“My new BFF!” exclaimed Talli as she welcomed us to her home. (For the texting illiterate- that’s shorthand for “Best Friend Forever.” ) And we did indeed become fast friends. Ronnie and Talli have a big heart for serving others as well as for hospitality. Their invitation- repeatedly emphasized- was open ended. They made us, the horses, and Bella completely welcome in their home as if we were their own family. We had our own space in a comfortable apartment attached to their garage as well as full access to the house, the horses had tons of room to run, play, and roam, and Bella and their dog Ben playtogether like BFF’s too.
Ronnie and Talli, as well as Ronnie’s parents- Kenny and Linda- not only wanted us to rest while at their home, they wanted us to have fun too. A mini vacation they called it. Due to the nature of our tight budget complicated by a much longer-than-anticipated ride, the entertainment we enjoyed was generously made possible by both Basham families. It was an arms-wide-open gesture of love, generosity, and compassion that was profoundly appreciated and enjoyed by these two over-tired travelers.
Weeks of expected healing time turned into a couple months. We were all simply more tired than we realized. Our condition was once described to me metaphorically yet quite accurately. Unlike a regular light bulb that simply burns out one day, we were like a florescent light that gets dimmer and dimmer over time. The transition is so slow that you don’t realize you can barely see any more because you’ve just gotten used to the lower output over a long period of time. But when someone else walks in the room, they wonder why you are working in near dark. That was us. We were just starting to realize how “dark our light” had gotten when Satchmo was injured and forced us to stop. It was truly an intervention by God so we didn’t inadvertently cause irrevocable harm to either us or our animals. We had envisioned stopping for two weeks to rest, but Satchmo’s wound dictated much longer. Unfortunately, unlike a light bulb, people and animals can not just be replaced with a new “light.” When you wear down slowly over time, it takes much, much longer to recuperate than if you wear down quickly. We can honestly say, if it weren’t first for the Browns, then continued long term by the Bashams- we would have had to go home. We have been so- truly beyond words- blessed.