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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

She was born on a hardship morning when the cold settled in to the hills and valleys and the knuckles of the old ones.

In her rich and varied lifetime she would...
see her mother country of Latvia invaded by Hitler, be widowed in her 20s, go to work for the UN helping in the repatriation of her people who lost everything to the war.

Speak 5 languages. Become a mother. Settle in the US.

Run a successful pig farming operation (the feat she is most proud of, next to being a mother) while working full time at the University of Florida's Language Department. Upon retiring, she then proceeded to spend the next 14 years as a volunteer at a local botanical garden and with the "Meals on Wheels" program to help feed the "elderly" even though she herself was in her early 80s.

I could go on and on with stories from her exquisitely lived life. A life made up of equal parts of tragedies as painful as walking over jagged broken glass and triumphs as sweet as the nectar of the flowers she continues even now, to raise so tenderly year after year, but I think you get the picture.

Eda has the ability to simultaneously inspire me and make me feel I'm not getting enough done in my life!~

She adores laughing and telling jokes.

I love her.
I love her stories.
I love her stoicism.
I love her keen sense of humor and her fierce intelligence.

Once a month or so, Eda and I go for coffee and cookies at our local coffee shop. She of course, orders the most decadent latte on the menu and feigns indignance when asked if she wants low fat or whole milk. "Why whole of course" she replies "with whipped cream and caramel on top!" Then she laughs at the future thought of weight gained or arteries clogged. At 84 she's living in the moment.

That's Eda.
Living each day as large as she can.
It delights Eda to watch the other
customers come and go and she manages to engage many of them in lively conversation since
she has never met a stranger.

Today was coffee day with Eda.

And I am the richer for it.
My current goal is to take a walk every afternoon, which I have yet to actually do - until today!

I can fit it in between scheduling hay pick up orders, feeding horses and getting the books ready for tax season right? And never mind the laundry that seems to have taken on a life of its own.

So on my first day of walking

what did I see?

Three French hens,
(they're not really French come to think of it, they are "Rhode Island Reds" and they are from Rhode Island, or so they say...)

One Pit bull

NO turtle doves,

And a Mastiff in a pear tree!

(actually there was no pear tree either...)

but there was an absolutely spontaneous menagerie crossing conventional "species" lines all determined to enjoy a walk together.

To my amazement I saw this little crooked little conga line following me across the street and down into a hay field. I have never seen the chickens incline themselves to go this far out of their range. This was a big stray for the them. They never leave their "territory". At least they never had before today when evidently they had a brief council meeting and decided the dogs shouldn't be the only ones who get to walk with the humanoid.

One apparently even thought she should take the lead ahead of the mastiff, the usual pack leader on walks like these.

While the dog glares, the hen steps high and says "are you getting this with your camera?"

Amazed, I doubled back to grab my camera.

They of course doubled back with me..

So trying again with camera in hand,

They duplicated their little parade like extras hired for the day on a movie set.

And that my friends, is how I got these pictures~