Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Getting Back to Normal

Well, things are slowly getting back to normal, whatever that means.  Since the first of May my Dad was having some fairly serious health issues.  We lost him on the 21st of October.  He was 88.  He was a good man who always taught me to keep moving forward, even if it's only the smallest of steps in the toughest of times.  He needed his kids by his side these last 6 months.  It was easy to do for the man who gave us so much.  I have not blogged here much over that period because it was important to keep my brothers and sister informed of Dad's status.  I was posting on a blog I set up for my Dad to do just that.  My sister asked that I make the blog public.  I'm not sure if it has any appeal outside our family, but if someone is going through a similar experience who knows, it might help.  It's not all serious.  My Dad had a great sense of humor and though his body was failing him, he always seemed to find a reason to smile.  The link is here:  W.E. Harrer Blog

While I was thankful to get to spend time with my Dad, the first few rides back on Jessie were incredibly therapeutic.  After working through the funeral arrangements and taking care of most of his household estate, we were finally able to get out to the river for a Sunday morning ride.  It was the morning of Daylight Saving Time and we were out earlier than most other folks.  We started on the far side of the river.  It's a bit quieter over there.  Both horses were doing exceptionally well for having been ridden so infrequently. 

On the single-track trail Jessie would try to get nose-to-tail with Dusty in the lead.  The trails out here are well used and many times one will fork at a big plant or tree only to come back to the same single trail on the other side of the obstacle.  At one such point I took Jessie on the right fork while Ranae and Dusty continued on the left fork.  We temporarily lost sight of them and I thought this would help Jess get her attention back on me. 

From the other side of the big plant between us I could not see, but heard Ranae say "Wow!  Oh, my!"  I could not even get a response out when I saw a bobcat move in front of us and crouch not ten feet away!  He was a very handsome fellow.  Jess stopped and we exchanged pleasantries, "Well, hello Mr. Bobcat"

"Hello, Miss Horse!"

"How about we move slowly over here?"

"That's fine.  How about I move slowly over there?"

"We were hoping you would say that.  Thank you."

And, in a moment the experience was over, the bobcat, which looked about 30 lbs, had dashed under some brush, and we were back with Ranae and Dusty.  I was very proud of Jessie and Dusty. 

We continued on with our ride and enjoyed a couple of river crossings.  The river was about three feet deep in the place we crossed and we took turns leading the way.  We found a couple of places to do some light workouts to help get the horses back in condition then headed back to the trailer.  We still have a lot of catching up to do in the way of chores, but it's nice to know we have a place to get away from it all with our horses, too.