What fun, I thought after the sheep arrived, now I get to name them. Tess’ name came to me right away. She’s the oldest of the three and as soon as she settled in she walked over to me and checked me out. I scratched her neck and she let me. Some names are just good sheep names. Tess is one of those names.
But Tess also has meaning for me. Tess, the person, bought my first quilt. When I started my company (it was YesNo Quilts at the time) I was only selling quilts and Tess was my best customer. Sales were slow back then, but Tess always seemed to come through just when I thought I might never sell another quilt. And she stayed with me, though all the changes. We got to meet briefly a few times, then last year she came for a visit. We found we had so much in common, If we lived closer to each other we’d be good friends. As it is, we’ve become long distance friends. Naming the sheep, Tess, seemed just right for my new business venture, which is also a personal venture into another part of myself. I feel a different kind of responsibility for these sheep,than I’ve ever felt before, like it’s up to me to make it work.
Suzy is named after another internet friend. I first met Suzy when she and her family she came to visit Bedlam Farm. I liked her right away. We kept in touch on-line and met from time to time at shows and readings. Last fall I invited Suzy to be in the Functional Art Show at the Pig Barn Gallery. She’s a spinner and knitter (has sheep of her own) and she made hats and shawls from her wool, which were a bit hit at the show. Although we live far from each other and have very different lives, Suzy and I just “get” each other. Especially those things that I might think twice about saying to just anyone. Suzy, the sheep, is still a bit shy, but she did let me get close enough to get this picture. Soon I’ll be scratching her neck.
Socks is the smallest of the three. She’s the first to run, when I come around. I’ll probably have to get the grain out for her, and just be patient. Mostly she hangs around with Suzy. I was thinking about all the things a person could make with wool and socks came to mind. It’s a cute word and that little sheep, who keeps running away from me, is pretty cute. I thought it was a good fit.
Today, as I was walking down the hill from the pole barn where the sheep were resting, I thought again of my responsibility for them. I saw myself in the New Bedlam Farm, surrounded by a large flock of sheep, my sheep, and we were in it together, taking care of each other. Me providing them with a good, safe, nourishing home and them providing wool. One of the old stories.