Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pete and Repeat

Growing up with a mother who was very hard of hearing and a father whose sense of humor was sometimes brutal,turned out to be a strangely wonderful concoction for laughter in our house..It's something I'll always remember about home.. Memories of laughing so hard to tears were too numerous to count. Laughter was always present...
My Dad would play the sound game..Where my mother was nearly deaf in her left ear and dad always sat to her left at the kitchen table. He took full advantage of that. Mom did have partial hearing in her right ear where she wore her hearing aid & I always sat to moms right. As my mom would try to tell me about her day my dad would act like a ventriloquist & screech. it would interrupt the whole conversation and I swear my mother would always look right at him, but dad was so good he'd just pretend to work the tv guide crossword puzzle. So again mom would tap her hearing aid which would make it whistle and then mom would restart where she left off what she was trying to say. Just as mom would get on a roll dad would let out another screech and poor mom would now be thinking it was her hearing aid battery going dead. So again she would begin to fuss & fiddle with it and press it and pop it out and put it back in and there were so many screeches and whistles it would take all I had not to laugh when she said R2D2 and my dad the agitater would say in his lowest voice knowing mom couldn't hear him "now don't you laugh carolyne". And that's all it would take for me to be in tears again from laughing so hard..

God Bless her good spirit because she sure was the butt of many jokes. She laughed with us more than she ever got angry..Her laugh was even more contagious. 

I remembered once asking my mother what time it was as she stood at the stove cooking and she looked at me as serious as could be and answered "Roast beef & mashed potatoes" Mom was very proud and rather than ask you to repeat yourself she would pretend she heard what you said.. That day she did ask me what i said and I laughed so hard that I had her howling and it took me minutes before I could even get out what I had asked her....So for years the inside joke in our home, when someone would ask for the time, mom would reply " it's a quarter past roast beef".

My Father would also play the "what?" game with my mother..She would say something and my dad would reply "WHAT???" and mom would repeat herself and again dad would ask "What???" And again she would repeat herself and Dad would again ask "WHAT???" I would be laughing so hysterically at this point which always gave it away and Dad would keep on with the what game until mom would play angry & charge the table with what ever cooking utensil she had in hand and say "Okay Pete and repeat you both wanna live to see tomorrow???I guess I was guilty by association. You'd think these jokes and games would get old but my dad always had a perfect sense of timing as well..

Both my parents are with the Lord now but I still thank God every day that HE chose them to be my parents..and it's comforting when the grief subsides a  while,how I'm able to recall those good memories once again.There a gift, they truly are.

One early spring morning while having coffee at the kitchen table with my mom she heard the birds chirping outside the window. She could never hear birds chirping and to see her like a little kid filled with so much excitement over birds chirping and..To see her smile so big and to hear her say "I can hear the birds singing?" was a memory I'll never forget..Because of her I pay attention to things I hear and see that I probably never would have had I not grown up with a mother hard of hearing..
and My Daddy could always hear the things you didn't speak..It was what you didn't say that spoke to him the loudest..He had an uncanny way of getting right into your heart when you were trying to put on your best smile to hide the pain..I not only miss being understood like that i miss being known that well. Who knows you better than your parents. He always kept things real..its an amazing gift when someone knows the words you don't speak or cant. They feel them in their heart somehow that somethings wrong or off & they refuse to let you pretend its all okay..Sometimes just being heard is a greater gift then the best advice..

I am so grateful to God because He gave me parents so vastly opposite,Both who taught me to laugh,laugh often & laugh at myself. To listen and hear things unspoken.To never turn a deaf ear to anyone, including myself was a no no in my home.And to never take one day for granted.. 

For you Mama Psalms 118:24- This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

and You my Daddy - when we've been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun, We've no less days to sing God's praise, then when we first begun..

Till We meet again....

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Somehow, Someway, Someday

I don't know about you,but this has sure been a time of change.. I think most people can handle change in small doses but its the big ones that seem to knock me off my feet for a while. Most of us don't like it but will tolerate it. 

But what happens if  devastating change occurs in our life because of others or because we've just been plain ol blindsided?  And since the options are few it leaves dealing with it or not dealing with it. I've heard it referred to as a wall, a hiccup, a bump in the road, a pothole, drowning, your head just above water,  or even stepping stones as my dad used to say. Is it as simple as tightening your belt and going on..One foot after the other. Sometimes these changes are a necessity. Sometimes those changes are through no fault of our own. The challenge comes when I may not have caused it but I'm sure left to deal with it..then what???

though we cant see it now there's a hope, that somehow in the end it will not only work out but be whats best for us. There's a hope that will be a better stronger us at the end of it all..

