In the middle of a meeting, one evening, we noticed too much light outside...one of the cabins was on fire. It was the cabin of an old couple; the man had gone to the States, to get some of their things and the woman had put propane in her lantern by mistake - she had turned it down low before coming down to the meeting...still it flared, but she left it, anyhow.
All the men ran outside, grabbed fire buckets and ran to the nearest water supply...they made a bucket-brigade, passing the buckets from one to the other. They threw water on the cabin. and also on another cabin that was close by.
One of the young mothers had to go to the outhouse, she handed her baby to me to hold. This was really hard for me, because I had not held a baby since our son Matthew had died, about 6 - 7 years before; it was something I had to face, now. I lived through it, and from that time on, I was alright around babies. A lot of things were dealt with while we were on the farm - we certainly were not the same people, as when we had first gone there to live.
The 'Sound of Music Lady' was playing away, on her accordian. The men were fighting the fire: the women and children were praying and praising God. I had to go to the 'outhouse', and while I was outside, I looked around the camp. The fire lit-up the entire sky; men were running here and there with water buckets. Propane tanks were exploding - sending their flames high into the sky. Then, there were many, many gunshot sounds: the old couple had alot of ammunition stored at their cabin - it was exploding.
Thank God, nobody was hit with one of these bullets. When I got back to the Tabernacle, the "Sound of Music Lady" asked me if the whole camp was going up (as the cabins were built quite close together. It wasn't - and she was glad to hear that!
Because of our dress-code, we had to swim in our skirts; we could have shorts or pants under them, but, basically all that could be seen was the dress. This was not completely "wise", because once you got out in the river, sometimes there were logs floating down and you didn't always see them - we could have been dragged down river. It was extremely cold in the river, any time of the year; but sometimes it got so very hot and dry in August, that we went in anyway - granted, we didn't stay in for long, but it was a nice change.
We also had a spring that ran through a flat piece of land down near the river (that's where we had our spring house), and that water was even more cold, if possible, many of us tried to stand in it - but never could, a quick dunk was about the most we could do.
One morning I awoke with a very heavy burden to pray; I had no chores after the goats, so spent the time praying. The bell rang for lunch, and as I walked past the new school building, I stopped to speak with one of the elders who was working on the building. I told him of the heavy burden to pray and I felt it was for the people on the trap line...he said to stick with it until the burden lifted.
The men were busy building this new school building, separate from the Tabernacle. They were using logs at the bottom and then would build 2 - 3 floors out of the lumber we now cut in our own mill. Our clothing bank would also be in the new building.
After lunch, I went back to my cabin to continue praying. I saw a vision: I saw a tall tree, with many branches. People, families with small children, were walking out on these branches; the branches got heavy, bent, and then broke - the families fell to the ground. I felt the vision was for the people on the trap line.
On my way to the Tabernacle to cook the supper meal, I again stopped to talk with the elder - I told him what I had seen in vision. He said he would pray about it.
Awhile later he spoke with me - he said that the vision was contrary to what the "Father Ministry" was preaching, and he didn't feel the vision was from the Lord. Okay - I didn't question it. This was the man who had ministered, soon after we arrived on the farm - that "...for those of us who have come as far as an Endtime Farm, the period of grace is over." At the time, I swallowed this (along with alot of other things)...but,in the fulness of God's time, I saw it to be gross error.
The next day, we received word that the government officials had landed a helicopter on the trap line, and told all the families they had to leave, that they were "squatting" and it was no longer allowed in Canada. They were coming back to the farm - the Lord had again vindicated me; as He did so many times with my Mom.
A young family moved to the farm; the husband had a lot of experience with goats and he wanted to be involved with the operation at the goat barn. Of course, this was my territory, but I was beginning to learn to keep nothing to myself...and if I wanted to, then I had better believe something was wrong with my attitude. I had to share it with him. It was hard at first, but after awhile I could see the wisdom of it all - it really was a man's line of work - and, I did have too much to do.
Not too much later, another young family moved to the farm; the husband had brought some of his purebred goats with him; he knew a lot about goats, but stayed in the background. One time, he was away for awhile and his nanny goat got really sick. I read all about the symptoms in the goat book we had; and felt to keep her on our porch, adjacent to our cabin - to keep her warm. She had a terrible cough; and her symptoms were not good, even with medication (of which we had none).
Basically, we were trying to get away from vets and most of the people didn't like goat milk, anyhow. I was sure what was wrong with her, and had to present it before the elders - I think they finally agreed that she did have that disease. We didn't want to put her out of her misery, with her owner away. The whole thing had to be presented before the elders; it was finally agreed that nothing else could be done for her; there was a lot of explaining to do, when the owner came home - he took it good though, and agreed nothing else could be done.
Our first batch of goats had consisted of two, young does - a Toggenburg and a Sanaan...they were "on loan" to us, by some Christian pastor who lived in town. When we didn't have adequate barns for the goats, we had kept the Sanaan (Esther) on our porch, and let her "visit" with us in our cabin a lot of times; she used to like to rub up against our Ashley stove, singeing her white hair...she was a nice pet and would "answer" us (in her own way), when we spoke to her.
