Saturday, September 1, 2012

Your Dreams

What happens when your dreams come true????

What happens when you learn a skill, start a career, make some money???

What happens you find yourself ripen down the road in aggressive sounding Chevy 4X4 pickup??

What happens when you fall in love with someone you had no idea that God could have created so perfectly for you????

What happens when I pull that 18 wheeler back into the yard next week. I will have seen this country coast to coast.???

You check those things off in your mental checklist and start a new checklist.

In a little less than a year since my last post (sorry) things have been changing at lighting speed. It is at the point that nothing seems at all un attainable. Nothing seems like a pipe dream. Actually the change started two years ago when my Sister Kayla was in town she started asking me what my "Plans where". Yea kinda a scary question. After I rolled out this "want to drive truck, move off the farm, find a girl to settle down with, buy another pickup" Then she asked how I was going to do this. My answer was, " not a clue". Fast forward two years and it all came true. She came back to town and the first week her and her family where in town I was in California truckin. Then two weeks later she met Carrie the girl she had heard so much about on a camping trip in Ludington. Yea I actually took and week vacation this summer.Lol.

Kayla and her family left at the beginning of August. I said good buy and couple days earlier, because I had to leave on a run to California. She didn't have to ask what my plans where this time. I told her and the kids what they where. And again I have  no clue how all this is going to work out. But I have a feeling that when she returns in a couple of years things will be much different again.

Dreams do come true.
You just have to have the guts to let them.
Mom and Dad's prayers are huge plus though.

A huge thanks
To the "head honchos"; at work for giving me a chance to chase my dreams.
To my family/friends at Pine Manor; for an incredible ten years!!!!! I miss you!!
To Pam; for setting Carrie and I up. Sorry we avoided each other for over six months.
To G.M./Chevrolet/; you pissed me off with the govt bail out, so I bought a Ford. Now I am my second Chevy since the Ford. The G.M. small block is still one bad ass motor. It is good to be back home in a Silverado again.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Food For Thought

Hey Gang,
To bring a few of you up to speed. I am done at the lumber yard. I got a really great job with a local trucking company doing "pick ups" I go in between 11:00 and 1:00 and get done between 8:00 and 10:00. It is great. I have time to do the barn thing at home before work and I am gaining tractor trailer experince. We are holding our own at the barn. Terry has been home for a while and his help with the extras has been awasome. Devin left at the end of September which has made me all but a home body on Saturdays. Jack and the kids came out a couple weekends ago, I will post about that later and I have a new niece. Jubulee two years old, frushly adopted from Asia. And I will post about that soon. I promise.

Here's the deal. I got home tonight a little early from work. I was planing on checking emails,etc then heading to tom's for the football game. Then I read my Sister Kayla's blog and thought about emailing her. Instead she and the rest of my sibilings, family and freinds. Get this post on my blog.

If when I was ten years old you would have told me what life would be like "right now". That I would be driving "big" truck for a living. Tending to horses everyday, throwing hay, doing tractor work, etc. I would have probably jumped up and down and said I couldn't wait. Truth of the matter is I am awafully busy with all of it. I got a cold last week and didn't have time to rest. I felt guilty sleeping in untill 7:30. In the midst of frustration from doing chores this morning then trying to get to a chiropatcor appt before work. I felt a little overwhelmed. And if it hadn't been for those two old people "my parents" who rode their bikes 10 plus miles to stop in and say hi, yesturday who knows when I would see them. Mom always said "a busy teen is a happy teen." Man we sure took onto that one. My sisters and I (Bro lives a pretty normal life) are on the go 24/7.

Yea Kayla, there are days I long for no horses, no stacks of hay, no manure wagons. But there are also days I long for sitting on a deck looking over my own spread as the sun sets. But if I look back on all that I have had a chance to see as I cross the highways and city roads and as I make sure those big o'l critters have nourshment and housing. It is worth it. It has always been worth it.

If you have ever had a complete stranger  say to you "drive safe" as strap down a load with a three plus hour drive across the state in the wee hours of the night or watched as a once frighten three year old warms up to a horse who is sticking her head over the fence on a dark green pasture.

Then you would understand

Drive safe everyone

Friday, September 2, 2011

Racing Father Time

Becoming a adult legally starts on your 18th birthday from then on out it is each to its own road. I kinda crashed into adult hood like a drunk crashing through the front door after a night on the town. No pun intended. But really it all started out having fun with the guys, we got jobs because we didn't want to go to college, we bought new trucks, because the bank would loan us the money and all the while hunting, fishing, two tracking and thinking we where big timing it. Then a couple of those good o'l boys get married, have a few kids and then one or two say "I don't" and you realized how wierd those bon fires are going to be.