But what do you do in the here and now, the very painful now, it doesn't quite feel so hopeful or like we will emerge the victor that's for sure..and because there's always a but), what do you do when it seems everything around you is changing at a pace that you cant keep up with..One that leaves you standing with your shield trying to protect yourself? What do you do when your blindsided so bad that it renders you stuck,useless, sad and depressed? When that small bump in the road that only required a little defensive driving turns into an avalanche of events that make you realize in a matter of seconds yours life's about to come to a screeching halt then what do you do?

Sometimes there's no one there to throw you a life jacket.Sometimes the only hope is you getting yourself out. Saving yourself. When putting your feet on the floor to start your day becomes the biggest challenge you've ever faced it is time to go back to basics. I'll tell you what, you start taking care of you..You stop all the sacrificing for everyone else and you take care of the one who matters

We end up in these places...maybe your place is man overboard with your head just barely above water, maybe your place is simply being lost, maybe those you thought you could count are not only NO where in sight but the cement block that's tied around your neck threatening to drown you.  Maybe a longtime friendship is now broken, a Relationship severed, Maybe you lost someone dear to you or your going to. Maybe your sick of being used and then throw to the side like an old toy..That day to day that used to be so comfortable has not only changed but now your left trying to figure it all out and wondering how to simply survive.

I do believe that sometimes these things happen to make us better, of course we cant see the better right now because right now it hurts & feels hopeless..I have to believe that all this change, all this heartache, all these lessons will somehow, someway,someday make me better and stronger. 

There's always a lesson to be learned and the past few years for me have been the proof of that..Big change in even Bigger doses. I've been turned upside down and shaken, I've been left stranded, I've even feared for my life. But Right now, this very moment, it seems like my life is getting fine tuned..a little tweaking here, a minor alteration there..I've lost Friendships I've lost loved ones..I've also gained friendships and realized who really loves me.

I've felt like the last man standing, Ive felt alone and abandoned. I've felt neglected and used up..Now i see what happens when you refuse too look at the truth or the situation for what it really is..It took a long time for me to be able to stand on my own to feet. And it took even longer to realize what I'm made of..because through it all, my fault or no fault of my own, you see yourself..when you constantly make excuses for others or worse you make excuses for yourself, you only delay the inevitable."PAIN" 
When it gets down to it, when I'm in that lowly place..that lonely place, that broken place.The only thing I can clearly see is what I'm made of. Sometimes I'm left with wondering how I'm gonna fix it or worse how do i deal with something that cant be fixed. For me the answer is taking care of me..for once choosing me..having a little faith in me..Asking God to help me.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Laying the crutches aside

There's just something that happens on the inside of me when I gaze upon this tree,  seeing the beginnings of a path started to the right of it. A path where there wasn't one before, one that takes me from this side too the next. And when I look beyond this tree, across the stream too ground where the brush has been cleared, I cant help but giggle at how ironic this all is. Right now, this very moment in my life I am standing on the beginnings of a new path.From my old life where my parents needs were only visible to my new life. From an old life filled with brush so deep even I couldn't see a way through to a new life where all the brush has been cleared and where a clear path is now present.  My old front yard was about 80 foot long and about 14 foot wide and the only view out my front window was a two lane. The only view out my back window was my parents place.Point in case.
Now I have acres of lush green grass,ancient trees placed perfectly about and my own woods with damp floors. All the free gifts nature gives has really centered me somehow. To me, these trees are so prehistoric looking. Long before there was ever a me they were here.Behind this tree sits a delicate stream that runs right through the middle of my property and ribbons down the right side and ends flowing into the big back creek where our property ends. As you enter the path in our woods you cant miss the giant Oak tree that houses a Hawks nest the size of my car seat at the very ti-pity top, Or the giant gopher holes that have made their home below the earth. There is just something about my new life, my little piece of country with its sweet smelling aroma that causes me to slow down and take notice.

