When I think back to a year ago, I'm doing much better now. A year ago I was suffering, honestly suffering, with the old panic/depression combo. I haven't taken a panic pill in almost a week. I could have, but I wanted to get through a chest pain my own way. I did okay. Last year I couldn't do much in a day. This weekend I had three days in one, each day!
My son took this photo while we were waiting for big Daddy to get home so that we could drive out to the farm. I was very tired and unhappy about the two nasty blemishes that had erupted on my face. I had a burr under my saddle and blemishes on my face. This was the worst part of the whole weekend. I hate getting packed. I've been doing it for fifteen years. It's like drilling my own teeth now. But we got there.
Early Saturday morning we had a visit from the farrier. The horses were very very bad. Our farrier is the sweetest young woman. She works for the humane society and has never raised her voice to my horses. But how she keeps her cool I don't know. Our little mare undestandably has a hoof thing; she had a cracked hind leg as a yearling. But the King. Why? He was so good with his hooves until a few years ago...right around the time a sad little filly came into his life...and kicked up a fuss about her hooves...hmm. Dad picks out their hooves but he doesn't have time to stand there holding a hoof up for twenty minutes, to get them used to it. So, the King, true to his nature of oddness, was awful with his fronts and fine with his hinds. And I have a nice little bruise from where he bashed me up against the manger. Monster. At least our sweet farrier will come back again!
I ran into the house, changed, rounded up the younguns, and we took a drive to the town of New Hamburg for the Mennonite Relief Sale. A pile of Mennonites converge on this town on the last weekend of May, just like they have for thirty-odd years, and sell stuff to each other as well as to tourists. Every shape of Mennonite is there: the Old Order in their buggies, the black bumpered cars with no hubcaps, and the long-haired Volkswagen drivers.
New Hamburg has the best old grandstand at the fairgrounds and blessedly cares for its upkeep.
See all these tents? They are full of food. We ate our way across the yard!
So what's the purpose to this sale? Every bit of money raised goes to relief efforts. It all gets sent to help those who need it. In church the next morning it was reported that we raised over $300,000. Our church's quilt sold for $600, our tractor for $8000!
And we eat for peace too.
I couldn't go in to take photos of the quilt because I had the dog with me. But here's the auction. Whogonagimmefie dolla? Fie dolla fie dolla fie who gonna gimme forenaquarter? Forenaquarter I got forenaquarter who gotta fiedollabill? (Gividdaway gividdaway gividdaway gividdawaynow.)
That afternoon, upon arriving back at the farm, we had a little birthday party for our Girl. Both sets of Grandparents, both sisters and the cousins. We don't get to see Jethro's sister and her family as often as we'd like to because the geographical distance is just enough to make the trip difficult. We value these get-togethers. I love my family. I love the fact that my parents and in-laws often drop in to see each other. My sister-in-law had to go out and say hello to the horses before greeting us humans!
The Nephews aren't big city kids by any stretch, but it's very different coming out to the farm. It's a far cry from a real farm, and I know that, but they wouldn't really get that because this is the only one they're familiar with.
But how much fun is this place? Honestly! Dad's buddies have a habit of dropping off valuable junk, then forgetting about it, but it really comes in handy on days like these. The boys dug up a couple of old dirt bikes, stripped of their motors and tanks. They pushed them up the laneway so that they could coast down the hill on them. They did this for over an hour. Even the girl, who, now that she's twelve, is considering being a little more girly, had to get in on it. I forgot to take a picture of the dirtbikes, but they're still there, parked beside the new fort that the kids built over by the shop. Oh what fun.
Remember the Shagan Wagon from last weekend? Here it is now:
Later that evening, after a couple of baths and after a very tired puppy fell asleep in his kennel, we took the kids into the next biggest city. We did a thing called "Cruising King." You know how every town has a main drag and it's usually called King Street? You had to put on your loudest tunes and drive up and down slowly, being very cool and alternately ignoring those not so cool or practically hanging out the window to yell at your coolest friends. Okay, that last one was just me. We put on Stadium Arcadium and cruised King with our kids. It went like this:
Kids! That's where your daddy was born! And both of your cousins!
Kids! That's where we met! That's where Bestest introduced us to each other!
Kids! That's where all the goths used to hang out!
Kids! That's where your uncle works!
Kids! That's where we went to that concert!
Kids! That's the hotel where we stayed when we got married!
And then that was it.
Sunday dawned with a heavy fog and lots of heat. After church we went up to the saddle club to check out the old buddies. Well, my horse friend NC has convinced me that I have to come back. I have to take horse pal AP up on his offer for a trailer ride and decide which horse to bring. But I have to come back. I miss having a day with my horse. I don't care about ribbons and points anymore. I miss my horse days.
The dog had lots of neat things to sniff there, by the way. You can imagine. Today he is the reason for the phrase, "Dog Tired".
On returning to the farm, I had to ride. I saddled up the little Lady and we practised trotting. I know that by age five she should be loping smoothly and have all her lead changes down, and be working on a neck rein...but she's been getting trained on alternating weekendsand has done quite well considering. After a very short ride I'd convinced myself that I'd take her to the show and just trot her through the games. Our club isn't very big, and is a great place to start beginner horses and riders. I don't think anybody would mind if I trotted the green horse through. Then I grabbed the King, put a bridle on his head, and hopped on bareback.
Damn, I love that horse. I sat on his slightly swaybacked beer barrel of a body and felt right at home. I twisted a chunk of mane in my fingers and trotted him around the corral on a loose neck rein, giggling maniacally, shrieking that if he breaks into a lope I'm on the dirt. Not much chance of that; he's the worst for lope departures. He'd rather trot all day. I stretched my legs down and managed to keep my balance. Then, before I slid off his back, I leaned over his neck and wrapped my arms around his wide chest. He is capable of being such a jerk, but he's my jerk.
Here's a photo of them from last weekend when it was cold.
We drove home tired but content. I even drove on the highway for twenty minutes, and got off the road before the chest pains became unbearable.
When I was getting the kids ready for bed, Jethro and our neighbour RW were loading something new into the house. Something old, actually. I took the kids downstairs to the playroom where the guys were setting up our new old drum kit!!! It turned into a past-your-bedtime jam session but what drummer hasn't rocked out in his undies?
Late last night, as Jethro snored beside me , I thought about how life has changed. I went from grubby child to partying teenager to working teenager to wife to young mother...and now I have fun with my kids. We are in a sweet phase of life when they still like us. I'd love it if they come back and visit me every weekend once they're grown up. I'd even let them bring their funny looking dogs with them.