Warm November day brings touch of spring


This is a day for which I am grateful, and a way to offer a gracious nod to November. The day started with the familiar autumn chill, but as the day wore on, the sunshine brought out the best in all of us.

I was blessed with a day off work, and enjoyed taking a trip to see farms, horses and puppies with my hubby. Driving through open farm country, the leaves long gone from stark-looking trees, we commented that it felt more like spring than fall.

We passed an Amish school at noon recess, and the glory of the day was alight on the faces of the children playing there. A game of tag was in full swing, and I will never forget the glimpse of a little girl’s happy face as she ran full-out in bare feet, joyously escaping the tag of a youngster in pursuit.

New friends

It was a day for meeting unknown friends, as we visited with a couple who have long been subscribers of the Farm and Dairy and have read my column for many years. It was a day to enjoy good food, warm sunshine, fresh air.

These are things for which we should always be grateful, but when given an unexpected week of this in the middle of November, it counts as a rare and wonderful gift.

Reading in the sun, sitting in my favorite lawn chair upon our return home, I looked up in time to see our sweet neighbor children walking home from their Amish school. I jumped up and ran to meet them, offering a piece of candy for each of them on their walk home. Anna, Lizzie, Susan and Henry all smiled and thanked me. I couldn’t help but notice they were carrying their shoes, enjoying bare feet touching warm earth on this spectacular day.

Play time

Before starting supper, I gathered up cleaning supplies and washed the glass door on our back porch. I stepped back inside the house to finish washing the other side of the glass and our young pup Bill came running from his farm field adventures. As I washed and wiped from inside, he jumped and tried in vain to bat at my hands, muddying up the glass I had just cleaned. I couldn’t help but laugh.

I invited my herding dogs Bill, Holden and Channing to follow me to check on the animals in the barn and pastures. Always eager to help, they bolted in too fast, causing my fainting goats to wobble and fall in a faint in their straw-filled pen.

No matter how many times it happens, Channing seems apologetic and readies herself for a scolding, unsure of what she has done wrong. Her herding instincts tell her this is just NOT supposed to happen, though she has no idea how things could have been handled differently.


She looks at me with ears laid back, lowers her head and leans against me. I assure her she has done nothing wrong. The goats come back around, bleating and braying and asking for grain.

As the sun begins to set, the autumn chill returns. It has been a glorious day from start to finish. I feel blessed beyond words, and grateful to be on this little spot on the planet.


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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, and three grandchildren.



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