Archive for September 10th, 2012

The Wagon


The wagon as it arrived:

The wagon now:

By the time I got back home to finish the wagon, I had kinda lost some enthusiasm, if you know what I mean. But I’m happy with how it came out. It’s definitely a different wagon!

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I’ll never write this post so that it is good enough for her, so I won’t even try–because right now, I just can’t. I just need to write it and get past it because I am so heartbroken.

This afternoon, I was in the barnyard painting the wagon, had been for some time, and everything and everyone was normal. Then I heard a strange sound. I looked over to see Clover suddenly on her side on the ground, having spasms. I ran to her, saw that something was terribly wrong, and ran for the goat carrier. Heather, who is here visiting ahead of the retreat and helping me get ready, ran for my Explorer and drove it into the field to meet me with the carrier. We loaded her in the back of my Explorer and I raced to the vet’s office. She was gone by the time I got there. I could not have gotten her there any faster. I had to know why. I asked them to necropsy her immediately.

She died of a heart attack. The vet told me if he had been standing there with me in the barnyard when it happened, he couldn’t have saved her. Even if anyone had known beforehand, nothing could have saved her. She had a congenital heart defect–a very, very abnormally small heart, and to top it off, she was operating on one lung. The vet said her other lung was pretty much destroyed and flattened from some kind of very old damage, possibly pneumonia. Clover has never had pneumonia while I had her and the vet said she probably had it when she was a kid. She’s lived her whole life with one lung and an abnormal heart. He was amazed that she had lived as long as she had and had given birth three times. I told him that she was always very energetic! He told me that all her other organs looked perfect and she was sleek and in good weight. In fact, SHE WAS NOT PREGNANT. I thought she was. She was just fat.

When it was all over, he asked me if I wanted to see her again. I said no, not wanting to see her after they’d done all that. He left and came back, saying he’d covered her up but for her head, did I want to go see her. I think he could tell I was devastated. I went back there and cried all over her like a baby.

I came home and could not believe she was not in the barnyard.

They were really nice at the vet’s office. I rushed in there without having taken a second to make a phone call, would have pushed a thousand people out of my way if I’d had to, and they took care of Clover right away. When I was crying all over her at the end, I said, “She was a really special goat. Thousands of people are going to be upset.” I don’t think they really understood, but I know you do.

I took this photo of her last night. She’d somehow shoved her way in through the chicken house door.

She was some goat. I loved her like crazy.

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

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