by Melissa

Today started out much differently for me than yesterday. As I headed to Heart Butte for Youth Day yesterday, I knew that I was headed to my heart work – kids. Others seemed uncertain of whether there would be enough work in Heart Butte. Not me. I knew that I just needed one kid and I would have something to do.

My uncertainty came today as I volunteered to help take the residents at the Care Center on a picnic. I have a lot of appreciation for those who find their heart work with the elderly.

I’m typically a very positive person, this morning I was filled with doubt. I couldn’t understand why the care givers were insisting on this picnic. I agreed that the residents needed shade, but didn’t see a way to create shade on the bank of a small lake without a single tree around. Frankly, I thought it was a lot of needless effort. Boy was I wrong!

My mind slowly started to change as the nurses and caregivers efficiently loaded 18 residents on to three vans to make the drive out there. My mind slowly started to change as Daniel, a resident of Browning, skillfully dug the holes for our canopy. My mind slowly started to change when I handed Ray a fishing pole and he stood up out of his wheelchair to walk to the edge of the water where he sat for the rest of the afternoon. My mind slowly started to change each time I saw the big smile on Jim’s face as he engaged in a long conversation with Ed. By the time we packed up and left, my mind was changed when Joan stopped me, put her hand on my arm and thanked me for the afternoon. I give my thanks to the care givers at the Care Center who helped to remind me that it is worth the effort.

As for last night, I’m not a skillful enough writer to describe the time at the DeBoo Ranch and the horseback ride in the most beautiful land I’ve ever seen. My son once asked me, “Mom, what is paradise?” After tonight my answer will be the Montana prairie is paradise. As I comfortably rode my horse back to the ranch, I found myself daydreaming of a home in a land like this.

Where there’s a will there’s a way.

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