Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘s’mores

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

Fire Fun

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DSCN2511eSunday was no rest day from work, even though we were graced with a visit from family. We started a fire to burn a couple of tree root bundles along with the remains of the brush pile we chipped the day before. While that was burning, I used the chainsaw to cut logs out of the tree trunks that were too big for the chipper.

We had the ATV down there with the trailer full of tools, the tractor for lifting one of the tree roots onto the fire, and the pickup to carry all the logs back uphill for splitting into firewood. It looked like quite the activity center.

When visitors arrived, they were welcomed at the fire. While I stayed to supervise the burn, they headed up to the house for some lunch Cyndie had prepared. Bless her heart, she brought me down a serving of a fabulous stew/soup she made in the slow cooker using meat from our CSA share, courtesy of our neighbors at Walker Farms. It tasted extraordinarily good to my hungry appetite, standing in the great outdoors beside a stoked fire.

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Nieces and nephews brought all their youthful enthusiasm to interact with Delilah, walk the horses in the round pen, and help around the fire. Where there is fire, Cyndie’s container of s’more supplies is never far off.

Beck unknowingly handled the working end of the stick that had been used to stir the coals. Is it that obvious? Doesn’t really matter when there are marshmallows to be roasted.

The weather was perfect, with just enough wind to keep the fire energized, and just enough sunshine to feel comfortable outdoors.

After everyone was gone, and most of the equipment was put away, I walked back down to get the truck and to make sure the fire was done burning. It wasn’t, and I didn’t have the heart to extinguish it. It was a beautiful evening and I became mesmerized by the serenity of the fire, the horses nearby, the vista of fall colors, and the quiet that the end of the day offered.

DSCN2527eLooking up at the trees that still block a view of our house, I noticed that we are at about 50% foliage. The last few days the leaves have been raining down heavily from some of the trees. The rest are not going to hold on to theirs much longer.

The season of more and more fire fun is upon us. Time to get that woodshed back up to cover our firewood. Probably also time for Cyndie to re-stock her tub of s’more supplies.

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Written by johnwhays

October 20, 2014 at 6:00 am