Monday, November 28, 2016

working in the big book

Different from teaching to the test this is Beach learning how to test. Yep, anyone who has taken a test will tell you learning and testing are not the same things! And for a homeschooled kid like Beach, one who has stayed mainly off the testing path, knowing how to test is a necessary skill to have.

chasing the ghost herd

I woke myself calling his name. It rolled out into an empty house like dying thunder over a dark ocean.

Don't leave me I will die here, the words whispered out of my memory.

I sat up looking through the shadows in my bedroom trying to figure out where I was. What house, what room, what bed, which partner? 

The answers crawl out of fog. The little white house, the upstairs bedroom, BC. I let go the breath I was holding and with it the panic.

Don't leave me here....It's the part of our relationship BC and I don't think about much anymore; the precarious beginning.

For me, it was a dangerous last step from a water-logged rowboat to an unfamiliar but solid ground. Not really a step at all more like a leap of desperation. Desperation unrelated to love. Entrenched in survival.

Jumping to BC was a strategic choice. Falling in love with him was a happy accident. Perhaps those 2 things are more related than I believe them to be.

When I say strategic of course I don't mean for money/power, I mean temperament and safety.  When I look back I can see him carefully watching me. I can see through the blueness of his eyes. His hands behind his back as he leans into the dark to listen from his porch to mine waiting for anything that might signal I was in more trouble than I could handle on my own.    

Before BC, before his steadiness I had a very different life which now so perfectly crafted by 'distance', it appears calm and forgettable. 

I can almost believe it was.      

Like a city blanketed in new snow the past rests under a veil that is easily broken.   

I haven't had cause to revisit it. 

I have been too busy layering on protection. Too busy insulating myself from the call of the water washing against the haul of the boat of ghosts I left drifting among the pilings. 

But this is part of the journey back. I have started running again. Not in the 2-3 times a week way but in the way that gets under your skin.  The 'if no one is watching too closely I could sneak in one more run today' way.

And as my body remembers my mind does too. 

It hasn't been easy to get even this far. It feels like I have dug such a steep hole for myself that ever step is uphill. I'm not even almost back to the surface and I can see it is about to get even harder.  

Last night was the first reminder of how fragile my peace with my past is. How light the skin of ice that holds it quiet.

It is one thing to fight the daylight. To ask your body to keep going when it is tired and sore- and old. 

But to ask your mind to break down the gates holding back the ghost herd.  Let them out so you can chase them down one by one- it seems semi-suicidal and yet this the chance & the moment I see worth taking.      

The nightmares are far harder to our run than the miles, I tell him. BC sighs heavily over the line.  "You have to be careful," he answers back. 

"What are you running from? The antelope seem to ask.  And I answer them, what I have always been running from- myself." ~Taming Venus, mlb

Saturday, November 26, 2016

a visit to Rue

We took a drive out to my cousin's to see Rue. Pep, Sophie's little sister came along hoping she might find a nice horse that needed riding. And after a short work session with Rue, she got her wish. 

 Thanks again for all you guys do for us and for them <3 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

in the shelter of mt O

Due to a number of circumstances (the biggest one being my family holds dinner the Wednesday night prior) Beach and I found ourselves exempt from the Thanksgiving holiday today. 
With nothing particular to do and no one looking for us we decided to wander.
We wanted to see if we could find the deer herd that shelters in the Mt. Olive Cemetery.  But it was more like they found us.
Let winter fall <3 Happy Thanksgiving~
 ...walk away with me.

Thanksgiving Day, the national dog show

Dog Bingo, popcorn, and a yogurt caramel apple <3 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

at our gym (blue balloons)

 If I had to give the number one reason we LOVE our GYM it would be that it loves us back. Each of us in our own way we are loved and cared for as individuals, not numbers. 

Yesterday Team was presented with blue balloons to release with an old worry, stress, or injury, send off conquered fears, place a hope and a goal on, or just a message to the heavens to say hello to a friend who is no longer with us. 

In the next week, 2 of our Little Giants will go in for surgeries to fix genetic issues that gymnastics didn't cause but it sure didn't help. Our well wishes and prayers of health are with them and their families.

We are One, we are GTC!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Chinese Rain

Chinese Restaurant In The Rain, photo by EBR
The cats who I locked out of the house are lined up on the back steps like DC10's on a runway. 

