Friday, August 23, 2013

The Story of Ramsay

Hi-Ho, Ramsay

When Evan and I set out in 2009 on The Epic Journey across America, I thought it would be fun to tote along a mascot, a little toy of some sort that would pop up in photos occasionally. My clever daughter-in-law, Alyssa, suggested we look on Etsy, because you can always find something unique and quirky there. (Hmm, if it were a dating site, I wonder what sort of profiles there'd be.)

Anyway, she's scrolling through and up pops a photo of a cute little stuffed pony. Reading along, we discover this repurposed toy began life as a tea towel in a New Zealand tourist shop. Where his creator placed his right eye is an image of a big, old ram. Perfect! He fit all the criteria; sheep - check, horse - check, New Zealand - check, which we hadn't actually set prior to looking but who wants to split hairs?

When Ramsay arrived he had his own little carry bag and a note from his maker about how excited she was for Ramsay to have a purpose in life.

So far Ramsay's been on the Epic Journey; Hunting for Heritage with my mother and I as we went to her childhood stomping grounds; experienced A First Time for Anything with Goddy and me on our first ever multi-day road trip around Oregon; he went Traipsing around Tucson with us last winter; and now he's gone full circle, back to his homeland in New Zealand to the Max. (All those capital letters signify what I've named Ramsay's trips in my journal.)

A man and his horse

I know some people's underwear is better traveled than my little horse. I imagine he won't wear out as our trip mascot since we don't go all that often, but as time goes on he becomes a special marker of the significant moments in my life. He sits on the top shelf of my big roll-top desk, and when my mind wanders and I look around my office instead of finishing an article or paying the bills, Ramsay is always gazing out into some middle distance with a secret little smile on his face. He's ready to be stuffed into a bag and go somewhere.

Next stop, ????