The Goings On


As expected, today at 2:00, 12-15 people showed up in 4-5 vehicles. I took a bucket of feed to the cows ahead of time and led them off to the outer limits of the field. One gentleman arrived early and thanked me for mowing a path. I told him that had been done by the gas company. I went back to the house as the rest of the people arrived. They brought a cooler with their own drinks and wandered around the well, well house, and tank, staying on the path.

When they were finished, some of them came up the driveway to admire the animals. I offered to take them to see the goat babies. I managed to catch one for them to pet. We talked a little bit and they told me the lady’s name was Betty Quick. Then they gave me a card in an envelope and thanked me for allowing them to come. I told them it was no problem at all and said they were welcome to come back any time if they wanted to visit the well. They said they didn’t think they would be back.

They left flowers at the well house and the well and drove away.

The music box plays Send in the Clowns. (Yes, you know I am too much of a Curious George not to check!) I’m not sure what to do about the music box. Leave it there? It will get broken and trampled eventually. Does it matter? I should just leave it, right? That’s where they left it. With Betty. There wasn’t exactly a scattering. Which was a little startling.

I went back inside and opened the envelope. Three one-hundred dollar bills fell out of a thank-you card.


Morgan came downstairs and said, “You can’t keep that! You didn’t do anything for it!”

I said, “I have to take care of Betty now!”

And I hit her over the head with the envelope.

The End.


  1. Cerine says:

    Oh my goodness! That was lovely of them.
    If it was me, I’d go out every day for at least a week and make the music box sing. In my family we believe it takes about a week after the ashes are “spread” for the soul to pass out of this world *shrugs*
    R.I.P Betty. :duck:

    I love the musicbox music! My mom used to have a jewlery box with that music :heart:

  2. Canner Joann says:

    It was very nice of Betty’s fmily to give you something in thanks for allowing them to lay Betty to rest. I think, in “taking care of Betty,” you could simply keep the memory of her discovery and accomplishment alive. Maybe you could work it into you new book?

  3. Canner Joann says:

    *your new book.

    Sheesh! I really should proof read a little better!

  4. perry says:

    I thought I posted a comment, but i don’t see it. Such a lovely thing for them to do. Why not use the money to add something to the farm that you desperately need, like a chicken house, in honor of Betty and call it Betty’s House. or the House that Betty Built, or something along those lines. That way you have the memory forever.

  5. pensiero says:

    We just laid my father-in-law to rest and believe me when I say $300 is a very inexpensive interrment! I would probably leave the music box where they placed it.

  6. hawkswench says:

    What about creating a memorial stone with her name and year she died. Having a flat area above it so the music box can sit there. You could also add a solar landscape light if you wanted.

  7. Diane says:

    That was very nice of them to give you the money for letting them do this. Use it in the spirit that it was given in. Betty is now a known part of your farm and part of its history past and present. That is kind of neat.

  8. Cerine says:

    Oh yes! I like the Memorial stone idea! :duck:

  9. Flowerpower says:

    Now those were some nice folks! Leave the clowns…I expect that’s what they wanted to happen. Probably a favorite of hers. Like I said before…only you! :happyflower:

  10. Old Geezer says:

    I would use some of the $ to buy a plastic curio dome to put over the clowns for some protection. So much the better if the whole thing sits up on a stone or a plaque. You can get “faux stone” garden plaques for under $50. The whole deal should come in under $100, and you would have $200 left for wine and cookies!

    But I also like the idea of naming something on the farm for Betty Quick — and it should something suitable to the name! Quick is as quick does! Or put something into the project kitty and add her name to the wall of honor. Anything along those lines would honor her memory.

    It was very nice of them to give you that “honorarium”.

  11. Dlinkous says:

    Oh Suzanne, I was ROFL at this. You should write a book – oh wait, you ARE writing a book! LOL I’m with you – not sure what the appropriate action is for the clowns. On one hand, they meant to leave them there for Betty, so you could respectfully just leave them until such time they do become broken, then remove them. On the other hand, you are so much a historian of the land, and maybe the clowns could be given a place of honor in the studio with a description of their importance – maybe a photo of Betty? 🙂

  12. Rainn says:

    :purpleflower: Oh Suzanne you do fall into it-I double thunk Morgan on the head-leave clowns as is and name new chicken house after Betty -with a wicked clever name!! Beginning of another book…….. :smilerabbit:

  13. Sheryl says:

    Lord have mercy, that is too funny! :french:

  14. shirley T says:

    Aren’t you glad now you didn’t leave the house for the day. You would have missed out on talking to the nice people and showing off your baby goats. Did they tell you where they were from? I’m glad it didn’t rain.

  15. CATRAY44 says:

    How funny! And lovely. One more small chapter in a new book. :purpleflower:

  16. copgrrl says:

    I think that was lovely. With the $300 you can put a small white fence maybe around the pump and either a plaque or a stone commemorating Betty Quick. What a wonderful piece of history for you to have on your property. We women are always full of surprises and look what an accomplishment in Betty’s life. Congratulations that you are the keeper of her memory. I think that is a real honor!

  17. doodlebugroad says:

    With this piece of pioneering history on your property I wonder if some type of historical marker could be erected…roadside or well-side…perhaps some organization of history or women’s group? What a wonderful outcome to your initial fretting.

  18. Miss Judy says:

    Hmmm, Betty was a pioneer in her field, she had to be a strong woman. Kind of reminds me of another woman who is making a difference at Sassafras Farms.

