Tuesday, January 5, 2010

No, I will NOT "cowboy up".

Let me make this plain, I am not into Western wear. I'm not into cowboy stuff.

I KNOW! It's hard to believe, isn't it? If you are in to horses you just MUST be into cowboy stuff, right? RIGHT??


Listen, I appreciate the thought. Really I do. I even have a cute cowboy boot candle that I like, and a neat picture of a cowboy and his dog letting his horse drink out of his hat... but please. PLEASE. No. More. Cowboy. Stuff. Nothing decorated with brands, no more decor with big roweled spurs or lariats or bits with ports higher than my thumb is long or things covered in silver conchos and hair on cowhide.

I mean, please don't think I don't appreciate the thought. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, really, but... It has been 24 years since my butt touched a Western saddle. I've NEVER been interested in "western" breeds. I know this is a hard concept to grasp even though I have said it over and over and over since I was 15... but I like horses. Unless it is Sam Elliot on the horse... I can do without the cowboy.

Please do not be offended if I NEVER wear the t shirt with the close up of the cowboy rears that say, "cowboy butts drive me nuts". Please do not be offended if I prefer not to wear the hat that says "I'm a little bit country" and has a bucking bull on the front.

Also, I know I loved glittery unicorns and pegusi when I was 12, but... no. Enough. No cowboys, no unicorns, no glitter or fairies or rodeo stuff. I'm out of places to stash them where I don't have to look at them all the time.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Dear Michigan,

Dear Michigan,

Hello state, how ya doing? Well, I've been better, to be honest.

We need to talk. You know I love you, right? I mean REALLY love you. I may not have been born here but my heart is here and it has been as long as I can remember (sorry about that one summer when Soda and I were on that "California Girls" kick. It was me, not you, honestly.) But lately, well, lately I don't feel like you have been returning the love.

Now I know there isn't much you can do about the economy, and I'm not trying to blame you for that. You were hanging with the wrong crowd and it pulled you down along with them but I still won't blame you for that. You are still young and impressionable and things happen. But there are other things that I'm just not sure we can work through long term.

I mean, it's awesome the way I can point to my hand to show people where I live. But I just didn't understand why you would stick with your friends on this economy thing but NOT get in on that whole global warming thing. I mean, two summers in a row we only got to use the pool twice because it was so cold at night all summer long. You really picked the wrong band wagon there, Michigan. And you owe me for 55 gourd plants, not to mention all the veggies that never got past two inches tall. Thanks to your refusal to run with the Global Warming gang we weren't able to grow our own veggies this year. And considering the whole "Bad Economy" gang you have been running with those veggies would have been a big help.

So, I hate to admit it but... I've been thinking of seeing other states. Oh come on, don't cry! I still love you, I'm just not sure I am IN LOVE with you. I don't think anything will ever really break us up. We have been through too much together to just give up. But... I've been talking to Tennessee and Oklahoma a lot lately. I don't want to hurt you but I am still young! I need to explore my options.

And you know, there are things I will always love about you, like the lack of chiggers.

I'm glad we were able have this talk.

Oh, and could you do something about these temps? -18 wind chills? Seriously? This is not the way to keep the heat going in a relationship.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

"I like living."

I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.

Agatha Christie

Once upon a time there was a boy with big green eyes, a huge smile and a whole life spread out before him. Full of hopes, full of dreams, he started his life with nothing but potential.

As he grew he talked of "when", he talked of "if". "When I get that raise", "if I win the lottery", "when things get better". But while he waited for "when" and "if" he spent his time bemoaning the fact that he didn't have his dreams NOW. He spent his life pining for the life he wanted instead of living the one he had. And when he wasn't dreaming of the future instead of making it happen he was mourning the past when he was a care free child.

At times he rose to great heights of joy as he dreamed, but often he sank to great depths of despair, some so deep that he contemplated causing his own death. As someone who watched him grow and dream, I realized that a life lived entirely in the past or future is a life wasted. Even at it's worst (and I have had some very bad times) life has been worth living. Life is beautiful, even when it isn't.

I thought of this today as someone I love, who has also watched this person live in the past and future while missing out on the joy of today, spoke of their frustration with the situation. It made me glad that his misery is now no longer my own. But it also made me realize how truly blessed I am to be able to find joy in even the most miserable of times.

It is 2*F, wind chill of -18*. Last night the increased evaporation of the tank heater in this cold weather ran the tank down 6 inches in 3 hours. We had to find a way to thaw 200 feet of frozen hose ASAP. After dark. In sub zero temps. We had to get the water turned on under the house because just before the freeze the water pipe to the big barn broke. But we managed, the tank is filled, we warmed up eventually, and we had several good laughs. And this morning, in this bitter cold, I had the heartwarming sight of three fluffy happy healthy horses with plenty of water and plenty of feed keeping themselves warm with no problem at all. My house smells of the fireplace, kept burning all day. Small joys that make the life I have so very worth living even without the "when" and the "if".

Sometimes the best thing we can do is learn to be content. Don't stop following those dreams but don't spend so much time thinking of the destination that you miss the scenery as it zips by along the way.