The window in my bedroom at the farm needs to be replaced. It's cracked in two places, has no screen, and has been fixing to pop right out of the frame for a couple of winters now. It's not going to get changed any time soon, though, since we only sleep there a few nights out of the month, and my parents have many more things to spend money on before the window. But do you know what's absolutely perfect about this window?
After six weeks away, and a darn near two hour drive, I had to stand here in this room for a few quiet minutes to soak this up. I consider myself to be pretty good with words, but I was blank. How many times have I stood in that spot, just staring? This was my bedroom from about age 8 or 9 until 14. In that time, these trees have all grown up, making for a different scene than years ago, but it has the same effect on me. It stops me. It brings me right down to a peaceful halt. And yes, it's always been like that. Even as a child my brain took off on me, and I needed to look out a window. Some people need nicotine; I need a view.
I also need a lot of space and a horse.
I was, honestly, a little apprehensive about seeing Phoenix again. We haven't had enough time together to bond. We still don't totally trust each other. I know I adore him, and I think he likes me okay, but we are not partners yet. We've got a ways to go. Imagine how I felt when I walked up to the pasture gate and he came trotting up to see me! I ran my hands over his coat, feeling how much longer the hairs have gotten now that it's fall. His coat is so smooth and thick. My Appaloosas are wearing their fall colours now. Their ears and legs have gotten darker. The Little Lady's coat is like deep plush velvet. I had to dig my fingers into their fur.
Spots in the sunset...
There was a lot of work to do in the barn, which I don't mind because I love the barn. I swept up a few cobwebby dusty things, and hung up some of my new bargains in my tack room. I like to call it my tack room even though it's really just a wall, and a section of the barn that I share with a '72 Buick Skylark and a Honda 4wheeler! Dad had done some cement work on the north wall foundation. Next trip out there, we'll be building new steps to the upstairs level of the barn. There is always work to do, but I'd rather be in the barn than doing house work. With an old barn like this, a lot of time spent is the maintaining of the old barn itself. We don't mind. We believe it's worth it.
After a good grooming, we got saddled up.
Folks, this is what the world looks like now:
This is my new perspective. The world used to be observed from the back of a smaller, much redder horse. I'm getting used to the new view from the top.
On Sunday, a warm but windy day, we got the kids out riding too. I'm particularly proud of my girl, who's got the little Lady trotting along at a nice pace, all in control and framed up. I took this picture from horseback. That's why I didn't quite get them all into the picture. But look at those four legs. Trot trot trot. Lovely.
And oh look. Here we are. Me and my new friend.
Every time I see pictures of myself riding, I am disappointed. My legs are all wrong. My back's hunched over. Hands in the wrong place. I don't know what the heck is my damage, but lately I can't get a saddle blanket on right to save my life. I can't get a tablecloth on straight either, but this is pathetic! I should get a saddle blanket with a big stripe down the middle so it's right from side to side, and another stripe sideways at the front, maybe with a label stating "front edge of saddle goes on this line." What a loser. But enough about me, and my numerous faults. Look at my horse. He's all dappled now with his darker coat. He's moving along nicely. And I'm on his back. I'm happy.
And notice what's on my head? Is it- could it be- oh yes it is! My earflaps hat! It's that time of year again!
This picture though...can you understand why this is one of my favourite pictures in the world, ever?
(You can click to enlarge it and see the content look on the horse's face)
That's the mare who started off as a scrawny, pathetic little yearling filly, who had been rejected by her mama. Right from the beginning, our kids, who were much smaller five years ago, could lead her around, brush her, fuss over her, and this little horse soaked it up. Now here they are. The girl's holding her horse while the Boy changes into the boots. (Good thing they have the same size feet.) My Boy has no desire to ride my coach's horses. He only loves his horse. As far as he's concerned, she is the only horse who's ever mattered. I don't usually recommend pairing a young horse with kids, but I had a good feeling about this. They've grown up together. You know another reason why I love this picture? My husband took it. He spent that hour adjusting stirrups and taking pictures.
And I gloriously forgot, for a few hours, that I had other work to do, that I look out the window of my own house and see seven other houses, and that I still have to put stamps on some query letters and mail them out to a big tall building somewhere in a city I've never been to. I found the other half of my self out there on the weekend. I feel like me again. I feel like I can get back at it. My hands were covered in that special oily dust you can only get from a horse's coat, my eyes and ears and nose were full of grit, my legs hurt, everything was right in the world again.