Moose River Farm Blog

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Field of Green

     Good Morning,
     It's mid-winter in the Adirondacks.  So far the temperature and conditions have behaved themselves, moderately.  However, I can't help but crave the lushness of the good weather months.  So much is green in these photographs from six months ago.  It swaddles me like a wool sweater.  The four and two legged companions affirm that I am truly blessed.  As I write the green field is hidden under ten inches of winter white.  I like to think it's resting; recharging energy necessary to foliate back to life.  

 A Field of Green 

In a field of green
My horse and I 
Are free to run in the wind
On sturdy hooves 
we pound the ground
into the future from where we've been

A picture framed 
Through pointy ears
A hazy image of what's to come
We gallop onward blindly
Hoping for a fate 
Meaningful and and loaded with fun

With every strike 
From hoof to earth
Blood is pumped back to his heart
Just look at me
Alive astride 
A living work of art

Consolidation 
Of lever and force
Is the equine physique
In some strange way 
I am traveling aboard
a breathing time machine

For back I go
To days of youth 
where upon his back I played
Acquiring skills of an equestrian 
I remain as such today

In a field of green
I want to ask my steed
"What comes next for us, I wonder?"
But choose instead
"What is right now?"
On which to meditate and ponder

Hurry back Summer!  We miss you.







     








Friday, January 9, 2015

Fantasy Farm Shopping, 2015

     Good Evening,
     Its that time of year again.  Wellington, Florida is gearing up for the WEF, (Winter Equestrian Festival).  Show horses from all over the Midwest and Northeast are being clipped and shipped to this horsey mecca in the Sunshine State.  Like migrating butterflies they swarm along main arteries such as I95 and I75 to escape polar conditions that grip the north from December until April.  Just follow any equine transport carrier's FB page, (Brook Ledge, Judge Manning), where they announce possible departure and arrival dates. Trainers, grooms, and a myriad of support staff follow in their horses' wakes to pursue one of the greatest perks of working with elite horse flesh.  It's a grand migration of many different species and walks of life.  They are all so lucky to escape the inevitable; bitter cold, freezing rain and blowing snow.
     My computer screen provides access to glimpses of a balmy, carefree winter.  Every Saturday evening I tune in to catch the current corporate sponsored Grand Prix Jumping event, Dressage Freestyle or Hunter Derby, (USEF NetworkChronicle of the HorseFEI TV).  Although I watch the best horses and riders from around the world compete, I scrutinize details not related to horses.  While buried under a fleece turtleneck, wool sweater or two, my attention is drawn to spectators attending in shorts, sandals, and shirt-sleeves.  I feel better when I notice the crowd is wearing jackets.
"It must be cold there tonight," I announce with satisfaction to my husband.  He half-listens while engrossed in the NFL playoffs on television in the living room.
     What would it be like to pack up the menagerie, shut down Moose River Farm, and flee to Wellington?  To skip a whole winter of scraping the car windshield, draining the hose, and bundling up for barn chores?  Perhaps if one of the following properties, (fully staffed of course), was waiting for us to arrive, it might be nothing short of perfect!
     Truth is winter in Wellington is not a reality for MRF.  Decisions made through out my life have led me along a whole different path.  I am perfectly content with those choices.  Once in awhile, I welcome the distraction to wonder what it would be like to live financially carefree with my husband and my animals in Florida's equestrian paradise.

Come along...let's browse these sale properties that embrace our horsey lifestyle...and dream a little.  

$1,750,000; Starter Farm for Wellington Newbie


$1,899,000

$2,199,000

$24,900,000; This will do nicely!

$32,000,000

$27,900,000

$9,999,000; A bit more modest!


After all that eye popping farm shopping I have come to the following conclusion: There really is no place like home!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Moving Forward into the New Year

     Happy New Year!
     Rod and I have just returned from a holiday reunion with my family at Mohonk Mountain House in the foothills of the Catskills.  For three days we immersed ourselves in activities such as skating and hiking along with my siblings and their children.  The greatest treat however, was sitting down to delicious meals prepared by someone else.  After three days I crave nothing.  
     One evening my family gathered in a television room reserved for us, (there are only 3 TVs at Mohonk), and watched videos from years ago when my siblings' children were youngsters.  My father who has been deceased for over twenty years made several appearances throughout the films.  The emotions that struck while reliving the past surprised me.  Frankly, I didn't recognize him; light and engaging with his grandchildren.  Even his voice sounded like a stranger to me.  He was more handsome than I remember, tan and square in the jaw suggesting strength and confidence.  My mind searched for signs of the Dad that raised me at arm's length while devoting most of his energy to a long career so that he could afford four private college educations.  The Dad who became my partner in horse ownership when I turned 16 and the Dad who instilled the value of saving money for emergencies and "stuff" that will last was difficult to locate in the character on screen.  
     Since watching the videos I have reflected on my reactions and have come to some powerful conclusions in the process.  The opportunity to spend three days together as a family definitely falls into the category of quality.  Perhaps it even dabbles as an emergency since ever-changing lives of so many busy people make it difficult to schedule a yearly reunion.  My father's pride in his three generations spending time together radiated from us all.  Finally, although the adult versions of those children in the videos were present in the room watching along with me, I still felt a pang of loss.  Childhood is too short.  I hope they were able to recognize a glimpse of who they were and where they came from while revisiting a time when life was carefree, innocent and under the supervision of adults.
     As 2014 comes to an end, I scan the recent past before squinting my eyes into the future.  Losses this year included our 9 year old goat Lilly in early October.  On a Friday afternoon Rod met me at the car as I arrived home from school. 
     "Lilly is not good," he informed. 
     I found her lying down; her whole body quaking with pain.            
     "There is something inside her that shouldn't be there and I can't fix it," Dr. Jennifer Nightingale declared with sad honesty after a thorough examination.    
Lilly's presence in the barn is missed by all who lent a hand to scratch the top of her head or provided a leg where she could rub her itchy spots.  
    Two weeks later, Rosemary, our 21 year old iguana was diagnosed with a mass in her lower abdomen.  This news, although devastating, did allow me to spend eight more weeks caring for her at home.  Not once did she appear to be suffering from intense pain.  Her stoic attitude and willingness to eat if hand fed remained consistent until just before Christmas.  On a day of unseasonably reptile-loving weather Rosemary and I returned to the vet clinic to bring closure to a long life.  She was buried in the corner of our backyard where she had spent many a summer day basking in the sunshine.  RIP sweet girls.
     In May my family lost David Lane, the lovely gentleman who recaptured my mother's interest in living after the death of my father.  She and David were married in 2001 and spent their time together traveling the world.  David graciously visited the Adirondacks with my mother every summer.  I am grateful for that and his devotion to her over the past 15 years.  
     With that said I punctuate the end of 2014.  It is now free to drift off behind me while wispy memories remain to savor and soothe grief.  Into a future full of promise and hope I now step.  With age and wisdom I am learning not to fret too far ahead.  Instead, I must keep my vision focused on where I am at the moment and soak up the simplicity of just being....right now.  Peace to all in the New Year!


My first horse, Promise, Dad and me.

Lilly, (right), and her brother Liam were orphaned babies in 2005.
She loved to scratch her head on humans.
Lilly was always ready for her close-up.
My niece Meg, (a junior at Gettysburg College now), was one of Rosemary's best friends.
Yes, a reptile can lie in the sun for a few therapeutic minutes in the winter.
David and Bobbie Lane.