Many New Things
A friend from Massachusetts had gone up to Alaska to see his son, who was on one of the farms there; he stopped in Fort St. John and put a message on "Message Time" (a local radio broadcast that was on two times a day, for people living in the bush), for us. He would like to see us in town. Well, Joe drove the van on a lot of the trips to town, and I had gone in 2-3 times a year, but it wasn't "spiritual" to go in too often (never really said, but those of us who wanted to appear "spiritual" didn't go often)...I was one of the chief Pharisee of the Pharisees!
Anyhow, our entire family had NEVER all gone into town, at one time (actually Mary was the only child who had gone in at all); we got people to fill-in for us, with our chores. Tom took all of us to a Chinese restaurant - it was the biggest treat there ever was, for us, we really appreciated it. All that "store bought" food, was even more delicious than we had remembered!
The second Spring produced lambs from early March...the men and boys in charge of them were kept busy day and night. Our son Peter slept at the sheepfold many nights, to keep an eye on a ewe or two. Sometimes they were born prematurely and needed special attention; like bottle feeding. Sometimes the ewe had an extremely hard time and was too weak to suckle; so, again the bottle was needed.
One time they were about to destroy a lamb that had been born prematurely and the ewe wasn't able to take care of it; I asked to have it, to try to raise. It had developed a breathing problem (which reminded me of our son Matthew, with the hylaine membrane disease). Originally, we had felt to go to the "wilderness", because it was a place where we could begin to obey what we felt the Lord had spoken to us to do...to begin to be exercised in faith - so, I felt to take the lamb.
When I got the lamb home, I felt to rebuke the spirit of death that was after it...I shook the lamb and prayed over it...and shook it some more. That thing left and the lamb began to drink and grew strong enough to go back to the sheepfold in a few days. Then they had another lamb, in the same situation. I felt to take that lamb, too. I prayed and came against that spirit of death, again - it took much more prayer, but it too recovered. A few months later the lambs were given to two of our young girls, to continue to raise: they grew strong, but never were quite as large as the others - somebody felt they would never be large enough to breed, so they were butchered.
Back at the goat barn... We had a goat that got loose and was bred at far too early an age; I think she was only about 6 months old. One of the boys had raised her and her twin brother, and he was heartbroken when word was going around that she would be butchered, because she couldn't possibly deliver, safely. Well, I had prayed about it and felt to stand with the young brother, who was believing God was going to take care of the problem. The elders met and decided it was best to stand with us, because we were believing for help from God.
Both of us had heard from the Lord that He was going to take care of the problem...its not just something that we were stubbornly, presuming upon God...He had spoken to us. At least there was a reprieve for the goat. She got larger and larger, as is the way...and someone thought she would surely "explode", and wanted to butcher her before that happened. Still, the young boy and I stood strong, we had heard...the elders backed us.
We conceded that we would take the goat into the goat barn, to keep an eye on her, when she was "due". It never came to that, because she was safely delivered (by the Lord), two weeks early, out in the goat pasture - all by herself...a fine nanny that was called "Star", because she had a star on her forehead.
This little goat was such a miracle that I had to show her, right away, to one of our goat girls who was sick in bed. I had this little "Star" go piddle right outside the cabin door, assured the goat girl's mom that all was okay, brought "Star" in and put her on the sickbed - where "Star" immediately squatted and went piddle, again. Our goat girl was so happy to see our latest miracle - we had many on the farm.
There wasn't a stampede to learn how to milk cows, so I volunteered...the original owner of the farm was the only man who knew how to milk a cow, so he taught me. I found their teats were so much larger than a goats, and they were so tough that it took me forever to get used to milking them; I don't think my fingers and wrists ever did get used to it - they hurt all the time. He did teach me very well, though, and I could do it as good as him, by the time I finally gave up on it...with the goat barn, it was just too much to do. I milked that one cow for 6 weeks.
