Monday, March 24, 2014

Holidays, Getaways & Wedding Days


            On my frig there’s a cute butterfly magnate, reminding me to “Save the Date” for Katie and Jon, who’re getting married in September.
            Katie and her family are nuts for this place called Callaway Gardens. If you’ve never been there it’s like Hawaii in Georgia…a paradise of blossoming flowers, hiking trails, lakes and ponds and picturesque cabins. In what can best be described as summer camp for adults, Callaway boasts such activities as trapeze training, kite building and archery, stories from which have kept this sweet family as close knit as a family can be. So it came as no surprise when Jon picked this memory packed location to propose to his high school (if not grade school) sweetheart, he also chose this setting for their picture perfect wedding, of course.
             This cute little magnate serves several useful purposes. For starters, it keeps the kids top of mind every time I open the frig…a good reminder to send up a prayer every now and again for their happiness in their new life together. It likewise accomplishes its intended purpose of reminding me to actually “save the date” as I really want to be there for them. But most of all, when I glance at the magnate, it serves as my carrot…that thing you dangle before your eyes to remind yourself that if you stay the course there’s a treat at the end of the day.
             The treat of travel has always been good carrot material for me. I love nothing more than throwing a dart at a map and starting a file and a journal specific to each new trip. More times than not, I travel alone, though I do have wonderful friends all across the globe I often drop in on. I have godsons in England; dear friends in Scotland. I’ve made acquaintances in Rome and I even went to Russia once (though I didn’t really know anyone there…Still and so it was a memorable trip, as I traveled with a bunch of missionaries; we were about as welcome there as ants at a picnic, but I digress…)
             Fast forward to my life today and sadly I have learned that travel and farming aren’t really a match. I learned this the hard way, after planting my first garden. I had friends getting married in England. Theirs was an August wedding so I thought I was safe. I’ll never forget coming home to a dozen deer standing in the middle of an overgrown thicket of weeds that had once been my garden. I’d been gone 10 days, and told my neighbors to help themselves to the watermelon. I had a few more weeks on the sweet potatoes. But the deer must’ve overheard as they helped themselves to the beans and corn and the rest of things that kept growing long after I had pulled my fair share. I was amazed that things had kept growing (mostly the weeds). It appeared as if I’d never grown a garden at all. After that, I decided no travel til frost, so September will likely break that rule. Fortunately, I only plan to be gone one weekend.
            Thurman tried to warn me: “Gardens don’t take vacations and critters get fed twice a day no matter what.” As with marriage, so with farming –Both require commitment and discipline if you want ‘em to work.
           It’s my style when venturing into something brand new (be it a radio show or a Master’s degree) to spend a decent amount of time researching the proposition while repeatedly asking “Do I have what it takes?” When reflecting on farming the one thing I feared most was “What happens when the travel bug bites?” for when it bites, it’s Katie bar the door for me. (That’s an expression. Not a note for Katie to literally do it, for I’m working it out now to be there for her for her big day.)
          Thanks to my cute little butterfly magnate, I’ve got 6 months to find a way to get pups fed, water bowls get changed and weeds pulled if necessary. It also buys me enough time to figure out just how one wraps a pygmy goat for a surprise wedding present. (To Katie’s dad, “I’m kidding!”  But I gotta say, if my goats saw the website, they’d be jumping the fence to see Callaway…If you think YOUR kids love it, just imagine mine~ I'm just sayin’.)

            To Katie and Jon~ Congratulations! Here's wishing you a continued lifetime of happiness. You're the cutest little couple I ever did see~ If not a goat, how 'bout a watermelon or a basket full of lavender? Blessings to you~ I'm saving the date!


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