Wednesday, September 1, 2010

post vacation blues and relief in sight

Coming down off the mountain was not pleasant. My attitude soured in direct proportion to the drop in altitude and rise in temperature upon coming home from our splendid vacation spent in the habitat of trout. Why do I not live where trout thrive? They live in such pleasant locations. Are they the more intelligent species here? I am beginning to wonder.

Home was still here, hot, muggy, and depressing. To top off this sour homecoming, the beer/leftover fridge had died in our absence, tragically ruining volumes of seafood, venison, and beer and of course required replacing. Next, Jack, the former jackopatomus, the eater of all things, terrier, was not feeling well and was diagnosed with diabetes and spent a week in hospital with glucose and insulin testing. And then I got a big body slam to the ground getting run over by my monster size mare, Sunset. It was not her fault. It was my error, but it did not help the black fog hovering over the beginning of the first week back home.

I have rules by which I generally survive around horses. It is when I forget these mantras that I have had problems, and I have had major ones. Ones that could have so easily have been avoided. “Accidents” is what they call the tiny breaches which cause havoc and worse in life. They happen so fast, in hindsight, so stupidly, and leave such lingering effects.

The breach of my rules on this particular event was answering my phone while in the midst of feeding. Rule Primo is, do not multitask around a horse. There is no room for any deviation from this. Focus on the horse. That is it. Period. I did not and as a result I am waiting now to go see my orthopedic guru to see just how badly my knee is messed up.

In the course of feeding the mares, Sunset had mistaken my signals as to when to head to her stall, since I was on the phone and was not giving her clear ones, and managed to get in a spot where she got trapped by another bigger horse with deft flying feet. I was the only way out. Over my poor little self she came, my cell phone knocked into the manure pile, glasses too, I hit the hard packed clay like a sack. Thud. I felt like what it must feel like to get hit by the Crimson Tide’s defensive line. Not good. My husband on the other end of the line was freaked out until I managed to reassure him of my survival as I wiped poo off my iphone. Sunset looked at me quite sheepishly from across the paddock and my knee started to swell, and ache.

This was over a week ago. I am lucky. I am sitting here with a goose egg on my knee and a purple leg, but ok. I think. Some are not so lucky. It is ultimately our responsibility to maintain focus in the presence of a horse, to watch their ears, to anticipate their fears and reactions, and to simply be the wiser of the species to avoid these “accidents”. I didn’t. Ah, well.

It is nearing the end of pear season now. The last of the big hard ones are hanging on to the tops of the trees out front but so many have hit the ground and lay there fermenting, being eaten by wasps, dogs, squirrels, and horses(when they can escape from the pens and get to gorge). I had left a gate unlocked last week and came home at night from the gallery to find the three working girls seriously chowing down on all they could reach, mouths frothy and eyes contented. They reluctantly followed me back to the barn and incarceration, and dealt with their tummy aches the next day.

Jack is adapting to his insulin addition to his life, and has gained a pound or two back. He loves his newly groomed self and does a pretty big strut on our walks to the barn every day. The bright sparkle has returned to his beautiful eyes and Jack is a happy dog again.

Finally, now, the weather gods have blown a gentler set of temps our way and life is beginning to ease up. We sat last evening on the porch, a cool martini in hand and truly enjoyed the pleasantness of the air. It has been so long since it has been possible to do anything outside that didn’t require a change from soggy clothes to new dry ones when done. The dogs lay around us and hardly panted.

The afternoon shadows are getting longer and come out into the pastures earlier in the afternoon signaling a positive change in the planetary alignment. The grasses in the fields that have not been cut in a few weeks are now tough, dry, and beginning to yellow. I have already seen a few of the yellow cone flowers that come out in fall, a few flocks of birds gathering, and a few precocious drifting leaves giving me further encouragement to the eminence of fall. College football games begin this weekend, and the excitement is rising on that front as well.

Today is the first day of September. I have finally said good riddance to August and its two predecessors. I welcome the coming fall with wide open arms. Bring it on.  Oh, and, ROLL TIDE ROLL.

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