The story of a very rich woman
Guest Post by Christine Mayworm, Kindred Farm Program Director
It’s been a month and a half.….
…and I have a moment to sit and reflect.
What an experience we went through!
A lesson I learned from my [failed] marriage, and advice I would give someone considering marriage, is that when one is thinking about who to spend the rest of your life with, it’s important to look past the shared values and the good times together and ask, “How do we fight?”, “How do we deal with the hard times?” Because it’s in those moments of hardships and disagreements and hurt feelings that will either make you stronger or tear you apart. (Obviously, my husband and I didn’t fight well together)
So I look at this experience we, as a community, went through together. This was (is) a crisis; this was (is) a hardship. There were many differing opinions about what, who, why and when. There were many strong feelings of loss and anxiety as we prepared for the unknown. We have been pushed and tested as a community. So how did we do? If this was a marriage, would we be googling lawyers about now?
From my perspective, this is a marriage I would renew my vows with!
Not only has the community rallied around to plan for and move the animals, and all their supplies, with the utmost care and compassion and hard work to ensure their safety and protection, which, of course, I expected from this amazing group of people, but I had an unexpected surprise….
What truly surprised me was the outpouring of empathy, compassion, assistance, care and concern that was directed towards ME, and my living situation.
It started when the crew shows up to help move the aviary and all the large bird housing and at some point, someone raised the question of how to move the trailer, and presto… one of the volunteers with a big truck happened to also be experienced moving trailers around and I get notified that there’s someone who can move the trailer but it has to be now (I was at the new farm at the time). My immediate response was worry and stress, “I’m not there!” “The trailer isn’t ready” “I’m not ready to pack it … I had loose stuff in there that I was trying out for size… lamps, pictures, glassware, etc..” “No worries,” I am told, “ it’s being taken care of.”
Next thing I know, I’m getting a call, “Do you want to come up and tell them where to place the trailer?” “It’s here?” I look up the road and there it is up amongst the trees. After it gets masterly parked in just the right angle in order to see the sunrise, the sunset, and be able to peer out to the animals, I am told that everything will be set up just the way it was at the farm. “Leave it with me, I’ll take care of it.” And it was taken care of. My new home was moved and placed and set up with such care, it touched my heart, like they knew that with all that I had going on, that the placement and setup of my new home was very important at the time. I really needed someone to say, “Leave it with me; I got this.”
Then I turn around and notice a big green bow on something under a tree. “What is that?” I go over and see that it is a propane fire pit with a note saying, “Here is something to help make your new home feel warm and cozy.” Well that’s when my eyes welled up. My heart felt so warm and cared for. At the moment of extreme stress, with less than a week to be out of the place, I felt the lifeline of kindness, and it touched me deeply and I found the energy to make it through the final days of cleaning the old place.
That was just the beginning. Since moving here, I have been overwhelmed with kindness and generosity. Let me count the ways….
- A knitted Kindred hat
- Gifts of muffins and baked goods
- Bottles of wine and the fixins for a hot totty
- Keys to homes and apartments so that I can bathe, shower and do laundry
- Consultations on trailer living
- An emergency rescue of a comforter in need of immediate washing, thanks to Elvis communicating in his own special way that he is still mad at me and not happy with his new predicament.
- A donation of the cost to wash said comforter by the dry cleaners.
- A work party to build a deck
- A work party to “batten the hatches” and secure everything for the oncoming storm
- A work party to set up my ‘mud room’ and ‘outdoor wash station’
- Assistance installing shelving and the much-needed bar. Funny story…. In the process of building the bar, so much care was taken to do it right, that he paid a visit to a liquor store one morning, not to buy liquor in order to deal with me, but to measure the different bottles to make sure they would fit on the shelf of the new bar. “Sir, can I help you find something?” “No, thank you, I’m just measuring bottles.” Can you picture that?
- Assistance hanging things on the wall so I am not poking holes through to the outside of the trailer
- Phone numbers with offers to be available in the middle of the night, should I need help
- Loans of much-needed supplies for “camping”: portable toilet, hanging shower, battery tester, water hoses, water pump, and “Chris, would you like a hunting knife? You know, for emergencies?”
- Text messages checking in and making sure I’m alright
- Offers to bring me breakfast in the morning
- Drop-ins with take-out dinners in the evenings
- And just the regular check ins from everyone when I see you… “How are you doing?”
- And finally all the things I have overlooked in this list….
People look at my living conditions, the limited electric, the pissing in the woods, the carrying water up to fill my tanks, and they feel sorry for me.
And I say: Don’t feel sorry for me at all, because I am surrounded by something that the most luxurious house couldn’t give me… the warmth and generosity of a community of people who truly walk the walk of our mission of kindness…. and I am a very rich woman indeed