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16: Winds of Change, 2
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Our Llama Training DVDs


Click on the image above to find out more about Llama Training with Bobra Goldsmith, or on the one below to find out about Training Llamas to Drive.


Llama T-Shirts


Clicking on the image above takes you to our t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, tote bags, notebooks, calendars, and more with this design.... Clicking on the image below takes you to all our llama designs on various items.


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“Maybe Juniper Ridge isn’t ultimately the best place for us to live,” he said.

That startled me. I did feel some ambivalence about our home. I loved its magnificence and grandeur, but the snow, ice, and fog almost half the year often made ranch work and driving to town difficult. You could be isolated up there in the mountains. The high elevation made gardening pretty minimal. I had grumbled about these things off and on, but my love for the land and Kelly’s even greater sense of belonging had always been enough to keep us there. It had been almost seven years now, and we often talked of growing old there.

“What’s leading you to say this now?”

“I’ve been wanting a simpler life, for one thing,” he said. “There’s always so much to do there, and the weather doesn’t help. Besides, it’s just an idea.”

“Hmm,” I said.

“You know how attached I am to Juniper Ridge,” he said. “I really love it. But I’ve been realizing with this travel lately that wherever I am is my home. If we moved, it would be to accept the whole world as home.”

I did know how much he loved the place. He was so deeply attached to it that during times of frustration with its isolation, I had never felt I could ask him to leave. We had talked of maybe keeping an apartment in town. Now he was offering this new possibility.

“What kind of place would we move to?”

“I don’t know.”

The Oregon countryside passed in a blur as we talked for hours. I would want better facilities for the llamas, and I’d want to be close to town, whether Ashland or somewhere else. He would want quiet. We agreed on good water. Maybe we’d have two dwellings, one housing a llama-loving tenant. Then it would be easier for us to go away without the hassles of finding animal sitters. When we stopped for lunch we made a list. By the time we got home, the idea was beginning to take shape.

But then as we drove up the dear, familiar driveway, and I looked at our wonderful juniper trees, inspiring views, and beloved llamas, as I felt the echoes of seven years, I thought, “We’re crazy to even think of leaving this.”

We went around to greet all the llamas. Lally and Renny came right up to us, their bright eyes gazing deep into ours. It was wonderful to be home.

Every day, we talked. Maybe we would stay but make the situation more flexible. We looked into putting a new mobile home on the land, for a caretaker; luckily, our land was in three parcels so the county would permit it. We researched that possibility.

One day Posey had her baby, almost before we noticed anything. Another girl! We named her “Perestroika,” a Russian word meaning restructuring, and we called her “Perry.” The Soviet society was in the throes of restructuring, and so too were we.

I woke up one morning realizing we’d been going about things backwards. We needed to think about our greatest goals, our deepest yearnings. What did we most want to do? The right dwelling and location should grow out of that. As Kelly woke up, we lay in bed and talked. Kelly wanted more time for video and music. I wanted to write. We both wanted more flexibility to travel to other countries, and we wanted to make a difference with our lives.

I went out and fed the llamas, noticing undone projects everywhere. “Living in the country is a lot of work,” I thought. I had always felt that we would do them eventually, or I’d felt impatient with Kelly or myself for not having gotten to them, but now I recognized that lots of unfinished projects would likely remain the case so long as we were at Juniper Ridge.

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