Friday, May 31, 2013

Back in Kansas

After one and a half weeks at my parents home, Karen, Landon, and I drove back to Manhattan so that I could complete my small animal externship requirement at Blue Hills Animal Hospital. I'm anxious to begin Monday. Most of my previous experience is with large animals and this week long externship is a unique opportunity to get some hands on time with dogs and cats rather than cows and horses. This is my last externship requirement, after which I will have all of my non-class prerequisites met to enter my fourth year clinics.

Landon decided to have another fuss session last night, starting at around 11 o'clock at night. Finally, shortly after 2 AM, I caved. I left Landon with Karen, drove to Walmart, bought an electric swing, and ran home to assemble it. Karen and I have been trying to be as frugal as possible but by that point I considered the swing an absolute necessity. 20 minutes of fumbling with tiny screws and a bent allen wrench with my blurry 2 AM vision and we had a swing. It works like a charm. After a few minutes of top speed swinging he finally settled down and we dropped the swing to its lowest setting and let him snooze. That much swinging with my arms would probably give me tennis elbow but the blessing of an electric swing ushered him right to sleep and we had a quite rest of the night.

Being back in Kansas will be a good test for Karen and I to see if we are ready to handle Little Goat away from our family and friends for a while. We know that there is always someone right around the corner if we need help but this will be a good exercise in preparedness. We would like to be able to stay in our own home for as much time as possible because we won't have any other option come August and I want to be ready. There are definitely some bills, yard work, and housekeeping that we have gotten behind on while we were away and need to catch up on.

I want to dedicate a portion of the blog today to recognizing the individuals in my hometown. One of the joys, and frustrations sometimes, of living in a small town is that everyone knows you and what's going on in your life. Karen and I were stopped repeatedly by members of the community to tell us that they are praying for us and following our journey. It is impossible to describe how much this buoys our spirits to know that people are helping us bless Landon and he is, in turn, acting as a blessing in their lives. The saying goes that it takes a village to raise a child but we are starting to realize that sometimes it takes a child to raise a village to something more. The villages of Elmwood and Murdock have risen above the call and have been pillars of support for my little family. They are oases of faith, prayer, support, and love. I thank God for the blessing of these communities.

As I've mentioned several times, I think Gandhi is one of the greatest role models of all time. The generosity we have received reminded me of a story I read in a book about the liberation of India from Britain:

Gandhi was boarding a train one day with a number of companions and followers, when his shoe fell from his foot and disappeared in the gap between the train and platform. 
Unable to retrieve it, he took off his other shoe and threw it down by the first. 
Responding to the puzzlement of his fellow travelers, Gandhi explained that a poor person who finds a single shoe is no better off - what's really helpful is finding a pair. 


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