In less than a week I will turn 34 and things have started to catch me by surprise lately. I have noticed that the teenage boys I run into on the farms and jobsites treat me like I know something. Kinda with respect and they don't even know me. Granted I have a skill set and a career, but really I can still jump higher, dive deeper and come up dryer. Well until the other night. I showed up at Ken Topp's place with shavings and two highschool age boys where putting up hay. They where in my way so I jumped on that hay wagon to help get them out of my way and to show those boys up. Heaving that hay way the hell up on the hay stack. As I was dumping the load they where asking me questions about the truck and then whispering to eachother. The crumy part is when I got in the truck to leave, I felt the worse than I had all week. Later that night at a chiropractor appt (pinched nerve in my back) I bitched about still having the strength to do it and not holding up. Doc gave me some stretching excersises to do and told me to behave myself for a little until the pinched nerve heals. To add insult to injury when I complained to Kris later that night she said with a laugh ( Yea, you are getting older and you need to do the excersises)

Then bam!!!! Dan's oldest is old enough to babysit and I tease him about the training braws that are going to be showing up in the laundry. You get together with old friends and the topic turns to what kind of health your parents are in and what pain killers work best for you or what kinds of excersises you do in the morning to stretch the back out. You turn around and you all are making money and have careers. Then about 9:00 you start thinking that you better get going because you need to get up in the morning. Then John says "my kids need to get home." and one by one we all head home. Or you are coming through town on a sat morning and give Mom a call and tell her you are stopping by. She has a cup of coffee for you when you get there and you blow the whole morning, just catching up.

For some reason all of this has hit me lately. I see a lifted pickup with loud exhast and two doods with nascar caps and patchy gotees and think it wasn't that long ago it was us. I drive through Hamilton on a weekend night and don't see the pickups lined up at the mobile. But in  half a second I see it and it is 1998 again and we are racing father time. I guess we still are racing father time and fifteen years from now we will creaping up on 50 and thinking about those good o'l days in our 30's.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Alford/we almost lost him tonight

I feel very fortunate not to be heart broken writing about a old horse/friend that passed away tonight. So instead I will use this post to celebrate why I would have been so heart broken. Alfrod AKA Allie has been on the farm for most of the nine years I have been here. He is twenty seven years old and has been the barn (kids horse) for years. First he was a show horse then Terry's Sister bought him and trail rode him all over, he has crossed the state many times. Then when he got older and couldn't keep up on the trails he came over to Pine Manor to help the beginer riders. He also was used in the Christmas parad in Holland for years.

He was also the horse I used to give rides to my nephews and nieces.

But over the years he has continued to loose a step or two. He has gotten unsteady in his hips and a couple of times over the last year or so he has gotten down either from stumbling or loosing his footing and could't get his hind end underneath him enough to get up. I have always been able to get him up. That is until tonight.

Tonight I was finishing up in the barn and I heard this god awfull crash. I came around the corner to find Allie down in his stall. Susan a boarder was close buy and she said he just went down. When I got to him he was stressed and I tried talking him down. But something was different and then he made a gallent try at getting up. But even with me helping it wasn't even close. That is when Susan said  "honey it is his time." The way he was breathing and driffting in and out I really thought he was going to die on me right there. Then I had Susan go to Terry and Karen's house for help from a house quest. When help arrived Allie got about half up before he pinned me agaist the wall of the stall. I was walking that fine line of stressing a animale that was leaving us any way or helping him.I couldn't get a hold of Kris and decided to call the vet out.

I put a fan near his stall to try to keep him comfortable as I tried to do what Kris would have me do. All the time thinking about all the kids who would be heart broken if we lost him. I did get a hold of the Kris and she got there shortly after the vet. Kris walked in the stall, we made eye contact and if there was ever any dought about the brother, sister bond that we have it was gone. Kris whispered is he gone I shook my head no and the next thing I know the to of us standing over Allie embracing, bawling our eyes out.

The next thing that happend is about as close to a miricale that I have ever seen. We took the stall divider out and gave Alli more room and we where able to get him up. The vet seems to think that he had a malfunction in his nuero system or a mini stroke. The good news is Ali will be with us for a little while, the sad news is his riding days are done. what happend tonight could happend again at any time. So no more holding little nervous kids for there first time on a horse or giving this good o'l boy a fun easy ride bear back.

Nope Allie his going to be put out to pasture and will be moved to Kris and John's in the coming days to live the life of leasure in those big o'l pastures, probably never to be riden again. As I glanced through photos to use for this blog it was very clear to me what kind of horse Allie is. And like a sobbing Kris said to the vet tonight. "Im not ready to loose him yet." Yea, I wasn't either and as I finished up things in the barn after every one left, I heard the horses eating and I don't ever remember feeling so relieved that they where all o.k. for the time being.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Journey

This week is off to a pretty good start. We have horse camp till Wed and then Saturday and horse show in Marn. Everyone was gone last week Tuesday when it was Kris's birthday so today we had cake for Kris and celebrated with the horse campers.

It is the final show of the year that Kris and the girls will be going to. Most of the time it really isn't that big of the deal to be at the end of show season and sometimes a bit of a releaf. But this time it is different. In a way it is a end of a Journey at Pine Manor. Why? Because when that horse trailer pulls out of Pine Manor next spring for the first show of the season the people in the truck will be different.