 There has not been one single day since my parents passing where I haven't felt a bit alone in this big'ol world. Spending nearly half my lifetime taking care of them, being their hands and their legs and forgoing any an all of my needs can sure take a lot out of a child. Devoting so much time,work and worry into doing what needed done and what made them happy that I guess I shouldn't of been surprised that I truly lost myself along the way. That was most apparent to me now that their gone. I was not Carolyne the wife or hard working baby sister. I wasn't even Carolyne the great friend,but rather Carolyne, my parents everything, period!!! When they died so did part of me. I not only mourned them I mourned a part of my life that no longer was. I am no ones child anymore and I am not needed in that way any longer. That was my identity. So now what? It's taken a lot to mourn that loss. It left a huge hole and I didn't know how to refill it. I forgot how to answer my own questions,take care of my own problems,stand on my own two feet or even figure out what made me happy let alone my husband,family or great friends who deserved the best part of me instead of the worn out part of me that was left. Growing into the person God intended me to be has come at a huge cost I wont lie. To be clear though, a cost I would gladly pay again to find myself. Some have not liked this new change,this new me, but as I stated I'm on a journey here and I can only pray that in time they see I'm just taking time to become and develop me and not a purposeful pushing of others out of my life.
 God uses every trial,every pain,each burden,blessing and gift, to shape and mold the inside of a man. I truly feel like a lump of clay and whether I'll be a vessel,crock or cup I have no idea but I will be something purposeful I do know that. 
There was a comfort that was present when my parents and big brother were alive..knowing just from their age alone their wisdom was priceless and trust worthy. They always had the answers,they were always in my corner and they always had my back. They always helped me find a way or at least a good place to start. They always knew where I was coming from and when I would screw up they never had me coming from a malicious place, I never had to defend myself because they knew me, they understood me. Sometimes friends and family both can forget who you are and draw their own conclusions as to the why and how you do things. As my mother used to say its easier to remember the bad then the good and as my father used to say it takes 10 atta boys to make up for one aww shit..
When that comfort & security was gone I had only to look upward and then inward. Both of which at the times seemed mighty bleak and empty.
Every day has been a process. I never fully realized how much I actually depended on them or others to help answer the questions or find the way I couldn't seem to on my own until i was left alone to answer those questions and find my own way.  It's been very hard to break a life long habit of the "I cants" and turn it into the "well damn it I have  to at least try". Soon will come the "I cans" but its a process. 
  Accomplishing something I never thought I could, living through something I never imagined I would survive has been a tremendous self confidence booster...I really thought I was self aware before but now I see I didn't have a clue..
Now im getting it.. I tried to be all things to all people. No fault in that really. But you know what??? I'm not God first off and secondly though I found joy in helping others,the problem was I had nothing left over for myself when I was in need & I've grown tired of giving up on me so easily. I gave it all away to others. Now I'm learning to save some in reserves for me. A gift of saying no. I'm not resentful either..That's not my heart or my point. I love with every fiber of my being. I can see the good in everyone and everything much easier then most. Its second nature to me.It comes far to easy to help others and neglect myself. The end result was, it also became far to easy to say I cant, because I never did, I always let someone else help me figure out the answers. It was almost like I just shut down inside. You can spend so much time and effort helping others that when you need to help yourself there's nothing left,there's no well to draw from,there's strength to muster. I was at the point of empty,with nothing left.As my good friend used to say, "sometimes just rolling out of bed to put your feet on the floor is the biggest victory you'll have that day."
Now my energies are not exhausted from helping others and I simply and rather quickly grew tired of asking for others help and I've decided to give myself a try. You go to others when you've exhausted or near exhausted all your resources, not before you even try. Lesson One.
And I'm not having an attitude, there's no anger in this for me, no resentment or payback. Though some may think I have pulled away in reality I'm really just  pulling myself together. My thinking hasn't come from others letting me down because the opposite is true, I have incredible friends and family but rather the time has come for me to stand on my own two feet and put the same deserved effort I put into others into myself now.  
I've leaned to hard on others in my past. When in truth I could have helped myself but let others who had their own baggage shoulder mine instead because I was so exhausted and worn out. It leaves a person pretty darn humble I'll tell ya.
  My life now, in all aspects, has been quite the challenge and I'd be lying if I didn't say it feels like a test at All times. But if the end result is a better me, a more self confident me so I can take care of myself kinda me, and  only then truly & wholly be there for all those who've aided me in this journey then I'll be most doubly blessed.
Psalms 118:24 "this is the day that the Lord hath made, I will rejoice and be glad in it." 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

From Interstate to country roads...

