Apifera Farm is home to artist Katherine Dunn and landscaper Martyn Dunn. Located in mid coast Maine, Apifera takes in needy animals but also shares them with elder people. They are a 501[c]. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
The 103 year old birthday boy showing me his favorite pony bells through the window
We had a very special birthday gathering at one of our elder residences this week. One of the residents, David, turned 103 years old with his daughters and family members gathered outside a large picture window as David sat inside, looking out. Due to the restrictions and CDC guidelines due to the COVID 19 virus even family members can not visit inside.
But the birthday boy had another special guest–Harry the llama. David loves animals and back when he was 101 he first visited Apifera Farm where he met all the animals including the llamas. He was able to visit again when he was 102. But this year, due to the virus everyone is in lock down. When I heard David’s birthday was coming up, I immediately wanted to bring Harry to visit and contacted David’s daughter to confirm a Llama Birthday Window Walk.
I had planned to make a daisy chain for Harry, but at the last minute decided to decorate Harry in bells on his neck and head wear [the bells were a gift last year form an Apifera supporter]. When David saw Harry’s bells he was delighted. He started to talk about the pony bells he had hanging in his room. It’s hard to hear through the window, but the staff translated, and his daughter explained to me how he loved his pony bells. The staff went to his room and brought the pony bells down so everyone could see them through the window. David had found them long ago in his travels to India and where ever he lived he always took his pony bells. Then he asked the staff to take them outside so I could see them closer, and I was thrilled to ring them and show Harry. Through it all, David sat inside smiling through the window watching his favorite pony bells being rung. Minutes later, another staff person came out and said David wanted Katherine and Harry to have the bells.
I jwelled up with tears, I looked at him through the window and patted my heart with my hand, and he mimicked me. It was probably the most caring, beautiful and most meaningful gift I have ever received.
As Harry and I left with our new special bells, the family was able to visit more with David outside, under social distance guidelines. There were no hugs allowed or birthday cake, but there were smiles from David.
My birthday wish for David is he gets to be with his family up close...soon...very soon and when we all get through this lock down, I want to get David out to the farm, and we will ring those bells!!
And you know what?
It was also Birdie's birthday.
At 101, David made his first visit to Apifera, where he met our beloved Birdie. It turns out, they share a birthday. Birdie died in 2019 and is always with us.
We took on two more elders, and I treated myself, and Opie to a baby girl goat [yet to be named although once again Opie wants to name her Pickles. Joliet, on the left, and Auntie Bea [also named by Opie} are the sweetest Pygmies. I hope they have many years here.
It's gratifying hearing from people who have received the new White Dog memoir. I feel it is one of my best books. I don't feel it got the launch it deserved due to the virus. I hope to have more of a splash in the fall, somehow, to give it due presence in this world.