I was game for just about anything, wanted to play the part of "pioneer". So, when they started to make soap, I was all for not buying any soap or shampoo anymore. I washed my hair with the muddy-colored, sour smelling stuff a couple of times - my hair was more oily looking than when I was a teenager, and there certainly was no sweet smell about me.
Along with the goat odor that followed me wherever I went, I decided to give up on the soap until every other woman on the farm also used it...it was one thing to smell like everybody else, but if nobody else did it...I didn't want to smell strange by myself. We got the fat to make the soap in town, from Kentucky Fried Chicken, and any other place that had old fat they had to get rid of...it didn't make the soap smell too great.
Some of the women on the farm were expecting babies; this was an opportunity to learn mid-wivery; our nurse taught some of us a few things and then she was off to a course on it, herself, in the States. While she was away, a woman who was a mid-wife came to visit the farm; she had delivered over 500 babies in Ethiopia. She gave us a good course on it, even had a mini-emergency-type course for all the adults on the farm (men and women). Some of the expecting women had felt to deliver their babies on the farm; it always had to be confirmed with visions, first.
It was around this time that a young couple were due to fly into Fort St. John, from Maine - the woman was expecting in just a few weeks. She wasn't with us very long before she went into labor (probably early because of flying that late in her pregnancy). She had a very long labor, which wasn't entirely uncommon with first babies. It didn't seem to be the average delivery; the nurse didn't know what else to do. We had all been praying for her for a whole day, and then the next. Finally it was decided to have an emergency plane fly in (we had made a rough landing strip because some of our travelling ministries had their own planes), to take her to the hospital in town.
X-rays showed twins in the womb; one had her arm wrapped around the leg of the other; that's why they weren't coming forth. The procedure was simple and the twin girls were delivered safely in the hospital. They were back home at the farm in a few days. I got to know the Mom, after awhile and found out that she was a relative of mine (on the Taylor side of my family); she had lived in Maine - some of my relatives live there.
One day, I was babysitting the twin girls, in their cabin. There was such a ruckus outside; as the girls were sleeping, I looked outside. A team of horses were hitched to a manure spreader and they got away from the driver...they came charging through the space between some of the cabins...they headed straight for an outhouse that was close to where I babysat. I stood there in complete unbelief - my mouth just hanging open (I have always been good in emergencies!) The horses almost got past the outhouse, but the manure spreader didn't make it...WHAM. The outhouse went flying and landed a few feet away, in a heap of rubble - thank God there was nobody in it!
Everything came to a complete and abrupt halt! And, then the horse on the right hand side staggered backward and began to sink out of sight...into the hole that had been dug for the outhouse. There was such a look of utter surprise on that horse's face...if that is possible!
People began running towards the accident, from all different directions - I had to stay where I was because the twins were still sleeping inside the cabin, but I could see everything that was happening. They checked the outhouse to be sure nobody was inside of what remained. Then the driver of the team of horses came running up. He quickly unhitched both horses from the spreader; some men pushed the spreader back and out of the way. The horse on the left hand side, was led away. The horse on the right hand side, sunk deeper into the hole...there was now a look of embarrassment on his face...he didn't appear to be hurt.
The men tried to pull the horse out of the hole; they tried to push him out - nothing worked; the walls of the hole were straight up and down, the horse couldn't get any sure footing. Finally someone came up with the idea of getting a wide band to put under the horse's tummy, hitching a cable to it, getting a truck with wench (from across the river in our Used Car Lot!), and using the wench to pull the horse up and out of the hole, turning him to one side and lowering him onto solid ground.
It sounded like a really good idea...and it was, it worked like a charm. Most (maybe all) of us had never seen a horse hoisted high into the air before, and we probably never will again. Through all of this, the horse was none the worse for the wear, nobody was hurt and we had something to talk about for a long time (and we got a new outhouse).
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Pen Name: Aimee Love
Lisa and a baby goat.