Thursday afternoon, when making my way to our mailbox, I spied something on our steps. It was a small-ish package. Normally, our regular mailman places packages on our steps if he knows I'm home and the weather is good. It saves him from carrying packages down to our door - above and beyond for a rural route delivery although lately he has been carrying the larger boxes to the door, knowing I can't lift them.
I could not even imagine what I was in store for! The box was from a fellow Shetland sheep breeder who lives in Upstate New York. Yes, folks...New York has much more to offer than just "New York"...but I digress, for now. I opened the package and in it was a half-pint jar of Melanie's home made strawberry jam (from New York strawberries) and a pint of Melanie's farm/home made New York State Maple Syrup made from her very own Sugar Maple trees! Along with the two yummy-I-may-not-share-with-anyone treats was the nicest Get Well card from herself. She'll never know just how much she made my day!
You see, I was made (born) in Upstate New York. ;) And, I went to one of the State University of New York's upstate campuses for my degree as well. So...really good things come from Upstate New York! :) And I have really enjoyed reading Melanie's blog because I know of what she speaks...not only about common trials and tribulations of living the country life, but when she describes areas she's been to, I actually know where they are! This makes reading her entries even more enjoyable - much like I love to read my daughter's blog about her escapades in New Zealand as I actually know where things are whe she describes them. Thank you, Melanie...from the bottom of another Upstate person's heart! You have given me a real treat!
And that brings to mind all of the other Shetland sheep breeder/friends I have made...these people are some of the nicest, caring people I have ever met or chatted with. They may not know you very well, or very personally, but have your barn burn down with all your hay, or have surgery that lays you up for months and these people are there for you! Just like family. In fact, I am a very big believer that your "family" is really the people you surround yourself with. And between my family (both closely related and added branches to our "Tree"), and my very dear friends both close by and far away, and the new friends I have made over the past few years of raising Shetland sheep, plus others I have made friends with through common ground, I consider myself very fortunate. Very fortunate indeed.
While I was in the hospital, it was the Shetland Sheep-people who broke the hospital's record for the number of get-well wishes sent to one person in one stay at the hospital. When the volunteer who had been bringing all the wishes up to my room told me that I just smiled. And friends who sent flowers and cards and called have made this recovery easier for me than it could have been.
So, I wish to say thank you both to Melanie, and to ALL of you...my dear Friends & Family. It's because of your support that I am 3 months ahead of "normal" in my recovery. I couldn't have done it without all of you!