Take a fresh look on a new year


“January, and all is quiet, even the barn feels hushed. We await the joy of new life within those walls — the calf, the lambs, the piglets, all set to arrive in their given time. And the hush will give way to chaos and work and joy, just as it is in a home welcoming a newborn babe.” 

— Gladys Simmons, 1934

A year ago today, the rush of the holidays behind us, we awaited the birth of our first granddaughter, a week overdue.

She was most definitely worth the wait. Landry is a delight, a sweet, mischievous sparkle in our world.

Celebrating her first birthday today feels impossible, in part because the year has flown, and because it feels she has long been a part of us; it is hard to imagine the world without her in it.

She began walking at 10 months, and within just days of taking her first steps, this tiny sprite was nearly running. She is so little it seems laughably impossible to see her stand up and go. She is always smiling, her blue eyes sparkling as she sets her sights on the next thing to explore.

I have learned there is no better gift in this life than a wee one greeting you, arms up, little legs running, pure joy in the connection. She lets me know she adores me as much as I do her.

I couldn’t wait to buy her the first baby doll, dressed in frills and accompanied with a baby bottle of magically disappearing milk. She looked at me, furrowed her brow a bit as if to say, “This will have to wait,” as she headed for the toy tractors, picking up a tiny set of needle-nosed pliers from her big brother’s play tool kit. She had to fight him for it, and her stubborn stance won the day.

I laughed as she prevailed, and she turned to me with a big, happy smile, clutching those pliers with an equal mix of joy and determination. She seems to know that we understand one another, fully.

One-year-old, an incredible new year ahead, a blank slate toward the building of a new life in every way. It is a wonderful thing, to see the world through the eyes of little ones, a spunky soul filled with innocence and wonder, celebrating the little victories while living so purely in the moment.

Wishing you and yours newfound joy in the new year.


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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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