I remember the first time my husband and I were invited up to a friends camp in Tionesta,Pa. There was so much construction on Interstate 80 that by the time we hit those winding mountain roads it was like the most welcome feeling. The smell of pine and the cool air was a recipe for instant relaxation. It felt like the grand finale from the busy pressures of life straight into peace of country. Real country.

You could only get one station on the radio & it was country. The quickest way to your neighbors was by quad or horseback.I passed one huge logging company that surely employed most of the towns men im sure.I was in love.

We made a left onto that dirt lane and drove all the way back to find "our" camp was in the very back...It was perfect and private and the privacy fence consisted of bushes too thick to see through and too tall to see over. We had our own section of creek and the view couldn't of been more picturesque. 

Immediately all my energies slowed down, my anxieties became non existent and my mind,body,and soul felt in tune. I could breath.I could think. I loved it immediately.

We unpacked all the necessities while the men were in charge of beer and starting a fire for dinner. It was a long and beautiful night around that camp fire. After a few hours of eating and drinking that country air got the best of me and I decided to lay back on the seat of that picnic table and close my eyes. I threw a sweatshirt under my head and just zoned out to the background noise. On my left I could feel the chill from the air blowing over the creek. I could hear the water forcing its way down stream and the splashing rush over top the rocks and through a huge fallen tree branch. And to my right I could feel the heat from the bonfire and I could hear the crackling of all the firewood burning. Let me tell ya, that was like a lullaby to me. 

I slept like i hadnt slept in ages. I was dead to the world. I slept so sound that after only 3 hours I awoke and felt refreshed,back was a little sore but refreshed none the less. I snuck inside the cabin an made a pot of coffee and quietly snuck back outside,leaving the dogs and the gang to sleep in. I sat down on the porch steps and was all ready having a conversation with God & sharing my excitement over the joy of watching the sunrise on the porch all by myself that morning.

When it was time to leave I was sad to tears. I felt like a little kid asking the hubby if we could pleeeeeeease stay just one more day.I couldn't explain the longing in my heart to stay. The country was everything I loved and I loved how it made me feel. It was a very long and depressing quiet drive back home as was every trip home from camp over the next 10 years. I imagined living there and how my husband would work at the logging plant. I pondered how many horses I'd have and how my barn would probably be cleaner then the house. Hanging my clothes out on the clothesline.I could go on and on...

Buying our first home was the most stressful experience..just like driving thru miles upon miles of construction..and like Camp this place is my little "peace" of heaven.But the best part is I'm never sad going home because this place is my home. A place I feel  I have waited my whole lifetime for. A huge back yard with a clothesline. A beautiful wooden bench under an old Cherry tree.  A front porch swing that gets warmed up a lot...And not just a creek but a stream AND a creek to call my own..I can see me growing old in this place..This is the reason I have not blogged for a month or so..sorting and packing, loading then hauling, unloading then unpacking and daydreaming...Lord I'm exhausted but so Grateful.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bridge over Troubled Waters....

My mind began wondering off the moment I laid eyes on this bridge for the first time that wet & rainy morning we rode. Even now as I write when I look at this picture it represents so many things in my life right now. This side earth-that side heaven. This side fear-that side Victory over it.This side unsure-that side knowing.
Last week Judy and I got a little lost doing some trail blazing. Were still getting to know the woods across from where we board. It's gotta be hundreds of acres as far as I can tell. The woods & everything in it were soaked to the core. When we got to the second tier of the hill I saw this beautiful bridge at the top. I always get excited when I see new challenges for Bubba & I to try. I was sizing up the bridge. I was thinking it looked rather new and definitely strong enough to hold the weight of a car so I figured my horse & I should be just fine but to be sure I got off Bubba and made him stand while I walked up on the bridge to check it out..I got back on Bubba and took a deep breath and in my efforts to pump myself up to go across Judy and Gomer just walked by us politely and up and over they went lol..I didn't say I was the most brave woman in the world but I'll try just about anyone once !!! Sometimes when facing something new, my mind quickly runs many scenarios. Like for instance, what happens if my horse panics in the middle of the bridge? Though the floor seems strong enough how about the rails? What if the sounds his hooves make going across scare him..What if the bridge isn't strong enough? What if we don't make it lol. There's only a few choices..You can turn around and go back the way you came. You can find an alternate route (there was none in this case lol) or You can cowgirl up and go across.

