The weather could not have been one degree better-6o degrees, no wind and a deep Maine sky sprinkled with floating puffs.
At precisely 11 AM, the cars began arriving and did not slow down until 2. We were open until 3 pm and we are guessing we had about 350 people. This was by far the best and most consistent crowd of any event we had out West. Our location here is so perfect for this. We had people park on the front grass, and it all worked just fine.
But overall, the thing I have to say I am most proud of, and still blissed by, is the openly loving reaction we got from fellow Bremenites, and community people, as well as people who came from Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut just to come to the event. Over and over, people pulled me aside, and first thanked me for what we are doing with animals and people, but they also expressed how important and special the farm was, and the 'feeling' of it all. Many were amazed at 'how calm and friendly' the animals were-of course a lot of this is because I work with them daily, but I like to think the lovers and those needing to learn love come to me asking to live here.
I met so many wonderful people! One woman who had donated months ago came, she had raised llamas most of her life but due to health and aging, she quit and her final llamas were sent to live with a friend. I learned many things from her about llamas, some I knew, some I didn't. But it was just so nice and I told her I want her to come when she can.
We had all ages, but I was really pleased it was heavily leaning to the elder crowd. Of course, our area and state is an older population, but these people are vibrant, interested and engaged creatures, we are finding. I met many people who had been following us since they read about our trip with all the animals across the country.
I had bought a little tiara for Birdie, thinking it might be fun. I wanted to decorate her neck, but due to timing, I opted for the tiara. I told her,
"Look, I'll put it on and if you don't like it, off it goes."
But the minute I put it on, and the guests were arriving, it's as if she took to this new role. She sat herself down and her people flocked around her, snapping photos, she gave kisses all day. She met children, a 101-year-old gent, and her first firemen who really fell for her. We are pleased we now know a fireman in the neighborhood who will watch out for us. Opie and Ollie were great too, and I had the animals all together roaming about, which was a nice pastoral, natural setting. White Dog was with the pigs so people could pet him and he got a lot of attention. I failed to get enough photos, next year I will do better! There some more on Instagram.
There were times I got all swelled up inside. What we have accomplished here in a short time was truly wonderful and gratifying. We are surely meant to be in their spot in this time. My volunteers were so great, we found we needed two people by the gate to greet people but also keep the goats from getting out, and my ladies were so wonderful about explaining our mission and all. It was also rewarding that people, most that I talked to, came with a knowledge of what we are doing.
I think Emma, our board member who also volunteered, said something really interesting and helpful. She lived out West when we were there, and helped at most of our Pino Pie Days. We all loved Pino Pie Days but I felt it had a purpose there, and not 'now', and Pino too had done his duty for years and it felt the animals were shifting. Emma pointed out that at Pie Day, people came to the event for many reasons, some for pie, some just to drive in the country. It was more about self gratification. Here, it was people coming in and sharing their admiration for what we were doing, and wanting to help. I just loved this.
We are really exhausted. The first event in a new place means different set ups, and it all worked. Lots of details though and we of course have new ideas for next year. The fiddler was great too and next year I'll be more on top of finding music earlier on.
We earned $1500 net, which is better than we ever did in Oregon. But the main thing is, we are gaining respect in our area and region. Every bit helps us here. Out West, except for one local paper, I could never get any press. We have a much more engaged community here with what we are doing.
I am so lucky to live with these creatures, and share them. Thank you to everyone who helped. And to Martyn, who did so much to help make it all go smoothly.
Feel free to donate now to our mission here, helping both animals and elder people.
|She stole the show
|Her first goat friend. Ollie was great.
|Pam Weeks came and played fiddle for us.
|Our first 101 year old guest-oh he was so sweet!