Dad is out playing gin rummy, something he does every Tuesday for about 3-4 hours I think. He also has a regular lunch with 11 friends on Mondays, his therapist is seen Monday afternoons and a physical therapist twice a week Wed and Thur. His best friend Marty is here 2 weeks and in NYC 2 weeks. Right now he is in NY but will be back here for Christmas. Yvonne is his caregiver, she is from Jamaica I think and talks a lot about everything, her mom that lives with her, the traffic and accidents and cops on the road, the weather, her past employers, her medical expertise on everything…Its a little annoying but dad loves her so I try to be nice. I thought she worked long days here but its 3:00 and she is still not here yet. Dad doesn’t seem to mind this.
I spent the last few hours writing in my private journal. Something that will be meshed with my blog eventually to finish a book. The journal is about a lot of stuff that I am not ready to share. I have had a long and… I don’t know how to describe it… life. I am learning that most people have dark pasts, horrible pains, deeds they are ashamed of…I am not the only one, but I still feel that way so it is secret for now.
Today I have contacted a trailer repair place and Robbie (one of Marty’s “helpers” who is a fireman as well) agreed to help me back out of Marion’s driveway with the trailer. Those that have read my pre trip test fiasco post will recall that a fireman got me out of a jam with the trailer on a dirt road at 3am in CA. I love firemen, they can do anything it seems. I want to dump the tanks, get the septic monitors fixed, replace the one horse window grill that doesn’t open, rotate the expensive new tires and get a price on fixing the awning that I damaged in Kentucky on Kim’s barn roof. I left a message with the farrier who must of finally emptied his voice mail box. A full voice mail box is not a good sign to me. I ordered Adequan and Previcox for Dreamy on the internet. And I left another message at the RO Ranch about my campsite for the Best of America by Horseback ride there at the end of January. I have washed all the bedding and rugs from the trailer that were covered with dog and cat hair. I bathed Nalla just in case she has fleas and she bit my thumb pretty badly. I was going to ride but I have used up most of the day doing all this other stuff. I was going to paint too, I have SC and FL sitting here, ready to go but I keep putting it off. I’m glad I got the journal part started again. I have been putting it off for a long time. It’s painful stuff to revisit. But I like the feeling after I tackle something so much better than the nagging anxiety when I put it off.
Well Yvonne arrived, I just got more news than I got all week in about 60 seconds. Too many to recount here, but one is significant. A friend of Dad’s, Carol, who lives down the street and is a good friend as was her recently deceased husband, found out last night that her daughter was found dead in her NYC apartment. Dad walked down to see her when he was told. He came back pretty shaken. The loss of a child is the most painful event I can imagine. Yesterday one of my new friends told me how she has lost two children. This is unimaginable to me. When I hear these things I feel like such a cry baby…
I started the SC painting. The prep is always so time consuming but its on a roll now. This will be the first one without my horses in it.
I went to church last night and the subject was Service. So far I have heard Pastor Steve talk about Tithing, You can handle it, Say so and Service. He has taught me more about the bible and following Christ than any one has before. If anyone is interested in hearing him go to their website. You can see his live service on Sundays and also recent services are archived on there too. http://www.stevebarry.org. Dad is going with me Saturday night.
Sunday Marion and I and maybe some of her friends are trailering to a park to ride something different. I rode WF today. She is so scared of everything. I am thinking that because I am not riding her as much that she has reverted to her fraedey-cat childhood personality. I had been getting tough on her but it wasn’t helping. Today I decided to be more patient and let her stop and have a few seconds to gather her wits frequently. It took her an hour to blow. Things got better after that. There are a lot of new things for her here to deal with. Lots of dogs rushing the fences on the roads, lots of blow up Christmas decorations in the yards, mini horses (what’s so scarey about that?), goats, chickens, wild pigs, big huge stork like birds, turkey vultures, jumping fish, a few snakes and the elusive crocks which I haven’t seen but I know are around. But she acts like there is something in every bush and I know there isn’t. She also wouldn’t let me open the gate from her back. I decided that she thought it was electrified so I took it real slow today and she did it! I asked for different gaits frequently and only very short canters, in an attempt to get her to pay more attention to me but I still never got an ear to turn back to me. We were out for about 2 hours. She was all sweaty even tho it is a little cooler today.
