Excited to Tears

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One day, when I was a little girl, about seven years old, I held a baby lion at a shopping mall in Gadsden, Alabama. It’s somewhat hard to believe that this was ever a “thing,” but it was. That day, I happened to run into my best friend, Amy, from a grade or so ago, which was kind of crazy because I didn’t live in Gadsden, and neither did she. Our parents decided to pay for us to have our picture taken holding the baby lion. I never saw Amy again, but I still have that photograph. And while I don’t agree with using wild animals in that way, as a little girl it felt like a dream come true.

Over this past weekend, I had a similar experience with an orphaned fawn. Though this time it was a “not for profit” deal. We spent a few moments with the baby before she was driven to a wildlife rehabilitator. I kept it together, but honestly, on the inside I felt a little like Kristen Bell when she realized she was going to meet a sloth. (That’s a youtube link) Once the little fawn left, I told Jonny that I might burst into tears. Not because she was gone, but because I had the opportunity to interact with her for those few minutes. I just have this thing for spotted fawns. I LOVE them. It’s part of the reason we try to go to Big Meadows at least once every summer. You’re almost always sure to see them on the meadow during the summer months. Anyway, that was the best day I’ve had in a long time. I felt like a little girl again. I know I’m super corny, but I’ll never forget that little fawn.

Of course, I also get really excited about things like homemade mayo. I made some over the weekend, because I’ve been buying the healthy stuff made with avocado oil for the few of my kids that eat mayo, but it’s just too expensive. Making my own was easy, and since I used a yolk from one of our free range chicken eggs, it was yellow like butter! Gabe didn’t get my excitement. He said he’d rather have white mayo. (I followed a recipe from this cookbook.)

Jonny and the boys have been working hard at our old house, getting it ready to sell next month. It’s bittersweet watching all the unfinished projects of recent years getting completed. On the other hand, I get excited thinking about making it all fresh and pretty for a new family. We love that place so much. It’s still hard to believe that we are going to sell it. The elderberries I planted there last year are blooming. I gathered a bunch of the flowers a couple of nights ago and made a tea with some of the flowers. The rest went into the dehydrator. I honestly didn’t care for the flavor of the tea, but it’s supposed to be good for treating illness, so we’ll save the dried flowers for this winter.

Silas’ birthday is this week, and I’ve been working every night on a gift for him, but it’s a surprise and my kids look at my blog, so I don’t want to risk posting a photo. I’ve posted a couple of progress photos in my Instagram stories over the past few days, and will keep doing so. It’s not a big deal, but it feels good to be working on something in secret for him. I’ve also been planning for Mabel’s first birthday which is in less than a month now! I dyed fabric and yarn for a friend to use to make her a little baby doll, and I’m making progress on a little knitted top for her. That’s practically a Yarn Along photo up there, isn’t it? I’m knitting this pattern, and after a few fiction reads, I’m now reading this book.




  1. Ginny, We are thinking of downsizing and selling our home as well. In midlife with our six children fairly up and on their own, but how do you get past the bittersweet of leaving a part of your heart behind? I do not want to have any regrets once the for sale sign posted. Just wondering if you have any words of advice in moving past that and onto a new home. Thank you!

    • Honestly, I still cry. We are working at the old house a lot right now. I feel a little sick every time I leave. I think that once we sell it, I’ll be able to move on. But this between two places thing is really hard. No advice! You just do what you have to do, and know that eventually everything will feel allright again. 🙂

  2. That fawn is looking so cute. All pics are so touching and nicely captured.

  3. Julie C says:

    Just read these comments. So. Very. Funny. I am giggling about all of the sin in this comment section. Too much fun! I watched the sloth video and it was absolutely worth it. I love the picture of you and the fawn Ginny, you look pleased and reverent at the same time.

  4. How cool to hold a fawn! I love wildlife.

  5. Mellisa says:

    Oh Ginny! THAT picture of Job reaching in to touch that fawn….it is just priceless. It looks as though he feels very similar to how you felt. 🙂 The emotion caught in that photo speaks volumes! Sometimes I find myself in absolute awe of creation around us. God is soooo good. I look forward to reading your blog and following your beautiful family.

  6. such sweet moment here Ginny! that fawn is beautiful and my heart is happy it is being saved.
    i also make homemade mayo. the store bought stuff is ghastly – i have no idea why the children love it so much. but i will keep slogging away and keep introducing the good stuff. maybe one day i will get it right 😉

    ps im loving glimpsing in on your moments on instagram. thank you for alway sharing!
    blessings on you and your wee tribe xx

  7. oh my, that is an exciting event. We have deer though our property and live in our woods. So far any fawns that have been left were old enough to tag along with the herd. I love when they are in the woods staring me down while I walk around in the grass area 🙂

  8. Ginny, it’s so wonderful to read your words today. We are listing our house for sale in two weeks. There have been more home improvement projects done in the last two months than the twenty two years we have lived here. And wishing I could take starts of everything I planted in that time. I think a lot about the next family to live here. Hoping they make forts in the trees, sleep well in these bedrooms, have meaningful dinners in the dining room and are blessed by standing in the living room window to see this years doe parade her babies by.
    We didn’t realize with the first doe, but soon discovered generations of does have been having their babies in our field the first weekend of June. Every year. White Eyebrows, that was her name, didn’t make it through the winter. We saw at least 10 years of her babies born here. But Split Ear, her daughter, has been hanging out in the same spots this spring. Bitter sweet indeed. But no worries, we are moving back to the beach, after 30 years of waiting. And I know where all the elder berry patches are.