Just as Bubba and I walked up the first ramp part of the bridge, Judy and Gomer were going down off the last ramp part off bridge. I had to stop Bubba in the middle of the bridge because I could see & hear Gomers shoes sliding down across the wet wood & I thought thank God this bridge isn't any longer or more steep. Now this would be nothing to worry about if the bridge was dry but I wanted to be careful. If Bubba were to get hurt crossing do you think he would be so willing to cross the next bridge we encounter? Probably not..Do you think he might lose a little trust in me to keep him safe? Probably..So I wanted this to end well and safely. Since i was all ready in the middle of the bridge there was no turning back since there were ramps at both ends. Normally on a dry day there would be a little grip, but not today. When Bubba got to the end I made him slow up and I just tried to Hold his head with the reins to give him a little support but Up wasn't where he needed his head..So he basically let me know he needed to lower his head to keep his balance and to keep from slipping & falling. Trust goes both ways..He trusted me to get up on the bridge and now I had to trust him to get us off. He put his nose darn near to the ground and down we slid.. It wasn't the easiest bridge to cross over on horseback but it was however the only way to get to the other side and Bubba did a great job. I was so proud of him..That was definitely carrot worthy & Bubba knew it as he stopped and looked back at me like "well??"hahaha

To be honest that bridge was pretty scary. I had no way of knowing the getting off the bridge would be the hardest & most tricky part. The incredible part was how willing Bubba was to trust me to walk up & on this wooden bridge.There was a time when he had no trust in me & would of just planted his feet and said "No Way" & I had no faith in him or myself & would of said "okay" or found an alternate route. Once we started up the bridge there was a second element. As any trail rider knows, the sound that each of Bubbas steps would make. A lot louder then on solid ground that hollow clipody clop was enough to make him curious and walk very slow. Im glad, I'd rather pick a slow and steady pace then try to fly across it dangerously.  My horse and I are becoming quite the team.

I'm so proud of the both of us and how far we've come with getting to know each other. Bubbas willingness to trust & step up on was huge, But having him walk across and off was a Victory.  It was the back side, coming off the bridge that was a bit nerve wracking for me. I didn't realize wood got so slick when its wet. I was so afraid Bubba was gonna slip and go down on his rump with me on him. Looking back on it I probably should have got off and hand walked him across but he was willing so I chose to ride him and We crossed it together!!! When we reached the last part,he just put his nose real low too the bridge and locked his legs and slid down. I think we both breathed a sigh of relief when we got on solid ground. I'd be lying if I didn't say my heart was pounding a little bit. Once across, I swore, if we ever came to this bridge again I was going to take a picture of it for all of you to see. 

At times when were faced with that bridge in life were just to darn scared to cross it. We might even look for an alternate route around it. We can only see that safe ground is under our feet by staying on this side. Or maybe that bridge represents whats keeping you from getting to the other side. Instead of a means to get there.Then there's the rest of us, because were focused so hard on whats on the other side we begin to doubt we have what it takes mentally,physically or spiritually to get across. There's no way to foresee what the "getting across" will entail, So we tend to want to overlook that major detail & just focus on "this side" or the "other side". 

For most its that first step that's the hardest. For others it's the walk across or that last step from the known into the unknown that is the most scary. Regardless every step of the way takes Guts. Sometimes the other side represents a life different then the one your living now this very moment. Maybe that bridge represents whats keeping you from getting to the other side. Maybe the other side holds a promise that what's breaking our hearts today wont hurt as bad if at all by the time we make it over there. Trying to see the other side from where your standing right now isn't really possible.. It's sorta like blinking your eyes & wishing something came to be or wishing something went away. This is real life and most times wishes aren't granted. So lets muster the courage to take that first step, lets dig down & find the strength we need to walk on.

For me right now,that bridge represents learning to live on without my loved ones here & how someday I'll see them on the other side.. The journey across that bridge is me working through my grief and making my own decisions without parents to fall back on for advice or reassurance. I wish grief was one of those things you could just blink your eyes and make go away. Grief though a painful & sometimes long & difficult process is the result of a great love shared. If only wisdom didn't come at such a cost. Compassion for others can be one of the greatest gifts or lessons you can take from grief to help someone else. Being understood when it hurts brings more comfort then generic words could ever express.

