Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I found a box of clay...

I was rummaging around in my garage yesterday looking for a suitcase or a suitable container to transport the clothing of our oldest foster daughter who was leaving our care for independent living. When foster children are moved it is not acceptable to put their clothing and belongings into plastic trash bags as it implies the stigma that their property is on the same level as trash. When moved with a suitcase it is more dignified.

Any way as I was rummaging around, I ran into a large box of artist quality modeling clay that I recognized as the clay that we had purchased for our daughter Misty when she first came to live with us five years ago.

I began to reminisce about our time with her despite a self imposed rule not to do so in an attempt to dull feelings of loss, as usual though it only takes that one trigger and off I went down memory lane.

I recalled that here was the box of clay that was meant to represent Misty’s new awakening or rebirth into a world of unbridled opportunity, to do exactly as she wished instead of everything wished of her. This box along with a large artist’s easel, paints, brushes, and whole room put aside as her art studio were the result of her mere suggestion that she always wished for the tools to express herself in her art. We were her new caretakers so it was our obligation to provide her with every opportunity.

I remembered that as the time passed, the clay was not used and the months slid into years. The box of clay began to take on another persona more to the negative instead of its original purpose of setting her free. The box became a reminder of Misty’s inability of original thought or creative thinking robbed from her by the lack of hope during an abusive childhood. This box of clay became both the symbol of the faint hope of one day sculpting something from her soul while also representing waste and unrealized dreams.

It hit me then in the close summer heat of my garage while obtaining that suitcase for one child preparing to leave just what that box actually represented… As nothing was done with the potential of the clay within the box it seemed that the potential we saw in Misty sat as the clay had sat unused and unrealized. It felt at that moment that five years of teaching, caring and loving were contained in that cold uncaring lump of clay and once again I cried…

Time will tell with Misty and hopefully some day soon she will come to know that her potential is limitless, her story inspiring, her person unique and her spirit deserving of true love.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Two new cats and the 4-H Fair.

Aside from having a ton of fence work to get done, horse stalls to build, and a barn to side before winter we find ourselves right smack dab in the middle of the Allen County 4-H Fair.

Our ten year old foster daughter is entered with Nabokko the most popular of our three Llamas obtained in a rescue. She has her poster to finish, her Llama's costume and her club paragraph to complete all before the start of the fair on Monday.

Anyone familiar with 4-H will tell you just how much of a strain that puts on the parents when everything is began at the last moment. It is a good thing that the wife has good friends who have volunteered to help out so the ten year old won't be left out. We look forward to an enjoyable week and an overnight next Saturday as long as we can keep our wits and schedules together.

I brought home two male cats for the barn last evening. Both are about four months old and hopefully right at the best age to be acclimated to the barn without bringing bad habits with them, namely hunting birds. I am a little concerned about the chickens with chicks and the momma duck with her fifteen ducklings if the cats take to hunting the little ones.

We may have gotten lucky though in that when I let them loose in the hay loft of the barn it was already occupied by two of our Guineas. When I dumped them out of their carrier they slunk for a couple of steps and then as if a fire cracker just went off jumped about a foot into the air when the Guineas began sounding their distinctive alarm and then ran for the nearest cover. I think I got them at just the right age. The one thing that I want them to hunt though are the mice that are beginning to over populate the barn and even though it is summer they are still getting into the animal's feed.

I think I will name them B1 and B2 for Barn cat one and two. Both cats are actually pretty good looking cats with distinctive pastel tones to their coloring in varying shades of white, blue grey and patchy yellow.

The peacock chicks are beginning to grow their crowns and should be ready for free ranging in another week.

I just found out yesterday that I won't be able to tell my male Emus from my females until they are approximately a year and a half old. I learned that the females make the distinctive booming or drumming sound familiar to those that have been around Emus while the males grunt or growl. Oh, well I just have to be patient... The Emus are really fun to watch and are quite friendly. It's neat to watch them circle or turn as they run as they lean into the turn just like a rider on a motor cycle.

I recently added a photo of Gypsy my mare and I on my My Space page along with a photo from last year of three of my girls. Time has passed and as is life things have changed. I know I'll catch hell from some of my family for also including it in my My Space slide show but after considering how it depicts a nicer time for my Three Musketeers I decided that it was the moment that was of value and shouldn't be lost.

My next writing will come if I survive the two new cats and the 4-H fair.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Summer begins.

Summer is beginning to pass signaled by the 4th of July and Fort Wayne’s traditional Tree Rivers Festival. These two events have come to signal with me that the refreshing newness of spring and a new seasonal beginning is at its end. The headlong march through summer into fall and ultimately winter begins with the festival. I guess it’s true that as you grow older winter becomes less and less the favorite of all the seasons.

This Independence Day was nice in that there wasn’t any distress or controversy attempting to intrude. It was a nice warm day culminating in the domestic normalcy of a cook-out, fireworks viewed from the front porch and a campfire shared by the adults. I missed family that wasn’t there but enjoyed those that were and was content.

Now it is time to begin planning the necessary construction of horse stalls and shelters for my Llama and Emus for the winter and getting the barn sided. God it’s good to be a guy and have projects to look forward to.