One time, Esther, the goat, had run into some tall bushes and both eyes were scratched; they must have been pierced because 2 -3 white spots soon appeared, on both eyeballs. I knew these to be blind spots and prayed about what to do for her. I felt the Lord speak to put honey on both eyes. Well, thought, how the Lord had used spittle to heal some blind eyes, once, and if He did that, I shouldn't be timid about using honey, if that's what He said to do. So, I did. Every time He spoke to put more honey on the eyes, I did, and in about a week the spots were completely gone.
After they had been bred, the Sanaan still had an udder that was too small to milk and a year later we decided to butcher her; we forgot she was only "on loan". We were learning that farm animals were just that, and not to let it bother us when it was time to butcher. Well, they led her away from the field, down past our cabin, she said "Help" to us on the way, and down to the butcher shop. It was hard eating her, but something we had to do. (We forgot that she was one of the two goats 'on loan' to us.)
The other goat, the Toggenburg was called Naomi, and one of the other elders had her at his cabin. She was having a really hard time, when it was time to "kid"; it looked like a back hoof was coming out (not the usual nose and front hooves). Like all "goat keepers" have to do, I greased my hand and arm and reached inside to see if it, indeed, was the back hoof. It was, but there was no turning it around, at that stage; so, I pulled with each pain.
One very lifeless, limp, almost soggy kid came out - followed by another of the same. Apparently, the kids had been dead for some time. According to the book, there was the possibility of infection, so I used hydrogen peroxide and water to clean out the goat's insides...for many days, until all infection seemed to be gone.
At least, this time, we remembered that Naomi was just "on loan", got in touch with the owner - we told him what had happened with the other goat. He was very understanding; I think his situation had changed and we were allowed to keep Naomi forever.
One of our "original" goats (Catherine), a large, white Sanaan was quite old and she had never had any kids, since we bought her; still her teats were huge, hung to the ground and she was about our best milking goat. Many times, we had threatened to butcher her, and each time she would begin to make a "nest" with the straw - showing delivery was eminent...each time she got a reprieve, and nothing happened; she was the craftiest, old goat!
Because she was so overweight, it was hard to tell if she was pregnant. She was on her way to the butcher shop...but, they thought they felt "life" within her, and she got another reprieve...this time she had one, little kid that we named Heidi. We figured it was probably the only kid she had ever had; at least, in many years, so we didn't have the heart to separate them - that little kid followed her "Mom" everywhere...it was a sight to behold, such a fondness between them.
Years later, when she was butchered, it was found that Catherine had only one kidney. Her horns were preserved and now hang over the door to the goat barn.
We had acquired a large saw and other equipment; so we built a sawmill up on the hill, half way to the bush. We used the horses and the tractors to drag logs down from the bush, and cut our own planks and shingles - they were rough, but worked really good on our buildings.
We had built a pig barn down close to the river; that way seepage wouldn't get into our well, it was away from the Tabernacle as far as odor went, and it was close to the butcher shop. We found out why most people up North don't raise pigs; its because of the extreme cold and the pigs burning up their fat just to keep warm; it wasn't practical to raise pigs. We cut way back on the pig population, built a smaller barn farther up the hill from the river.
The following winter, we decided to try cutting ice from off the river and storing it in the old pig barn. We cleaned out the barn as much as possible and then put down a lot of sawdust - according to the "books", this would help to insulate the ice and keep it solid into the summertime. It worked really good and it was such a treat to have ice tea during the heat of summer.
One summer, I had been heating water out back of the cabin, to do some laundry. I used a pail to dip some boiling water out of the boiler (on top of the stove); I sat it on the ground, but on top of something - so the pail wasn't level and tipped over...onto my foot. It had been boiling hot and immediately began to cook my foot - I tore off my shoe, because it was just holding the hot water inside, tore off my sock.
I ran inside our cabin and plunged my foot into the pail of cold water that was always sitting next to the door (for fire emergencies). That was all I knew to do. Joe had the nurse come to look at the foot - she put ointment on it; it was quite a bad burn, down to third degree in one area. It really throbbed, so I had to keep it elevated; that kept me off it for a few days. I was never much for being cooped-up inside a house, or a cabin - and, got "cabin fever" right away. I missed the outdoors and running with the goats.
Sometimes, just to get out of the "closeness", and the "fire" from pressures on the farm - I would walk out, half way to the bush - on a slight ridge, just above the Tabernacle and surrounding cabins. I always took a book with me and sat there for hours, reading, looking around the entire valley, and communing with the Lord - it was "space" for me, and I needed that from time to time.
In the winter, when the river was frozen over and we could actually drive our vehicles across, I would walk over there - just to have different surroundings; sometimes I went up on the hill overlooking the river and the farm - there were a lot of moose tracks up there, it was a wooded area - mostly aspen or cottonwood. The Lord always spoke to me the most outdoors, and it was always a blessed time of fellowship with Him.
Sometimes I imagined what it would be like to walk those 80 miles, to town - or to go up and over the bushed-hill just East of the farm...a shorter distance to town. Not that "town" was the solution to my problems, because there was nothing there for me...but just something "different".
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Pen Name: Aimee Love
A 'goat-girl' herding them out to the pasture.