Without going into detail about things that aren't finalized or leading you on. This is what I know for sure Devin will not be with us by next summer and I am unsure what role Monica, Cheeyana and myself will have at Pine Manor by next summer. Or how much horse hauling Terry will be doing. I also know that Jordana and Lydia will have a more prominate rolls at Pine Manor. So it is the end of a journey with this current group of "Pine Manor Crew".

A journey you really don't know you started, but know it when you are in it. A Journey that over the last couple of years has endured blood and sweat and laughter and tears. A journey that has heard the joys of anoucing the birth of a child or a horse. A journey that has felt the agony of friends and family passing away much to young as their stories have been told in the barn. A journey that has tought me so much about life and myself. And a journey that has accumilated stories that will be told years from now at cookouts as old friends connect over Doug's famous ribs at  Kris's barn.

 A journey that has one more show, a truck and horse trailer that needs washing and a few more ribbons to win. This is how it is suppose to be. And we are off to a good start this week and I am just going to try to enjoy it with this group. Because the ones you remember are always the first and last ones.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Everything Heals

Two weeks ago I was helping Kris load a horse for a local horse show. The process wasn't going very good at all. Then in one fatefull blast of horse energy the mare raised her upperbody and lunged forward, slaming herself into the side of the horse trailer... I was behind her, but recognized the sound her body and horse trailer made at the collision. I jumped to the front of her looking for blood as Kris gained control of her, saying "now you idiot." I then took of my sweatshirt as I was heading back to the barn and began getting the wash rack ready, Kris followed with the horse. Yup, she opend herself up with a 8 inch gash running at a 45 degree angle across her left shoulder.

So, as most normal people where enjoying there Sat morning coffee, we where waiting on the vet. When Dr Ray showed up a half hour later. He looked at the mare and said. "the good news is everything heals." Dr Ray did a wonderfull job of stitching her up and the mare is doing very well. Then less than a week later I had to remind myself of those insightfull words Dr Ray said.

The following Friday morning I was heading back from a meeting from a potential employer when the ph rang. It was Kris, she was in a jam. At that point I was tired with a lot on my mind and was out of gas. I just couldn't "jump" for Kris like I have done so many times before. But instead of filling her in, I just snapped back and pissed Kris off. I new I had instanly and went back to the barn, realizing I had just runied the whole weekend. The good news was my family and extended family was on Drummond Island camping at that very moment. So, I begged one last time for help for the weekend chores, called Mom and told her I was coming, changed the oil fillter on the pickup, sent a text to Kris that I was leaving for the weekend. Then asked Devin to walk me to my pickup. I told her I needed to get away and that I needed to clear my head.

Yea, without going into the details that was about as bad of a break down between Kris and I that we have ever had. Things are changing at Pine Manor and anger is a secondary emotion. And everything heals.

Drummond Island???? A blast. ATV trail riding, laughing with the family, a stop in Mackanaw City on my way home. A realization that I can't do seven days a week without a day off here and there. And o, yea, even though I drive for a living, getting on that highway with a mp3 full of country music, seeing the highway through the windsheild of a pickup truck and the hum of the black top as the wind wisles through the driversided window and rear slider window, well..... hell that's always a good time.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Horses/200plus miles and a 7 year old

O.k. this is how my mind works. Hey that would be a great idea, no wait a minuite should I do that, k, we are not doing that, o.k. lets do that, yea, this is going to be fun.

That was how my trip to the reginol horse show in Indianoplis with my seven year old nephew went a few weeks ago. I wanted to see what a big time horse show was about and thought the road trip would be fun for J.J. my nephew. Totally not realizing until the last minuite that it was a four hour ride in a pickup to get there and seeing how we couldn't get out of town until noon it was going to be a long day.

What happend? We got to town at rush hour and with the help of the GPS drove straight threw town and made it there by four. The people at the show where so helpfull, they must have realized that I was kinda out of my norm with the seven year old. J.J. seem to have a pretty good time. He was asked what he wanted to eat around seven oclock and uncle Kody didn't realize it was his dinner and bought him ice cream. JJ just wanted to see horses and we saw  alot of them. I was able to sit back and see how into he was and the kid couldn't get enough and even told me he wanted to ride a horse in a horse show someday. I was also able to see some pretty good horses and help cement some roads I want to continue down.

What was next? We got home around 2:00 a.m. and by the next week we where doing hay. Hay time is tough and Tuesday Kris and I got our singles crossed and I jumped all over her about her lack of comunication. Then Wed we where back at it throwing hay at Kris's barn. This is a copy of the text I sent Kris around 9:30 that night.

O.k. I just finished up taking the spreader out and re watering the barn, my eyes are burning a little and the left side of  my upper body ached when I was on the tractor tonight. But last Friday my 7 year old nephew sat in a old pickup for four hours straight, just because he wanted to see horses. And I think about the gears I shifted through today, just to get the job done. And it all makes sense I may be a S.O.B... hard on myself and those around me. But I remember  the thoughts I had at seven years old. Well after days like today. I realize how good things really are.