Saturday, March 17, 2012

Memory Lane: Horses

I miss having horses. Growing up, I was obsessed with horses. My parents spent many afternoons and weekends shuttling me back and forth from riding lessons- some nearly an hour away when there wasn't an opportunity to take them close to home. After years of taking lessons and lots of begging on my part, my parents did it. They bought me a horse. A horse of my very own. Her name was Ginger, and she was beatiful. She wasn't very nice, but she was beautiful and she was all mine. But she didn't live in my backyard like I thought she should. Before long however, we had moved out to the country, my dad and mom and grandfather had spent hours and hours and hours putting up fence and building a barn, and suddenly I didn't only have my very own horse, but I had my very own horse who did live in my backyard. Well of course as I got older I became more interested in boys and being cool than in spending time with my horse and eventually we sold her back to her original owner. But then I somehow caught the bug again, and I bought another horse. But this one was definitely mine, because I spent my very own money on him. And not only was Peso, a leopard Appaloosa, beautiful, but he was gentle and well-mannered and perfect for me and anyone else who wanted to ride him. And eventually my Mom got her very own horse as well, and we bought a third horse and it was all great. (And it was expensive for my parents, and I wasn't always the best at being responsible and spending as much at the barn as I should have, and the brunt of the work fell to my parents because I was at college.) BUT. Here's the thing. Some of the best memories I have were made in that little barn. When we bought Peso, my parents decided to do some work on the barn to make it better. I'll never ever forget the time I spent just hanging with my parents while my dad was working on the tack room. Sawdust was always flying, Peso stayed in his stall even though he had 10 acres (and eventually 20) to roam on just because he wanted to be close to us, and even in my angst-ridden teen years, I felt close to my parents in those moments. Another memory that I can still see in my head as if it happened yesterday instead of nearly a decade ago is being out in the pasture, sitting on the back of my dad's truck while he was putting up fence posts (I was obviously very helpful. We had a bag of peanuts and Mountain Dews (I'm sure my parents had Diet Pepsis at that time) and I remember throwing the peanut shells out as we ate and watching Lance, our golden retriever find them and chew on them. So not only do I miss the horses, but I miss knowing that we won't be making more memories like that. Of course, maybe it's just me realizing that you really don't get time back and that never stays the same forever. So when I think about what I miss about horses, it's a lot about the memories made. But it's also the things that you never think about missing- the smell of your horse on a warm spring day when you've just finished a long ride, the smell of our saddle when open up the tack room door, the companionship you feel with your horse when you're grooming after a ride, or when your horse sticks around after the feed is gone just because you're still standing there. I miss the feeling of losing myself in my throughts and the beauty that was just outside my door when I saddled up and rode around our property, up the dirt road leading to a beautful field full of wildflowers in the summer. The excitement of being on new trail. And that no matter what- you didnn't have the excuse to be bored because you always had something to do if you had a horse (as my parents often reminded me). So I don't have a horse now and it has been years since I've ridden, but you know what? If I ever have kids, I will do everything possible to introduce them to riding. Because I don't think you can beat the life skills and lessons you learn from riding and taking care of a horse.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Last weekend

It was perfection. And thinking about it is getting me through the week.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Weekends are for family

My house still isn't clean, but I think that the time I spent on Friday night in church, on Saturday with family, and today hiking with the dogs was well worth it. If there is one thing that I do know for sure, it's that time isn't something we get back, and family may not always be around. Yesterday was a wonderful, gorgeous day spent outside on my parent's back patio watching our dogs play and catching up with my grandparents. My favorite conversation of the day? Explaining to my grandmother that she couldn't finish her drink in the car, since that would be illegal here in NC. I announced that I wanted to bottle up the feeling of happiness I felt about us all being together, just being, and I still feel that way! Mom ran to the store to buy fresh steaks and veggies and we took full advantage of the beautiful and warm weather by grilling. Today we took the dogs to hike around the lake at Crowder's Mountain, and it was great to be outside again! I'm trying hard not to think about being cooped up in class next weekend!