The meaning of vacation is derived from its Latin root ‘vacatio’ meaning: to be unoccupied. Which makes sense, since most people these days say that they need a vacation from their vacation. Duh! They kept themselves too occupied with activities to feel like they had been on vacation. We however do not need a vacation from the vacation. Just a few hours to unpack would be nice. We returned from a week long vacation visiting family in Florida at 10pm last night. We drove, so after two days in the car we were tired but not exhausted. Now after 24 hours of being home - we are exhausted.
Our first stop when we pulled in the driveway was the back barn. Inside, a mama sheep (a ewe) and her new twin lambs were tucked away from the harsh weather. Eleanor, one of our new partners at the farm, found them in the morning while doing chores and when she checked back in with them at noon, they weren’t doing so well. It was cold, but not cold enough to be snowing. And the sky was dumping rain and melting the 10 inches of snow that fell two days before. Soaking wet is an understatement for the conditions on the farmstead.
I guess I need to make this long story much shorter, or I won’t get to sleep tonight...We spent an hour checking the lambs in the barn and the ones who were still outside with their mamas. Lucia and Isaac slept in the car and grandma Karen came out to welcome us home. We drove up to our house and carried sleeping children and the necessary bags inside. Thank you Eleanor and Patrick for literally keeping the home fires burning - our wood stove was nice and hot - so our house was warm.
We didn’t get much sleep that night. Once the kids were in bed and we were a little settled, it was time to go check on the lambs again. Then we set the alarm for 4am and got up to check again. Each time we check them we rouse each one, and see if they are hungry. Then we either help them nurse, if they need help. Or, worse case is we have to milk the mama and feed them using the bottle. Another set of twins was born in the night and when Dan went to check them, he walked the mama and carried the twins into one of the pens that he recently built for our new lambs.
We did sleep between 6 and 8am. Then we had to be awake and alert for children and other farm chores - including another check on the lambs. When I went down to see how things were, there was another lamb being born! The rest of the day, I was back and forth between groups of lambs and mamas. Dan reinforced the pens with another sidewall and bigger roof. I took one of the lambs from the mama in the barn because it seemed too cold. Karen and Lucia worked on getting it warmed up with a hair dryer and fed with some formula.
The rest of the day is a blur - of sunshine and crazy snow squalls, births and near deaths, feeding animals, fixing fences, chasing animals back into their pastures, and eating a meal or two. Now, I need to tuck Lucia and Isaac into bed. Dan will go and check the lambs and mothers again and maybe someone will send an angel to clean up the rest of the dinner dishes.