I have no idea what the new normal is, but I’m trying to find out! For now, it consists of sunny fall days, DH set up in his “office” on the front porch, so many friendly, kind, loving, concerned, and helpful friends, food—lots and lots of wonderful food, trips over the mountain to doctor’s offices, and long de-stressing walks along the river with Split, my faithful, neurotic Border Collie.

Mostly, these days, I’m full of gratitude for all we have. Thanks for everything, I have no complaints.

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DH had a backache all summer. Not real bad, just enough to bug him, like a catch up between his shoulder blades. At some point his fingers and feet started tingling, and then his legs started getting weak. Then one day while working down in Atlanta, his legs couldn’t support him, and he fell, after which he had very little use of his legs. He drove himself home (!), and we took him for x rays, which didn’t give us any answers—the doctors were looking for a pinched nerve or a slipped disk. We ended up in the emergency room at 4 am, and long story short, turns out he has stage 4 prostate cancer which has metastasized to his bone, and the problem with his back and legs was a tumor on his spine that was compressing his spinal cord.

We ended up in Johnson City, TN for (I think) 11 nights in the hospital, and after surgery, he’s slowly recovering the use of his legs, and his prognosis is good with radiation, chemotherapy, and hormone treatment.

The girls held down the fort while we were gone, and did an amazing job of it. They cooked and cleaned and butchered chickens and milked the cows, and fielded phone calls and emails and visitors. I have such a wonderful sense of confidence in their abilities and adulthood. I want to make sure they get lots of downtime and rest now!

Our family and friends rallied around us, making us both feel loved and supported every minute of this little ordeal. DH had texts and phone calls every waking minute of his day, and we had lots of visitors, and gifts and food and flowers…

The hospital staff was wonderful, too. I can tell you right now, nurses don’t come close to making as much money as they’re worth!

So we just got home yesterday, and I find myself beginning to speculate on what this means for our family and farm. This has been a big change for us, and I suspect the changes have only just begun.

DH and I worked outside for most of today, mainly cleaning up flower beds, doing a little rock work, and planting pansies (me), and firewood (him). It was reasonably warm and reasonably sunny, especially for early December, and it was so nice to be outside all day.

 

I bought some new solar lights for the ducks, and I also moved the chickens closer to the ducks and now they have a light, too. It remains to be seen if this will cause more eggs to be laid. These are much brighter lights, so here’s hoping!

My brother has been helping get the front of our house ready for painting—I love to paint, but hate the prep work, so that’s what he’s been working on. When he isn’t cutting out snowflakes.

The girls and I stayed out quite late at a party last night—1:30 for me, 2:30 for them! Fortunately it was close enough to walk home from, though I must say that was a long dark walk at 1:30 in the morning, through the woods with no moon. The stars (once I got out into the open) were stunning, though—the sky was so clear it looked like winter!

ED turned twenty today—not sure how, as I was twenty just a few minutes ago.

She is an amazing woman, so sure of what she wants to be doing, and going out and doing it. I love you, ED!

Bernard started school today, which coincided with a breath of fall in the form of breezes and a little less humidity (though still plenty hot). I had a touch of the familiar fall feeling: energized and melancholy.

 

I had a sort of boring day of catching up on some stuff—lots and lots of laundry, including washing and line-drying all the curtains in the house; I cleaned out the big deep freeze in preparation for picking up our pork Friday; and just generally cleaned house.

 

Friday, when we go to pick up Bill, we’ll also be taking three wethers to be butchered. It feels good to be filling the freezers, especially given the price of clean meat right now.

 

I’m fighting an irritating little cold, and already looking forward to bed tonight.