One of my very favorite things to do is host a group of folks on a Thistle Cove Farm tour! Today, Miss B’s kindergarten class visited us and we had such a great time. Four and five year old children are so wonderful, they have loads of curiosity, are eager for new experiences and really enjoy meeting all the dogs, cats, sheep and horses.
When the bus arrives, the dogs and I climb on board to welcome everyone. There are always a few rules (don’t climb on fences or gates, don’t hurt the animals, stay with your group) and the most important one is HAVE FUN! The children are amazed that Gracie and Abbie enjoy getting on the buses, checking out the children, sniffing around for lunch smells and getting and giving kisses.
Well. Okay. So some of the children aren’t as crazy about dog kisses as others but most of them think it’s really cool to be greeted by two of the official Thistle Cove Farm mascots.
Every time they share their lunch with a dog, they scream. Every time a sheep’s muzzle tickles their hands, they scream. When they chased the bubbles I blew, they screamed. When they saw the horses run toward us, they screamed. I must admit, the horses are an impressive sight as they gallop across the pasture. I raise rare breed, hypoallergenic (to most) pinto, gaited American Curly horses. The icing on the cake is the horses are *very* gentle, quiet and obedient. They have to be; I’m a middle age, slightly overweight woman and I need my animals to be very safe. My horses don’t dissappoint and the visitors love petting them just as much as the horses love being petted. The carrots as treats seem to help as well.
You know, I should have a headache but I don’t. I just adore little ones and love watching their faces light up when they realize they have gotten a correct answer to one of my questions. “What are the mountains called where we live?” Blank looks all so I tell them, “We live in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains.” By the end of their tour they could tell me, “We live in the beeyoutiful Applecha Mountains!”
I teach and preach Agriculture and Appalachia and love letting the children know more about these beautiful, old mountains and where we get our food and clothing. If they ate a meal today, it’s because somewhere a farmer got out of bed. If they flipped a switch and a light came on, it’s because somewhere a coal miner got out of bed. I’m proud to be an Appalachian American and am so blessed because my roots go deep in these hills and hollers. I’m also blessed because I’m able to live here, at Thistle Cove Farm, and to share God’s beauty and bounty.
~children because we all were or are and we’re our past, present and future
~the beeyoutiful Applecha Mountains!
~a lovely day
~friends and family helping out
~cool, fresh well water
– sweetened by these limestone hills