Gone Forever


Yesterday I woke to the music of my duck quacking. She always quacks early in the morning.


I don’t know why. Maybe she’s been living with chickens too long and she thinks she’s a rooster. I went out to feed the animals and my donkey licked my hand and then she tried to bite my fingers. It was just a love nibble. My Poky loves me. I give her big neck hugs and she nibbles me. We each have our own way of showing affection. I fed everybody else and patted lots of furry heads. Good morning, Clover. Good morning, Sprite. Good morning, Nutmeg. Good morning, you and you and you. I have to tell everybody good morning or their feelings might get hurt.

Georgia called me three times. For no reason. I picked up the phone all three times. Sometimes I don’t answer the phone, but yesterday I was behaving and remembering that I am lucky that this little old lady calls me every day for no reason. Repeatedly.

I found the lambs out, but that doesn’t make me frantic anymore. They just do that to upset their mama. They frolic on the hillside and play in the creek then they go back under the gate. We’re going to put wire up on the bottoms of the gates this weekend
and won’t they be surprised.

The dogs hunted eggs under the chicken house because that is where the best ones are. I collected the eggs I can reach and picked up one that was still warm. It was the Crooked Little Hen’s.
She lays blue eggs.

Sometimes I can hardly walk without stepping on a chicken. They always think I might have something. They swarm me. I love that. (I try to not step on their toes. Sometimes I do and they squawk.)

I tried to convince my cat Buttercup that it was a compliment that so many people wanted to name a cow after him, but he is still upset. But I let him come inside and take a nap to make up for it.

All the rest of the cats cried to come inside, too, because it was raining and cats can’t stand to be wet, but I made them stay on the porch. Except for Buttercup. Because he was upset. When I can’t be a farmer anymore, I want to be a cat and sleep in front of the wood stove. All day.

Or I could be a teenager.

Because they get to eat all day. I have no junk food. I never buy it. I made pizza for Weston and his vegan girlfriend for lunch. (It’s spring break here.) Roasted red pepper pizza with olive oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes to make it spicy. They ate it all then Morgan appeared and asked where was hers? So I made another pizza. And vegan flour tortillas for bean burritos. The teenagers were going to swim in the river, but since it rained they snuggled on the couch in front of the TV instead. Weston doesn’t like to hug his mommy so much anymore, but when he snuggles with his girlfriend, I am reassured that he has love in his soul and I’m glad he has a pretty girl to share it with. She has shiny eyes
and sometimes
walks beside him.

I made her a pie with apples and cherries.

Then she went home and we had fried chicken. And I fed the goats again, and Poky, and they were all wet, but I petted them anyway because who can’t?

Then 52 got here and

The laughs, the smiles, the trials, the tears
It’s hard to hate what got me here
Lookin’ back at the moments, black, white,
I wouldn’t change a thing that changed my life
For the worse, for the better
Man, I was gone, gone forever.

(Kenny Chesney)

I am gone forever to here.


  1. Debbie in PA says:

    **sniff**sniff***….that was really touching, Suzanne. I can feel your happiness out here in cyberspace.

  2. Julie says:

    Oh Suzanne, I am envious of your “here”. Although I like my “here” for now, I hope to have a “here” like yours one day. I AM a country girl at heart. And I want a cow, goat, sheep, chickens, ducks, cats, and dogs. Still not sure about a donkey. I LOVE reading about your “here”! Very sweet living indeed!

  3. Kathy in KY says:

    I weep at the reading of this post, this early morning in KY. Thank you for this Suzanne.

  4. Tina says:

    Suzanne, you scared me!!! When I read “Gone Forever” I thought you were going to tell us that one of the chickens died. I was almost afraid to read it. Glad to see that I worried for nothing!

  5. Karen Anne says:

    I too read the title and thought somebody had died.

  6. CATRAY44 says:

    I did too, but I loved the post! :snuggle:

  7. Tracey In Paradise,Pa. says:

    Hugs Grany Trace’

  8. Johanna says:

    Aw. Some days are like that, thank goodness!

  9. Brenda says:

    Ah Suzanne, Loved your post!! Made me cry at work. Note to self~buy waterproof mascara.

