Chorioptic mange, from mites, the kind that jump species. The goats gave it to the horses, who gave it to me. The vet didn’t believe the horses had mites; he insisted they had a bug allergy. This didn’t make sense to me since the goats had the same symptoms, and now my head was starting to itch.


Three hundred, thirty-five dollars later, and a call to a specialist, he had to concede that the culprits were mites. I treated the horses; the goat owner treated the goats. The next day, the insides of my arms erupted in red blisters.


During this same couple of weeks, I was dealing with a woman whose barn I was supposed to be moving into weeks ago. It’s a sweet place, with a large indoor arena and, if I ever get there, I’ll have the place all to myself. But I can’t move in until fence repairs are done, and for weeks she hasn’t moved forward on them.


Each week, I called to check on the progress and listened to her say that she hadn’t called about the fence posts yet. She was too busy. There was a dog show to get ready for. A friend was coming to visit. Her car broke down. Her life was a wreck. My stomach in knots, I offered to do it for her. I called around, found the best price. She said her guy would be out last Sunday to do the work. He didn’t show.


He was supposed to show today. He did. The posts had been delivered. Everything was ready to go. He walked around a couple of minutes and then announced that he can’t do it. The ground is too hard. He needs machinery. Well, yes. We are in a drought. Six weeks ago, the ground was fine. Now it’s like cement.


I was supposed to move my horses yesterday. I have three bales of hay in the barn where they currently live. I have cancelled a hay delivery to the new barn twice.


I have spent the past two weeks searching for another place.


I wore the insecticide cream for 15 hours, as directed. The mites should be dead. But the once-blistered patches burn like fire.


Today, we of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Woodstock, IL, said goodbye to our interim minister. The Rev. Jennifer Slade is one of the most loving, compassionate, intelligent, powerful women I have ever met. She touched my heart in ways that I will never forget. My heart aches to see her leave.


I came home and took a long nap. When I woke up, there were still tears. My beloved dog, Elika, licked them away, washed my whole face, laid her little head across my neck.


We took a short walk, because the heat is too intense for our normally long one. When we got back, I began to make calls.


Tomorrow, I will make a big tossed salad and take it to the weekly cookout for homeless persons that my congregation has organized. We will eat and talk and laugh; we will listen to music and play with the children. I will give thanks that I have a place to live, that I have the opportunity, if only for a few hours, to make someone’s life a little brighter.





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2 Replies to “Tomorrow”

  1. There must be something in the stars. I have spent the better part of the past week and a half crying, every day, some days I could barely speak without choking and tearing up. {{hugs}}

  2. I’m so sorry to hear that, Michelle.

    What I was trying to say here is that as awful as things have been for me the past few weeks, helping others brings me peace. We had a wonderful cookout today–even though the temps were in the high nineties. The people are amazing.

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