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December 27, 2022; Raudi’s State of the Barn Address

Hello everyone,

Generally, the State of the Barn address comes after the New Year, but I decided to give it before the New Year. There’s no particular reason. I suppose I could give a second address after the New Year.

Ranger had lobbied hard, thinking he was going to be barn spokesperson this year. Unfortunately, his passing means that he won’t be giving this address. In fact, upon growing ill, he fought tooth and nail to stay alive because he saw giving this speech as being his goat-given duty.

Raudi and Tinni

Ranger’s passing, then, is the first item on my agenda. Ranger was loved by us all, including Pete and Alys. And he, more than any of the other animals, brought a smile to Alys’s face when she was down. He’s missed something awful, as is Tinni, who was another mainstay here at Squalor Holler.

We are all dealing with these two losses, and as well, the loss of Louise the chicken who passed away last spring. We all agree, their passing has left a void both numbers wise and socially.

I’m now the oldest animal here, at age 19 – Ryder is the second oldest at age 12. Undoubtedly, I will outlive Ryder because dogs have shorter lifespans. However, I don’t think either of us are so far along that our going is eminent.

Lots of bad weather here; last summer’s and fall’s rain followed by snow, followed by cold, followed by high winds. We horses are lucky in that our shelter is somewhat secluded, so we don’t get as much wind as they (the goats and chickens and Alys and Pete) do up on the hill.

Alys has not been riding us at all, and she has seldom walked us. This has mainly been because of the darkness, which when she gets home from work, has already set in. She’s assured us that this will soon change.

Alys and Pete have been talking about taking me, Hrimmi, Tyra, Shadow, and Ryder on a long trek this upcoming summer. They talked about doing this last summer, so I seriously doubt this is going to happen.

However, this morning Alys, as she was cleaning up poop, articulated another plan. She’s going to suggest to Pete that we all instead do a series of treks here in Alaska, and have our place be a home base.

Tyra, upon hearing this, wondered if perhaps it might be harder to get short term as opposed to long term house sitters. Well, I said, if A and P can farm out Swampy and Sassy, then they won’t need a house sitter.

The garden, the garden, this is going to be Pete’s number one concern.

I just know that I want to be out and about this upcoming summer. Alys has always wanted to do a beach ride. I’m up for this. Like hey, I’ve always wanted to say, “surf’s up.”

So this is my State of the Barn address. I hope that you all think that it’s as good as Ranger would have done, if he was here.

Sincerely Yours,

Raudhetta Fra Alaskastadir

Next: 356. 12/28/22: No Shortage of Books

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