  10. CindyP says:

    I thought your last duck had died at the beginning…..

    Beautiful post! I love that song by Kenny Chesney, it really makes a person thing :yes:

    And I’m so happy for your “here”, you deserve it and continue to work so hard for it :fairy:

  11. anne says:

    Lovely post today Suzanne.
    You sure have a way with words !

  12. Carol Langille says:

    I wasn’t afraid to read the post because Suzanne promised that she would always warn us if something bad had happened. Thank you for that, Suzanne.
    And thank God for the beautiful, simple, everyday miracles and blessings of our lives. So many are not so fortunate.
    Tomorrow morning when you go out to greet your furry and feathery family,tell them I sald hello.

  13. quietstorm says:

    I had the same reaction as Tina….. I thought you were going to say you lost your last little duck! glad it wasnt that….

    Lovely post for a friday morning….love the quote at the bottom – so true

    Have a wonderful friday everyone!

  14. Mary says:

    Thank you for that post. It’s beautiful.

  15. Abiga/Karen says:

    Great! I can see a book of memoirs some day in the future selling like hotcakes and bringing hankies to dab away the happy tears. Blessings.

  16. Melinda says:

    It’s nice to finally hit that sweet spot in life where you REALLY are content and happy. I think you are there 😕 Great post and reminded me to look around me and drink in the serendipity of my simple life.

  17. monica says:

    Whew!! every body is okay! “gone forever” had me a bit worried.
    So is it official: Buttercup for the cow??? :cowsleep:

  18. Melissa at The Highlandview Pantry says:

    :happyflower: That is such a nice post to start the day with.

  19. monica says:

    Maybe she doesn’t quack anymore because no one quacks to her anymore. Ducks speak ducks–maybe she is lonely. She is like the wallflower little girl standing in the corner at the party because no one is talking to her. :hissyfit:

    Prayers & hugs for the families in WV.

  20. MMHONEY says:

    You know I think “buttercup” hits the spot.
    Sometimes we have to travel though the dark valleys to appreciate the sunshine. Then you realize that it was worth it all, God Bless.

  21. Cyndy Buiniskis says:

    Lovely, lovely post! Our thanks again, Suzanne, for sharing yourself and your life. I think one of the (many) reasons we all love you is that you put into words what we feel and don’t always know how to express. Happy Friday! :snoopy:

  22. Kieran says:

    This was the most romantic essay I’ve ever read. It was being in LOVE with life: with your family, with your animals, with your man.


    Girl, you DO have to write a memoir.

  23. Diane says:

    I also thought the duck died. So glad he did not. Then wow that is all I can say. The rest was beautiful. I sometimes feel that way too. When things are going just right in my world. I try hard to hold on to that forever here feeling. It slips away from time to time but it comes back. Its there when I am home, taking care of my family, cooking, baking and doing all the woman things in life that we woman of today forget or do not do now. I am feel like I want to slip back into time to capture that content feeling of being home and all is well. Glad you found it. 🙂 Give your critters a pet from me too. I have 2 dogs and a cat and they all get a pet and a treat daily from me. Just have to do that you know.

  24. azladychef says:

    May everyone be so in love with the life they live. :heart:

  25. mamawolf says:

    I am so wowed (is that a word?) with your way with words. Your blog is always a delight. Today’s posting is the best way to start this glorious, sunny warm day. Can’t live without my daily dose of CITR.

  26. Klabmom says:

    So sweet and lovely. If everyday could only be that perfect

  27. Marymac says:

    That was a beautiful post Suzanne. I think we all have things to be grateful for and lots of things that make us happy, we just need to stop and smell the coffee. Maybe I will start a diary.

  28. Mary from Baton Rouge says:

    What a touching post Suzanne! I can’t wait to be “gone” to the place that you talk about. We are working on it. The closer it gets the further away it seems. Your blogs keep the farm close to my heart. Thank you for tales of your adventures!

  29. MousE says:

    As azladychef said,

    “May everyone be so in love with the life they live.”

    Beautiful, Suzanne.