  19. joykenn says:

    I think Betty’s friends and relatives wanted you to USE the money for something you want or need. Don’t worry about the ashes or the clown. They don’t expect anything of you–no fence, no memorial stone. I can tell you from my own experience. When we scattered my beloved brothers ashes and walked away, we were saying goodbye. What happened to the ashes–I don’t know or care. What happened to the flowers we left–I don’t know or care. We donated money to the park for a tree in his honor and that is what we visit. He’s always alive in our hearts and the memory of the people whose lives he touched with his warm heart and beautiful music.

    Now I’m sitting here tearing up and missing him so much again. When we lose a loved one all we really keep of them is the time we spent with them and our memories of them. The things surrounding him are spiritual, personal and triggered by the funniest things–a song, a picture, a holiday, whatever.

    Whatever you decide, just keep the memory of what Betty Quick did for the farm and what you decide to use the money for. What a nice gesture by the family, don’t let it worry you.

  20. rurification says:

    The thank you money was for you to spend on you, not for you to spend on Betty. Betty didn’t want anything more than to be scattered. The family does not expect you to care for the music box. If you decide to do something for it – great. If you decide to do nothing – that’s great, too.

  21. dmcfarland says:

    So happy to hear you stayed home and had the short interaction with them, good for all. I agree with #20 the money is for you and no reason for you to do more except possibly move the music box under the part of the well or whatever above. That looks like it will be protected from being stepped on…..then let nature do it’s thing. And when the truck or GB are getting to you just look over there and take some inspiration from Betty. This is such a great part of your new story. Love it.

  22. ddlapew says:

    …you don’t need to do anything in regards to the ashes or the music box. It’s good as it is and obviously just how the family wanted it. So let it be…the money is for you as a thank you and without strings attached because you graciously agreed to let them scatter (or not, as it appears)these ashes. Had the family wanted further accoutrements to Betty Quick’s ‘place’ I’m sure they would have conferred with you. Ummm – you might want to cover them with soil, however? I would, were I you! Rather than waiting for the little pile to dissipate. Betty Quick might like that.

  23. princessvanessa says:

    Think about what a good well Betty drilled; it is still providing Sassafras Farm with natural gas! I’m sure her relatives have a sense of peace that Betty’s cremains are at the well on your farm. The money is a nice thank you to you for graciously allowing their “unusual” request.

  24. lifeisgood/ Melinda says:

    The family said they probably wouldn’t be back. That’s sad, but I understand. Other than stopping by my dad’s grave periodically to make sure it’s in good shape I don’t spend much time there because a) it’s painful and b) I choose to remember him in my heart. However, since Betty’s final resting place is on your property and at one point she walked those same grassy slopes, and I think the clown figure probably belonged to her…..I think it would be a nice gesture if you found something to set the music box inside…be it a box, a small glass structure, or something similar and just leave it where it was left. As a second idea, I would put it in the studio. She had big dreams…you have big dreams. Kind of a kindred spirit.
    And I like the idea someone else mentioned about using the money for either your chicken house or for the studio and adding her name in memory to the list. The money was given to YOU though so YOU need to use it how you see fit. Even if you feel like blowing the whole $300 bucks on bonbons, good wine, or oreo cookies……it’s yours to do with as you please !!!

  25. rhubarbrose says:

    How wonderful of the family to compensate you in that way! So glad you got to meet them as well! I agree with joykenn on comment #19! You should put that money toward your “dreams” in honour of somone who also had a dream on your special property. I believe also that you will be blessed if you give a 10% tithe to your favourite charity like the horse rescue farm. Use the rest “where most needed” and add her name to your donor list? I’m with you in not knowing what to do with the music box, however. This is such an interesting historical event for Sassafras!

  26. Leck Kill Farm says:

    I agree, keep the money for yourself. If they wanted it to honor their loved one, they would have made that happpen without you.

    My theory about the clowns – Betty had that clown thing for years and years. Betty passes on. Because the clowns were a fixture in her house, everyone assumes they are a treasured heirloom. Who is going to take the clowns?

    Turns out, no one wants to clowns. Someone comes up with the idea to leave the clowns with the ashes, making the clowns someone else’s responsibility. That way they don’t need to feel guilty for 1.) not wanting the clowns in there house or 2.) being so “heartless” and throwing the clowns in the trash.

    I am not surprised that they said they likely won’t return. I am the same way, I prefer to remember my dad and grandparents away from where their ashes were deposited, I have never felt the need to return to those particular spots.

  27. wkf says:

    Clowns are creepy. That being said, leave them until Betty is gone,then BURY them where she was. 😕

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      That is definitely her! But her body was cremated…. Maybe what they mean by her body being donated was her organs, etc, because she was definitely cremated….. Her son who contacted me was Darrel, so I’m sure that’s her, and they told me that she was born in Spencer.

  28. brookdale says:

    And here’s a picture of Betty:

    (Scroll down to the bottom of the newsletter.)

  29. Karo says:

    Judging from the time she died to now, I’d say she did donate her entire body to science (as have my parents). They use the body for various things and then, when they have used it all they can, they cremate it. That’s why they scattered the ashes 2 1/2 years later. We should be grateful for the people who are willing to advance knowledge after they have passed on.

    They money is for you. You have no obligations. As for the clowns? I would only worry that it might not be a safe thing to have in a field with grazing animals.

  30. The High Altitude Tea Duchess says:

    Oh yes you can keep that money. Those folks blessed you with an unexpected gift and I hope you do spend it on something really neat.

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