The Gifts of the Not-So-Little Old Farm Lady

We Are On It
May 19, 2015
More Travels with Tommy
June 6, 2015
We Are On It
May 19, 2015
More Travels with Tommy
June 6, 2015

The Gifts of the Not-So-Little Old Farm Lady

Once upon a time there lived a little old farm lady who dressed in purple, cursed at her computer, and rarely refused a Klondike bar. Not really so little or so old, she was a grandmother many times over.

If an apple pie set cooling on her windowsill, a volunteer had baked it.  If a rocking chair decorated a corner of the farm, there was no little old lady knitting there.  Not really grandmotherly, she preferred cooking up ideas and knotting monkey fists from the cab of a front blog letterloader (which she’d have used to heave the creaky rocking chair out of her way).

One day, the grandmother-farm-lady who dressed in purple cursed at the grandchildren’s parents for not writing to her. True, the not really grandmotherly farm lady didn’t dole out kisses and cookies and boo-boo band-aids like other grandmothers.

Instead, Carlene replaced immobility with mobility, fear-of-falling with confident strides, canes with Danes. The little old farm lady from the Service Dog Project was big enough and young enough at heart to give gifts that changed people’s lives and restored their independence.

Like most grandmothers, the farm lady didn’t expect much in return: Treat the gifts well and write to her now and then. That’s right: to her. In a letter. In an email. And include pictures. Little old farm ladies love to look at pictures while enjoying their daily ice cream.

“You do not really understand something unless you can
explain it to your grandmother.” – Proverb



  1. Lorine aka BluePenguin says:

    A B S O L U T E L Y love <3 this …. to quote the "Not so-Little-Old Farm Lady" ….
    WoWWoWWoW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Did says:

    This is fabulous!

  3. Tina Groff says:

    I just totally love this!!!! What an awesome tribute and written in a way that Carlene will totally relate! How awesome you are for doing this!

  4. Dianeks-MD says:

    Love!!!! Perfect description!!

  5. Sarah Mumma says:

    Reading with wet eyes. Love SDP

  6. Thank you so very much!! I so very much loved the post. My third graders will also love it as I will share it on Tuesday!!

  7. Thank you so very much ! I so very very much loved your post as will my third graders when I share with them on Tuesday

  8. Sharon kbtz-AZ says:

    Thank you so much, Renee, this was priceless. You sure nailed the little old lady perfectly.
    Thank you for all you do to explain and teach many about service dogs.
    Hugs to Sir Thomas because he is such ‘a good boy’.

  9. jeanne mudge says:

    So beautifully perfect!

  10. DebH - MI says:

    Well written (and hopefully e-mailed to the old farm lady). This is a wonderful tribute and great ode to Carlene and the wonderful gifts she has made possible through her thinking outside of the box to get things done!! No wonder so many are willing to support her and her efforts!

  11. Amy from Illinois says:


  12. Ann says:

    Lovely, thanks. Hope you sent it to the little old farm lady. Although I am fairly sure she would not consider herself old.

  13. Susan Frith Woods says:

    Absolutely love this. I smiled while reading the whole thing. Thank you so much for sharing. Carlene is quite the character for sure.

  14. Renee says:

    Thank you, all, for your kind words. So glad you enjoyed the post. I admit to chuckling a bit (and maybe getting a bit teary-eyed, too) when I wrote it. Tommy, on the other hand, had a good nap the whole time I was blogging. 🙂

  15. Nancy says:


  16. Nancy Litman-Pulka says:

    Thank you so much Renee. You nailed it on this one for sure. We love Carlene for what and who she is. Never known another person quite like her. I only hope one day to make it to Crazy Acres to meet her in person.

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