  30. In the Burbs of Northern Virginia says:

    I love your “here” and I am hoping to get to my “here” soon; which would be like your “here”. Because where I am now is in the ‘Burbs and I am longing for fresh country air that filled my lungs as a kid/young adult. Why did I think I was bigger than that po-dunk town I grew up in? But I have seen and experienced alot, but it just may be time to go ‘home’. Thanks for the great story and making me tear up knowing I’m getting closer to making the decision a reality!

  31. Jean says:

    How very beautiful – your writing, your life, your appreciation for all you have. You have worked very hard for all you have and you deserve happiness by the bushelfull!

    I have to echo Monica – prayers and hugs for the families in WV.

  32. Kim W says:

    Oooooh…that title scared me! I was so afraid I would be vicariously mourning that passing of some dear animal. Glad that wasn’t that case. Gladder, stille, that you are content w/where your past has brought you. :snoopy: :moo:

    Blessings from Ohio…Kim<

  33. Kim W says:

    OK…brain obviously working faster than my fingers. Sorry for all the type-o’s.


  34. Conny says:

    I wonder for how much of today I can carry the warm feeling in my heart that I got from reading your post/essay today?? Its like a treasure to carry around. Thank you.

  35. CherShots says:

    I want to move in with you. Do you take in stray people? Can I just be dropped off at your doorstep? I’m toilet trained and I can even cook for you if you’d like. I just want to be close to animals again. I miss having them, but I live within city limits. ARGH… some day I will have animals agian, I swear!

  36. Courtney NY via KS says:

    You Rock, Suzanne!!

  37. catslady says:

    Awwwwwwwww what a sweet post! :hug:

  38. Phyllis Ryan says:

    And what a wonderful “forever” you have made.

  39. Michelle says:

    I read this post waiting for the other shoe to drop — the title made me thing something had died. Instead, I was left with a sweet poignancy from reading about your perfect life…

  40. G-Mama says:

    My sincere apologies to Buttercup. I consider myself a faithful reader, and yet I missed the fact that you had a cat named Buttercup. Of course, he needs to keep his fine name. I will, therefore, change my suggestion to Jersey Belle. Thank you.

  41. ScarlettSeraph says:

    What a magical post, Suzanne. It really made my day, I have days like that… and today wasn’t one of them. So I’m glad to have that reminder about what I have, a nice house, wonderful family, awesome pets and an amazing partner/lover. My life isn’t yet where it will be, but I’m so grateful its on the path that it is. I hope everyone has a little something like that to hold on to :sheep:

  42. Cranberry says:

    Oh good, another chicken butt! Seriously. They are fluffy and so cute and cluck when content. i can get that sometimes out of my parakeets, but they certainly aren’t a CHICKEN. shoot. Buttercup, perfect name for moo-er. I can tell you like the girlfriend, who skips when NOT happy, and YOU noticed she does, that is so wonderful. What a great Spring day! One year i started out with 4 ducks. Somehow by the end of the season I had 36? They ALL went around together in a huge group, quacking, all the time too.

  43. lward says:

    Your writing is so heartfelt. I love to read the words. They make me smile. :hug:

  44. JoAnn says:

    What a joyously lovely post. It really made my day!

  45. Sheryl - Runningtrails says:

    What a wonderful life you’ve got! You are blessed to have so many loved ones!

  46. mrsgmc says:

    Your serenity is felt from here…clear in KS! It was a beautifully peaceful post. Thank you for sharing it, Suzanne.

  47. lavenderblue says:

    Okay. Whew! Now that I know that everybody is okay, that was a really sweet and touching post. I can just feel your contentment wrapped around you like sunshine. May we all find our HERE.

  48. Beth DuPree says:

    :turtle: Wow. I accidently fell upon your website-truly awesome writing. I am quite jealous of your life! My husband built me a very nice chicken house and fenced coop, after begging for years. I’ll be 50 next month and I feel like my whole life has been wasted. We live on 13 acres and have 18 chickens and a small pony and a dog. I let the chickens out to pasture every afternoon when they finish laying; they act like they’re in heaven. I’m glad I found your post/website-I am now your #1 fan.

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