I spent most of yesterday calling farriers to get my mares’ shoes pulled. Finally got Miguel to come Monday and do it. I am determined to stay barefoot from now on, I need to get better fitting boots for all 4 feet for both horses, bite the bullet and get it done. I think the one’s I chose to bring are just too big, I’ll spend Monday afternoon measuring and checking the ones I have then ordering more. Easy Care has a new boot that looks good called transition. If I encounter rocks and mud I may have to just not ride if they can’t stay on. But I can’t let them get sore again. And keeping them shod just goes against my gut. Especially Dreamy’s crooked leg.
I rode Dreamy! today. She has gotten barn sour again, or buddy sour. I don’t get any bad behavior when we are leaving but its a sluggish impulsion…turn around and she’s like a freight train. I always think going out, “oh no her leg hurts again”. We turn around and wow! She is a very good faker I’ll think but its probably just being buddy sour…but I love her so much and I looooove riding her so much. She is soooo comfortable, physically and emotionally. She kicked out a little at the canter today but she never makes me feel anxious at all. I have unconditional trust and faith in her. Folks at home would not recognize her now. She is a lean and mean machine. And can be even spunky. But sweet to the core.
I wish I felt that way on Wildflower. I don’t know why I don’t trust her yet. She never actually tries to dump me. I’ve had her since she was 6 months old. She is 7 now. I was not such a good rider when we started, but we had very good training for many years. Thanks to Marci and Charni and Andy and the money I saved from when I was working. (Full time training is pretty pricey to those of you non horsey folks). We have been on our own for a couple of years now. We’ve grown a lot together. It will come. Marci said I have “a great horse under me” when I left CA. It will come.
I spent much time yesterday working on my trip planning. I got thru Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and started Texas. No reservations but narrowed down my choices to just one or two per state. I am mostly using horsetraildirectory.com now, that and recommendations I have gotten from other campers I have met. I can’t make reservations until I decide if I am taking off after the Mayo, FL ride or later. I am not sure if dad needs me here longer and not sure how to decide that. He seems so fine now. I don’t understand how the chemo works and how it effects him after a treatment. I want to be here if he needs me for comfort and company. A good frame of mind is so important in beating cancer I have heard. Chemo will go on until April.
Marion and I are riding tomorrow morning but not trailering. My trailer is in her driveway and she doesn’t feel like getting her trailer out with it in the way. I understand, and I told her I have a fireman lined up to help me get out…lol. I really like her a lot. She is 72, I was stunned when she told me that, she is so spry and spunky.
I have a problem that I don’t know how to work on. When anyone mentions their spouse I feel empty. It is not a good feeling. I never had a real spouse, I never had the connection that others talk about so fondly. Even listening to songs, especially country western ones for some reason. I never felt adored…well I guess I did feel that from my kids when they were little. And from my dad & mom. But that’s it. Maybe Richard for a while. Before he told me that his parents were going to cut him out of the family business if he married me. I never felt adored by Bob. I know that now. I was just kidding myself. I was such an idiot.
Saturday night dad went to church with me. I pray that this is beneficial to him.
Sunday I rode WF with Marion and met up with a bunch of her friends. We rode the canals mostly for a few hours. They had all been at a big party the night prior and drank beer on the ride to combat their hangovers they said, but it seemed like the party was still going on to me. One had her husband meet up with us with more beer. There was lots of laughter and ribbing going on. I had fun. Marion and another went ahead at a fast run and I could not hold WF back. I was a little worried at one point if I should of one reined her into the fence on my right (the canal was on the left and not an option). I was concerned it was electrified and could make my situation even worse so I elected not to and to just ride it out. She jumped over something along the way. She went pretty straight for a change so it wasn’t too hard to just go along. But I wish I could of controlled it better. I was using the softer bosal which now has a smooth rope on it. Its harder to get a good purchase on and I had already lost one glove on the ride. Marion apologized later and asked if she had run off with me. The guy on the ride said yes before I could answer. I said it was more like a guided missal which was true.
