As September approaches and the gardens wind down a bit (though there are still tomatoes to roast!) I have been reflecting on the summer.  It was an interesting summer here.  The weather was mixed.  We had some hazy, hot and humid days (NOT my favorite) and some nice days.  We got enough rain and the gardens, for the most part, did well.  

And amazingly, we lost very few veggies to the local wildlife.


Peter was joined by his cousin Benjamin and his sisters Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail, but they mostly ate grass.

The girls enjoyed the big run, had lots of treats and laid lots of eggs.

IMG_4455They had no adventures with hawks or other wildlife thank goodness.

Merlin dozed in all the best places.

IMG_4483And seemed content as only cats can.

Unlike last summer when he had a broken ankle, Bill is back to mowing the lawn.

IMG_4151So I have not had to.  THAT has been nice!

But Fergus seems much older this summer.

IMG_4107 Last summer, despite the fact that he had been diagnosed with cancer in the Spring, he was himself.  He walked every day, swimming in all his favorite places and dozing peacefully the rest of the day.  I had hoped for another summer like that.  But he is aging rapidly.  It is noticeable.  He still walks and swims..but not from the steep banks any more.  He has trouble getting on his couch sometimes and the heat has been hard for him.  We know he is going.  And we know what a hole he will leave in our hearts.  Life without Fergus is hard to imagine.

We have been thinking about an old dream and wondering.  For years we had dreamed of retiring to Ireland.  But things got in the way and then Ireland got very expensive.  We gave up on the dream and settled into Brookwood Shire.  Bill took up photography and I started putting in gardens, got baby chicks and made our little cottage as cozy as I could.  We expected to stay here forever.  But we have never liked winters in New England and they seem to get harder as one ages.  Last winter, we began to question our decision to remain New Englanders.  We began to talk again about Ireland.  Prices have come down somewhat since the recession….could we trade Brookwood Shire for a cottage there?  Could we start again with new gardens…new hens (the girls could not come with us   though a friend has offered to take them)…could we put Merlin on a plane?  I am not sure.  But it has been on my mind a lot.  

So there may be changes in our future.  When “we don’t have Fergus anymore” (and I am still hoping that is a ways in the future) we are thinking of spending some time in Ireland..a month? 6 weeks?  Just to see how it feels,  look at property and test the waters.  

So we shall see what happens.  It is both exciting and quite daunting.  But it could be the adventure of a lifetime.

I will keep you posted. 🍀




About patti

I am a retired kindergarten teacher, tending a new kind of garden now, raising chickens and exploring permaculture. I live with my husband, Bill, my beloved dog, Fergus and my cat, Mighty Merlin. We have a small cottage and a tiny bit of land called Brookwood Shire. It is our sanctuary.
This entry was posted in Fergus, Gardens, Hens, Ireland, Merlin, Nature and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Changes

  1. wspines says:

    Yes even since I saw him a short time ago he has aged. Its hard for us animals lovers to see.. The gardens look so good and glad Bill is back to the mowing. Merlin is quite satisfied with his life and the girls are happy. It will be fun seeing what happens with Ireland so many houses to see. I will be with you in spirit.

    • patti says:

      It will be fun to look at cottages in Ireland. Something to look forward to for sure. For now though we will be enjoying our time with Fergus…they age too fast!

  2. I’ve moved countries several times and never regretted it. Sometimes “forever” (raised in the US I now live in Australia), sometimes “for a while” (which is how Australia started out). I’ve never regretted the moves even if I didn’t settle. Of course there are some stresses and I’ve never tried a move with animals (now with a cat and dog I’m imagining how hard it would be onthem!) but it’s always exciting.

    Definitely take a nice, long vacation in Ireland and imagine your life there. It seems to me you’re going to be stuck choosing between 2 lovely options – not a bad place to be!

    • patti says:

      It will be hard on Merlin I know but I don’t want to leave him. He wouldn’t like that either. So we will just have to see how it all goes. We won’t bring him until everything is ready… A friend will house sit with him and the girls while we are sorting things out. Hope things are going well with you and yours Laura. Take good care.

  3. Pingback: The New Blog | Life at Brookwood Shire

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