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I’ve been thinking a lot about transitions lately. The past month or so has brought quite a few of them to Stori Stables.

On April 30, we had to say good-bye to our beloved Stormy. Stormy was about two months shy of his 32nd birthday. He had been a part of our family since he was 3 years old. Stormy got me through the loss of my very first horse, Tori. He gave both my kids their first horseback rides when they were just babies.

Stormy was a unique horse. I found him as an unbroke 3 year old in a pasture fetlock deep in mud. You could put a halter on him but that was about it. No one wanted Stormy because he was born with a severely swayed back. I rode Stormy for years. Throughout his life, he was the soundest, healthiest, horse I have ever owned.

Stormy was stubborn and he didn’t like everyone. He would pout if his stall wasn’t kept extremely clean, if I didn’t stick to his schedule and when I went on vacation. But he was gentle and steady and extremely trustworthy. He taught my kids how to be around horses and quietly tolerated Slewy, his completely nutty, highly anxious, barn mate and best friend. Losing Stormy has left a huge, huge hole in my heart and in the Stori Stables family.

A few days after Stormy’s passing, the Stori Stables herd reminded me that life is a circle with the hatching of our first ever “homegrown” little chick! We’ve had hens and roosters together forever but while some of our hens occasionally decide to sit on an egg or two, we’ve never had any hatch. Eventually, we were blessed with little Willow and Whisper. (Whisper is the grey chick; Willow is the black and yellow one.)

But, as if to remind us of life’s fragility, little Whisper was only with us a few days. She just wasn’t a strong chick and didn’t thrive despite our very intensive efforts. I’ve never been so sad about losing a tiny ball of fluff. We buried her under the rose bush out in the vineyard.

And then, as we were all morose over Stormy and little Whisper, Ella’s friend called to say they had found four orphaned ducklings. Could we take them? Yes! Of course we would!

So . . . births and passings. Comings and goings. Transitions.

In the midst of all this, Evan graduated from high school.

Transitions. How do we get through them? How do we adapt?

When Stormy passed, a lot of people said to me, “Oh, it must be hard for you to be in the barn now.” I was met with confused looks when I responded that actually, it’s where I prefer to be.

The barn is where I work through transitions in life. Yes, I miss Stormy every single day. But he’s with me. Hanging out with the herd grounds me and surrounds me with the unconditional love only our furry and feathery family members can offer. We’re all only here for a short time. Embrace your life. Be joyful in it. Be kind.

Have a beautiful day.

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