I got back to dad’s took a shower and a nap. I was too tired because we had stayed up after midnight watching Pretty Woman. I had the start of a headache probably from being sleep deprived. It was still there when I woke up at 5 along with a stiff neck. It felt like a migrane coming on but I couldn’t find my migrane pills. I hope they are in the trailer. I usually keep one with me at all times and am not sure what I did with them…
Miguel will pull all shoes at 2:00 today!
Well no, I got there to meet him but he mixed up the location and now says he’ll come Friday afternoon. So I rode Dreamy along the canals. Everything was great, it was cool and she was sound. I thought about how these long straight aways are good for her and she was more compliant about going straight today. We saw some big birds, white cranes, some big black things and turkey vultures. Something splashed up out of the canal as a crane flew low over the surface of the water. I strained my eyes trying to see what it was but the water was too green. We saw a couple of moss covered turtles, maybe 12” long, one on the trail and one right in the middle of the road. Marion told me later that she sometimes rescues them off the road and brings them home to her pond. She feeds them bread sometimes and they come out of the pond for it.
On the way back Dreamy took a very bad stumble in the sand on her right front leg (not the crooked leg). I got off and walked her the mile or so back to Marion’s place. She walked fine but was resting it as I unsaddled her and continued resting it later in her paddock. That hoof is considerably longer than the left one and I wonder if that is why she stumbled. I am angry (with myself and the FL farriers in general) that I haven’t been able to get their feet taken care of yet. I called Candy again and set her up for Friday morning. If we have to wait till Friday I would prefer her since she can fit us up with boots and handle any transition issues better I think. I gave Dreamy some Arnica and went back to dad’s.
I watched Avatar last night. I love the concept of all living things being able to “plug in” to each other. I have felt this connection when riding alone on the trails back in CA. When I was especially weak and vulnerable. I somehow tapped into this energy source and felt it physically and spiritually. It starts as a tingling feeling in my legs. I know it sounds crazy but its true, and I am not crazy. I have not had the full blown experience lately, just small pieces of it. Does that mean I am loosing touch or getting strong enough on my own? I am feeling nostalgic of my lone rides in Cherry Canyon. Maybe it was the contrast of the peace I had riding there to the hell my life actually was. I need to remember how I was frozen with fear in the mornings, what an effort everything was for me then. Everything except riding that is.
I have had this feeling all along that closure will set me free. Untangle my mind and emotions. What do I want to do with my life, the time that I have left? Nothing I have done before inspires a path. How am I going to pay my way, help my children, care for my horses, have a home? It is overwhelming still. It is always there, sometimes very small, but it is a nagging sense of unease that never goes away. I can not erase it. And I really shouldn’t erase it or I’ll never solve it. Unfortunately money is needed, somehow one of my passions needs to produce money. I used to make so much money, I worked hard but it was almost easy. I wasn’t anxious about it. It just kept coming in, more than I needed. I was a salesperson in the printing industry. It seems like another lifetime ago. I feel so old now, not capable of earning a living. Does that mean I can’t live? My life was so luxurious, I have cut out so many of those luxuries. How do people survive in this expensive world any way?
I don’t even have a real home any more. Not even a tiny rented apartment. Just my horse trailer living quarters and a bedroom at my dad’s house. It is very unsettling not to have a home of your own. It is a first for me anyways. Bill is living in our house in CA still. He refused to move out and the court could not make him. It is a huge house. I left it. I had no choice, I had to. It was intolerable for me to stay. I have to remind myself of this all the time. I am better off now.
If I strip away as much as I can will it help me find the meaning of my life? That is what I hope for.