  9. I took our state’s fawn rehabilitation course a number of years ago (before children) and it was an amazing experience. While I never set up myself as a rehabilitator (very expensive and I do not currently have the ideal setting), I gained knowledge for which I am very grateful. One of our favorite things about May and June is waiting to see the first fawns emerge from our woods. I also had the opportunity to hold fawn a few years ago. She had been following her mother across a road and been knocked down by the wind of a passing car. A lady was stopped by the side of the road and, when I saw the fawn on the roadside, I stopped also. She was late for work so I called the local rehab person and spent a glorious 30 minutes or so sitting in the shade holding the tired fawn. She couldn’t have been more than a few days old as she still had the soft flaps on her hooves. She gradually regained her energy and wandered into the wood sin the direction we thought her mother went. I often wonder, when I see a doe, if that is “our” baby. An experience I will never forget as I know you will never forget yours, Ginny. And how amazing to have the photo!

  10. Wow, now I wish I had some elderberries. LOL

  11. OH! I laughed reading those instructions! Nadia, You made my day!!
    Laughing ‘WITH’ you, not at you. God knows how to help us laugh…if you seen my last four months then you would realize what a blessing your mistake is to me. God bless!
    I LOVE fawns, too. So lovely.

    • Oh I’m with you, Patricia, and Charlotte! Truly hilarious. God knows where my mind was and now do all of you! I think all should have a tipple of champagne to enjoy the laughs.

  12. Wendy Martin says:

    We live in central BC in Canada for the summer. It’s a small lake community, lots of forest! Every year for the last 3 years a mama deer brings her new born twins( sometimes before the spots have grown in)and rests near the lake for a few hours. It is just so beautiful and heart warming! Even our dogs understand and leave them alone. we are now waiting to see who comes this year!
    Ginny I thoroughly enjoy your blog, Mabel is just the cutest,her smile melts my heart!

  13. A few years back when we went canoeing as a family we spotted a tiny fawn hidden in some brush along the way. I was trying not to squeal with excitement, but it was one of the most wonderful things ever (and I didn’t even get to touch it!). Lucky you! Oh, I’ve seen that sloth video before – hilarious!

  14. Have you read The Yearling? If you have a love of fawns you might enjoy it. Though, be warned it’s sad. Look into it 🙂

  15. jan wetherell says:

    Ginny, I haven’t written for a long, long time. But I read every blog and love every word. This post….. oh this post….. spoke so strongly to me. I have such strong emotions around special memories from childhood and especially those that involve animals and especially baby animals. I felt so close to you this morning as I read this post. Thank you for sharing your oh-so-tender heart.

    Blessings, dear Ginny

  16. how special! so glad for you! Been enjoying those IG stories! 🙂 God bless you!!!

  17. Florentine says:

    Hi Ginny,

    elderberry syrup is sort of our national drink here in austria at this time of year – no matter how much you make, it never lasts the summer:
    cover 20-30 open blossoms with 4 clean, sliced lemons (peel & all) and 1-2 litres water. let sit in a cool place for 1-3 days. then, add 1 to 1.5 kg suger per litre water, bring to the boil, filter and fill into clean bottles. close & let cool. drink diluted with water (for kids) or with white wine/fizzy water or even champagne (for adults)… add more lemons if you like, though i wouldn’t usw more than 6 or so.

    the fawn is really adorable!
    all the best!

  18. Natasha Powell says:

    So lovely. Those fawns are so beautiful. Impossible eyelashes. We had a similar incident last year. Elbra was taken in by a mad Cornish lady who has raised her with a wallaby and tortoise!

  19. Elderberry champagne is delightful! The blossoms produce a yeast like something or another (you probably know this!). Open blossoms – 4 to a 5 gallon tub of fresh water – with a few lemons cut and squeezed and about a cup of sugar (some say more but this is sufficient I’ve found). Cover loosely with Satan, leave for 3 to 5 days out of sin. And voila! Lightly bubbly, delicately flavored, nature-intended champagne. I’ve fond memories of my father scouring the shoulder of country roads for blooming elderberry after we’d moved to the city. 🙂

    • Oh good grief. Satan has no place here! It should read “cover loosely with saran”. So sorry

      • Patricia says:

        LOL – AND it shouldn’t it have been – “Cover loosely with SATAN, leave for 3 to 5 days out of SIN.” Rather, “Cover loosely with SARAN, leave for 3 to 5 days out of SUN”? Where was your unconscious mind? LOL

    • This recipe was what I was going to post. Except this is so much better. “Cover loosely with Satan, leave for 3 to 5 days out of sin.” just made me laugh so hard. I make big batches of this every time the eldres are flowering. (leaving satan and sin out of coourse), but there’s never enough.
      What a great post. Fawns, delicious things from garden & co., secrets, and a sin-free recipe all in one morning.
      God bless you.

    • Dear Nadia, You win the award for most amusing typos ever left in a comment here!! 🙂

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