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The Real Gift


The stinky photo-bomber, Abu


Happy Monday, dear reader. This week is a monumental week here on the farm. Not only are we preparing for our annual Fall on the Farm event, but I also turn 50. Yes, you read that correctly; I am a half-century old. To be honest, turning fifty doesn’t really bother me. I’m not thrilled about it, but it beats not turning fifty. Rather than ask for material things, I’ve asked for experiences like my 50 fun things idea. This is two-fold; I can’t stand the thought of another thing cluttering my house, and my darling bib overall wearing wonder buns is notoriously bad at gifts. Although the gifts have gotten better since Jodan has gotten older, I suffer from years of gifting PTSD. One never knows what my bib overall-wearing buddy will come up with, and it’s unnerving.


After yesterday, I almost feel bad about the jokes…almost. You see, dear reader, one bib overall wearing wonder buns knocked it out of the park for gifts this year. He offered me something I have wanted for several years, and he surprised me and thought of it all on his own. Not bad for a gift-giving curmudgeon. The Bibbed Wonder planned for a photographer to come to the farm and take a family portrait for my birthday. In my humble opinion, it doesn’t get any sweeter and more considerate. He thoughtfully told me ahead of time because he “knew I would be a pain in the ass about outfits and such. After all, it takes me an hour to get ready just to work in the soap studio.” Insert an annoyed eye roll here.


Sometimes, the stars align, and all things fall into place. It was a beautiful day, the fall foliage was at its peak, and Grambarb was able to join us. My friend, Royale Shields, and her daughter/helper, Kensie, did a fantastic job with the pictures. We got shots of us as a family, Eric and Jordan, Grambarb and Jordan, Jordan and me, Eric and me, Buster and me, and some fun shots with our herd of goats. The day presented the perfect backdrop; it is priceless that we could do it on my beloved farm.


Of course, with us, there is never a dull moment. Abu, our billy goat, is in full rut. He provided sound effects and foul odors the entire time. The ducks photo-bombed us. Lilly, my sweet girl, had to get in on the photo-bombing action. Buster refused to cooperate but provided comic relief, and The Bibbed Wonder was declared the worst model ever. All Royale said to him all day was, “Teeth, Eric! You’re the worst!” Aside from all the shenanigans, I believe we had some excellent photos taken.


Once again, dear reader, I am so appreciative of my people. My circle is small, but those in my circle make me feel loved and worthwhile. They show up for me, do things they don’t enjoy, and never complain. The real gift is my family. I love my family. On this chilly October Monday, stay safe, be smart, appreciate your people, and keep washing your hands.

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