley)
It was Derby Day. Rather than my usual Derby party, I spent time in West Liberty with my old friend, Jill Lemaster. I didn’t know it was her birthday until after we’d parted, so I missed an opportunity to say Happy Birthday to one of my oldest friends. Jill hasn’t been in the outhouse before today, but you’ve heard me talk about her. Two years ago, she sent her farm fresh eggs to me by way of mom, and she made a wonderful paw tombstone for One-Eyed Jack. That’s Jill! She has a small circle of people she goes out of her way to help when they need her, and she shares whatever she has whenever she can. I’m lucky to be in that circle.
We were at Janet’s house. I stepped out on the back porch and saw this enormous snapping turtle floating downstream. It was easily the largest snapping turtle I’ve seen in that creek in more than 40 years. Though you can clearly see his long nails and neck, the water distorted his size in the photo. He was bigger in person. I would guess him to be 30 pounds or more; really quite impressive.
My day with Jill was one to cherish. We had a good, long talk about a lot of important things. The kind of conversation that you only have with someone who really knows you. Jill is one of those people for me, and I wouldn’t trade her for anything. I do, however, wish I’d known it was her birthday so we could have done something special to celebrate her. It just means we get to plan something even more special, and soon. She deserves to be celebrated.
“There’s never a challenge you can’t get around with optimism, creativity and persistence.”
~ Gregg Treinish
I’d post a picture of Jill LeMaster from last Saturday’s Pickin’ in the Park, but she was elusive. Truly. I got hand-in-face after hand-in-face shot. I came home without a single decent picture of Jill. So, instead, here are the eggs she gave me. Aren’t they beautiful? She raises a variety of chickens as you evidenced by the eggs. They were almost too pretty to eat. I wish I could tell you the different hens that laid them, but I can’t. I do know that they love their pecking toys I sent them several months ago. Who knew hens would play! I really Jill, and I love that she has found farming. It makes her happy. And look at the beauty she sees every day. Such joy and gratitude.
“Perhaps a butterfly is proof that you can go through a great deal of
darkness yet becomes something beautiful.” ~ Toby Mac
I got a special delivery from my old friend Jill LeMaster. She started raising hens a few months ago up in Morgan County, and today sent down a dozen eggs by mom and dad. I never figured eggs to be beautiful, but these eggs are beautiful to me. Jill and I had a long talk last night about chickens and eggs (the question still remains which came first). For instance, the greenish eggs are laid by her Bantam hens. The big brown eggs by her Golden Comets. Jill said she doesn’t wash them because they’re laid with a protective coating on them called a ‘bloom’. The bloom prevents bacterial growth as long as it’s attached. Washing off the dirt also washes off the bloom which can then introduce bacteria once you crack it open. She shared lots of other interesting chicken facts, but “Don’t get me started on chicken shit!” she exclaimed. Thank you, Jill. Thank you for the eggs, and thank you for making your way in this world in truly remarkable ways. You’re my inspiration.