Sunday night Cole was plowing after dark. Although I typically avoid working on Sunday, I pulled on my boots to help shovel the pile-up from the walkways. Sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
Almost immediately Cole passed between my cottage and the shop. As he went, he called to Kendra and me, “Let’s build a bonfire!” – long after dusk on a work night. Crazy. Right?
We often enjoy bonfires at parties or on a relaxing evening after a hard day’s work. But not in 9 degrees and wind with a foot or so of snow. And it was late.
Cole and Kendra also know I typically retire early in the evening. I’m not literally an insomniac. Still, turning my brain off takes hours, so I typically “rise and go to roost with the chickens.”
As we shoveled Kendra shared that Cole had mentioned cutting wood earlier. I’m ashamed to admit my next thoughts were how I’d told him the day before I’d cut all the wood I could with my little chain saw – that he gave me for Christmas. He’d responded saying he’d go to the grove the following day, bring in more wood, split some logs and start up the big Stihl saw.
Another job came to the shop, so that didn’t happen. And then it snowed – yet again.
As Kendra and I worked I realized some other important facts:
- The main house where they live has forced heat and air. Their wood burning stove is essentially aesthetic, more for ambiance. They don’t need wood for heat. I do.
- For several consecutive days Cole spent hours on the tractor moving snow from the lots and the driveways. We all appreciate a path to the pastures.
- Cole and Kendra team up to ensure I have all I need: heat, transportation, food, companionship and even hugs.
Fortunately, before shooting off my mouth without engaging my brain, I realized Cole was looking out for me. Sure, he teases me saying, “You’ve been sheltered too long. You’re spoiled.” Cole actually doesn’t know better. He sees me today with all my “quirks” – not the scarred and torn Former Me. As Kendra said, “translated that actually means, ‘I have your back, Sister.’ ”
“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.*”
Daily I thank God for my whole family. While Cole’s manners and personality can sometimes be annoying, Kendra is his soft side. We have shared some rough times together.
Four years ago, with my sister, brother and niece, we were all a family here together on the ranch. Cole, Kendra and the boys occupied what’s now my cottage and the loft. And then all our lives changed forever; Roan and I were barely settled into our apartment in McKinney, Texas when Cole called. Without warning Cole’s best friend, Kendra’s favorite neighbor, my precious kid brother suddenly, unexpected died here.
Yes, life goes on. Still, Seagh is such a huge part of our lives we all miss him – daily. We all occasionally see him in our peripheries. We need never explain those moments.
Initially Cole was my brother vicariously through Seagh. Though he knows comparatively little of my history, today Cole’s close as a brother. In his life Seagh called three men his brother; one is by blood, one a friend from his youth and then Cole. Kendra’s become a sister.
Sunday night was a reflective occasion, only it didn’t hurt as much. Because of Cole and Kendra I was only mildly concerned taking the last of the cut wood early that same morning. At the time I had no idea exactly how much the full wood box would actually comfort me that night.
God blessed me with many brothers and sisters and good friends. Though I miss many of them often, especially Seagh, Cole and Kendra have my back – daily.
I’m glad to see I “Stihl” have room to grow into a better person.
Have your circumstances forced you to grow where you didn’t realize you could?
It’s -3 degrees this morning. With this crazy weather the crib’s almost empty again. No problem, we got this.
“And my God will supply every need of ours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (ESV)
**Image courtesy Pixabay