I plunk pass them in BC's big farm boots through the mudroom and into the yard. The ski-jacket I threw over the t-shirt I slept in is overly dramatic; the morning chill shattered hours ago by the sunlight bouncing around the dredges of last's night's rain storm.

Yes, last night in the dark the rain like a bully had chasing us across the gymnasium parking lot, down Highland Drive, and onto the freeway.  Where the lights and the water smeared together in an unreadable mess. 

Beach sitting in the seat beside me exhausted. Looking up from under the edges of the black coat that I lent her she shifted the brown paper bag containing our pending dinner of Chinese soup and Lo Mein Chicken.  

She squared her fingers to frame the 72 mph nonsense passing by. 

"It's like a movie," she said. Explaining how a bad day at the gym, the chill of the rainstorm, the feeling of us coming home alone, and the smell of the food makes for a perfect night. 

She wasn't wrong. Nights on the farm as it falls into winter are soft.  But here in the morning, the world is shouting. 

Beach lays pale, still sleeping in the middle of my bed. Drown in a sea of blankets.  But I've been up for hours. Padding quietly around the house balancing dark coffee and an even darker book.  Waiting until the last possible second to venture out to the feed the now sulking chickens. 

At the edge of the garden drawing water from the pump, I squint at the light coming through the damp air. 5 chickens greedily trailing me as I march over uneven ground to the coop. The water bucket threatening to spill with each clumsy step I take.  

In the coop, even the chickens seem bewildered by the brightness of the day. They wade precariously under my feet as I try to do my chores, refilling water, spreading to the grain, and breaking up loafs of stale wheat bread for them to scratch at.  

I can't help but glance at the empty backfield. Mist rises from the naked ground. 

The new emptiness around here is big. Like a sinkhole that broke loose in the night and is now quiet and resting.    

The funny thing is, BC and I have the same sized feet but it seems right now that his boots are just way too big for me to fill.


Monday, November 21, 2016

and more art happens

art happens

And this is why she painted her room gray...

BC the hoarder gets help

Late last week BC finally found time to have the portable sawmill over to tackle some of the piles of salvaged hardwood trees he has lying about the farm. Yeah, he even has a collection of salvaged trees...

If you didn't know BC is a materials hoarder.

Nice wood! 

the rescue of Rue

Back in June Beach began building a fence [Farm Strong] to help an abandoned horse. See the young horse, which Beach named Rue, had been left at our neighbor's to "temporarily" pasture.  Nine months later with much pleading for the man to reclaim her or help pay the feed bill, our neighbor turned to us and our big green open pasture for relief.   
At the end of July [If You Build It They Will Come] the horse was moved from our neighbor's field to ours.   
The man did show up a week after the horse was moved here to claim her. BC told him great come get the horse otherwise, we were working on finding a stable situation for her. The man said he would but he never returned. I want to note that we aren't even really sure if he is the horse's true owner. His story of how he got her is a bit questionable.
It took less than a month for her to clear the tall grass from our backfield. So we began purchasing feed for her at $12.50 a bale. 
Soon one of Beach's friends, a retired gymnast, and her mom, joined the rescue Rue team. They began sharing some of the caring and feed for her.

Like all things magical & horse related the Big Guns from Grantsville (who had been monitoring things the whole time) stepped in at the most perfect of moments. Remeber Beach's beloved Latte? <3  

Last weekend, after the Farrier failed to be able to work with Rue the Grantsville team put a plan in motion to take her off to "boarding school" for a few weeks of evaluating and training at their place.  
Rue is so untrained none of us expected her to load as calmly as she did. I was a little worried about the man showing up and causing a scene. But it was business as usual on 10th West, a quiet Sunday afternoon...and a horse in the middle of the street.  
In digital postcards sent our way she already looks happier. Weather permitting we will stop by on Thanksgiving Day to say Hello. 
Her journey is far from over. As you might imagine the legal status of the horse is one of the biggest issues we have to wade through. There is also the question of the quality of her vision. But for now, she is in good hands.  
As for Beach and I, we both miss her grand presence standing out in the field. It's funny but if wasn't for knowing all the good people & the love that went into creating her absence here I would feel pretty alone. You might have to read that sentence twice, but it says what I mean it to say.
I can't thank the Grantsville team enough. 
You guys are the very best!