Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It's Not a Small World

I'm sitting here on our deck, looking to the west and watching the sunset. But I'd really rather be flying into that sunset and beyond, all the way to the other side of the world.

We're grandparents x5 now, with the birth of a son to Tyrel and Caroline in New Zealand. And the reality of just how far away they are is really setting in - about 14 hours travel time and 8500 miles. A bit too far to just jump in the car and go see the new bubba.

I kept thinking today, how did my mother do it? She was a long-distance grandmother to our three boys when she was my age. And she kept it up for the next 16 years. I guess you deal with what you know and create your world accordingly. My mom did an excellent job of being a grandmother in her reality.

Well, our reality is that we know what it feels like to cuddle a days-old baby and have constant updates. Curse the instant gratification mindset that we've gotten used to. We realized we'd have to wait on some things with this one but it's killing us!

Yes, its a big world out there and we're getting a lesson in that right now.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Playing Hooky

One of my favorite authors, Susan Wiggs, asked today on her Facebook page, "What's your favorite way to play hooky?" Timely question, since I decided to indulge this very day!

I loaded Danny into the trailer and scooted off to Camp Sherman to have a bit of thinking time and to enjoy a lovely September day under the Ponderosa pines. I've been mulling these past few weeks about finding a new home for Danny. My reasons are that I feel like I need an equine that doesn't require me to be on the top of my game all the time, and the opportunity had arisen to purchase a seasoned Missouri Foxtrotter who is kind and gentle.

Dealing with mules can be like having a perpetual teenager. They test boundaries and act goofy and can get into mischief, but the good ones, like Danny, retreat gracefully when faced with the brick wall of an alpha owner. I guess one day I just didn't feel like being the wall. I didn't want that niggly I-wonder-what-might-happen-today feeling. Which was kind of dumb because once we get going, hardly anything ever happens. It's just that when it does, it's kind of spectacular.

Like the day Danny got away from me while he was on the halter and ran amok around the ranch, coming to a final stop after skidding quite a ways on his side on the paved parking area. I was sure he would be maimed for life, but he got to his feet and stood there with his ears at half mast and his head down. He accepted first aid quite meekly and hasn't pulled that trick again, mainly because I learned my lesson too.

Today I conquered the butterflies in my tummy and the result was an excellent ride, a reminder with Danny's floppy ears that mules are a cut above the best horse (let's agree to differ on that one, ok?), and I was able to just sit there and enjoy the ride. Well, most of the time. We did have some conversations about eating along the way and we both won and lost some of those battles. It's interesting to be trotting down the trail, doing leg yields and have your mule grab a mouthful of bitterbrush before he collects and moves off the leg.

But the end result of the day - Danny is staying and I suspect we'll play hooky again.