The next time you see a bridge, whether its on some back woods trail or on the way to work..Give your self a little credit for all those you've mustered the courage to cross. Think about the strength & knowledge you've gained during the "crossing over & walking through". Just don't ever let fear keep you from taking that first step. So whether your walking in the valley of the shadow of death or crossing the bridge over troubled waters please remember you do not walk alone. I wish you strength and courage to get to the other side. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Rock of Trust

It was around 10:15 in the morning yesterday when I made the hard left down the long gravel driveway that leads to the Stable. The woods, so dense on both sides of the driveway that it just feels like I've driven to the center of the Allegheny National Forest. Up the driveway on the left, a waving tree branch caught my eye & out walks a very young white tailed doe. Its not often one gets the chance to see these wonderful creatures so up close & personal. I stopped the car & watched her walk into plain view right in front of my car. She bravely stopped to check me out too. As she stared back at me I thought "get your camera" but in my excitement I fumbled to grab it & my movement caused her alarm. Her white tail went straight up as she bounced into the woods to my right. I drove slowly up the driveway while simultaneously dropping the passenger side window. Hoping to catch just one more glimpse of her. A mere 15 feet away, there she paused, next to a Giant Cherry tree. Her tail flapping wildly while looking straight at me. This time I didn't fumble for my camera but chose rather to take it all in and watch her until she bounced out of sight. As I neared the end of the driveway I just couldn't help but smile from ear to ear over the encounter.  

 I got to thinking just how much I love this place. Its private & quiet. Set smack dab in the middle of no where & it's just the kind of serene place to sort through the numerous thoughts & feelings I've accumulated in my head during this journey through loss & finding a way to live again. Since the loss of my big brother & parents, spending time with Bubba has changed from something I had to force myself to do because caring for my sickly parents was a tremendously exhausting and time consuming obligation..on top of my full time day job.Plus it was hard enough to add being a wife or a friend into that mix..there just wasn't any time let alone time for me. 

Now that my day to day doesn't consist of spending every spare minute outside of work devoted to the care of my parents next door, I feel like time & my life are actually my own again.Spending time with Bubba has turned into something I can now relax & enjoy, while walking away refreshed & renewed every time...It makes me feel as though the slate of the past weeks junk has now been wiped clean. I feel as though someone has shaken all the dust from me and put me back on my feet again..Ready & willing to face the weeks challenges with strength because I'm gaining it. Being with Bubba has always helped me to either muster the strength for what needs doin or it gives me that break or peace of mind that I ache for. Having place to forget my troubles for a little while is a tremendous blessing.

I put the car in park,put up the windows, and grabbed all the necessities for the trail ride off the passengers seat. I had chap stick, a pack of cigs, 2 lighters because I always manage to lose one (lol). I had carrots, 2 roast beef & swiss sandwiches, grapes, strawberries & my blackberry. Though the weather promised a Sunny 82 degrees,the skies above were invisible due to the thick laden dark clouds. It threatened rain and had looked that way since I woke earlier that morning around 6:30am. 

Now barely 70 degrees later, the air was still quite damp & chilly from the wee morning downpour. It was smart to layer up with a tank top then t-shirt & finally a big sweatshirt. I was ready for what ever the weather had in store. The real me has recently been enjoying riding Bubba on these gloomy skied days. I'm not sure why? Maybe that's the kinda mood I'm in, maybe its because I truly love the kind of quiet you can only find deep in on the trail. The only sounds are hoofbeats and birds chirping which makes its own rhythmical melody. Plus everything smells so fantastic in the woods after a rain.

Walking down the short paved drive towards the barn I could see which horses were out in the big 10acre pasture. I could also hear that familiar sport news radio echoing in the far back tack room across from Bubbas stall. As I entered the barn I stopped just a second to say Good morning to Judy & rub the neck of her West Virginia Mutt as she calls him..but we all know that's her Gomer(name meaning sign of completion as she corrects me from giggling when i say his name..So i call him Gomey..Hes a large,nearly 16h Kentucky Mountain/Missouri Fox Trotter Gelding who was standing so quietly in the cross-ties being brushed to show ring standards (lol). With the silkiest and most shiny natural coat you ever saw or touched as proof. I listened to the horses chowing down on their morning hay as I walked to the back of the stable towards the second to the last stall on the right. I opened the stall door to my Handsome Boy. He nickered & gave my hand a sniff for treats..."Good Morning Bubba".

We all stopped at the end of the driveway to listen  for cars coming in either direction. When the coast was clear we trotted both boys hurriedly across the road and onto the trail. The trail was a bit muddy and the leaves a bit wet but our boys from the getgo were awesome. 3hours later, after having much luck trail blazing with just a few minor detours & politely trimmed branches, we kinda got stuck in the valley of two ridges on what looked like some sort of deer trail..We tried finding 3 ways out with no success and then Bubba made a hard right like he wanted to go up the mountain side.. For Bubba too want to take the lead and blaze through the unknown will surely get no resistance from me. We agreed and I gave him his head and up the hill he went.I could feel his muscles just digging up the hillside with ease. We reached the top in no time at all and lo and behold what did i see? The trail. What a relief from the previous skinny paths we followed earlier & some stopped us dead because they had thick covering like ceilings,far too low for our horses to try to ride under. Bubba finding a way out & safely leading us out of the woods to that trail at the top was just the coolest thing ever. I know both Judy and I were so proud of him & we both needed a break from the unknown back to the familiar.We  climbed up out of the woods onto that path & decide to go to the right up the trail, instead of left down it. 

Ahead I could see this giant rock just sticking out over the top of the trail ahead. 
It was the most incredible size rock. It had to of stood nearly 20 foot high & was just as long as it was thick. It had wide 2ft layers worn out on the sides, almost as if at one point it had been covered in water where maybe a strong undercurrent for many years might of wore deep grooves in the side. Anyhow that was the thought that went through my mind and as we rounded the trail around the side of this large Rock, to our surprise sat row after row of these old wooden benches..A fire pit placed as the centerpiece.

Judy and I were like  a couple of little kids..We  got off the boys, let them graze around the benches and we sat down to enjoy awesome roast beef sandwiches & fruit..What a perfect place to stop for lunch. It just made the day more beautiful. Rides like this have been so frequent and I'm just so glad I worked with him over the long winter. I watched as Bubba walked in between the rows of wooden benches to munch on the grass around the fire pit..He's getting so brave and I'm so grateful I helped him get there..Just as he has helps me to be brave in facing my fears to get through this journey..Hes trusting me & I'm trusting him and that's definitely earned both ways.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sometimes when the storm moves in...

We (Judy and I) just made it back to the barn in time. The moment we got our horses in the cross ties and began sliding off the saddles the heavens opened up. But what a ride it was..

Sometimes,in life,there is no shelter from the storm.I believe at times it is what is meant to be, that I'm meant to battle the storm.That it will develop something in me to be better,wiser,stronger and more confident. Becoming Self Aware presents it challenges.But arnt we worth it?How else will wisdom come if we dont get rained on once in a while? How can we help others if we've never truly been there ourselves?

If you've ever felt like a child in an adult body then maybe you get where I'm coming from. I never felt fully grown up..I am a kid at heart..And at times I make really stupid mistakes because I can only see things from one angle, MINE..until a storm blows in & soaks me through and through while pushing me all over the place do I become aware I'm about to learn a valuable lesson.

I have to be honest and tell you, that for the first time in my life, at the age of 39, It took my horse Bubba & my Daddy passing away to really give me the wake up call i needed to grow up. Grief, a journey we all will walk someday or have all ready, teaches you a lot about yourself. You will definitely find out where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Whether you like it or not.

There are so many injustices in life, that if you don't find out who you really are, it can ruin you..It darn near ruined me. Can you tell me if you really like yourself? What are your thoughts about YOU. What do you believe in? Where do you draw the line? When are you most scared? Where are you most challenged? What part of you would you change?
These were all questions I just could not answer & if I could the answers were surely negative ones. 

I am still grieving the loss of my Daddy. So at this particular moment in time, though theres only a small threat of rain. I still feel drops of water on my face.Though its not flooding with rain outside, there are tears. Who am I now that I'm  not Daddys girl.. or Mama's girl, or the baby sister. Some of us lose our identity when loved ones pass on. Losing my favorite brother, my mother and now father has changed me so deep and on so many levels..and not for the worse but for the better..They will forever not only be just a part of me..but their incredible influence on my life and the incredible amount of love they gave me and how they encouraged me to just be me, has helped mold me. They dont have to be here for me to continue to grow.. Even if i hadnt acted on those beliefs, i still know them & it looks like a darn good place to start..

So the next time it threatens rain, don't be so quick to run for shelter! Sometimes when the storm moves in your supposed to get wet..