Later that autumn I headed over to the ranch and got a nasty surprise.
Someone had dumped a wicked mean stallion in the exercise yard. He was 800 different kinds of nasty and nearly kicked me for just approaching. I threw the other horses into the stables so he wouldn’t hurt them and then I set to figuring out where this thing came from.
After he tried to kick me again I lost my patience with him.
“NO! This is not how we behave here, damn it! This is a respectable ranch!”
Suddenly, Tiberius was by my side. I think he was trying to protect me. The sad thing is, the poor guy is so old that I don’t think he’d be able to do much, but I appreciated the effort.
I was still trying to figure out what to do about this intruder when my phone rang.
“Did you find the horse, Mrs. McNamara?” The voice on the other line was melodious and full of a rich Southern accent.
“Excuse me? Who the hell are you? And you can’t just leave this monster here! He’s dangerous! Also, if you want me to train him there are fees and contracts!” I was livid that someone would take advantage of the ranch and my time like this.
‘If you don’t take him, Mrs. McNamara, we’ll have him put down. We’ve heard about your prowess in the ring. If you turn this horse into a prize-winning racehorse, we’ll make it worth your while.”
I couldn’t just abandon the horse knowing they were going to euthanize him. Crap.
“How worth my while? I’ll want at least…$50,000 for this one.” I started large knowing they’d go lower.
“We’ll pay you double, Mrs. McNamara. See you later.”
What the fuck was that? I didn’t even know who I was working for but $100,000 was worth the mystery. I got right to work.
This horse has one purpose: he’s here to kick my ass. Of that I am certain. I named him Fury. I have no idea if he already has a name but for my purposes he needs a name and Fury is pretty much perfect.
I’m sure I can break him in time. It’s going to take a lot of horse granola and ice packs but this horse is going to be a winner if it kills me…and it might.
Winter rolled around and with it came bucket of snow.
I wasn’t too upset about it, though. If fact, I was downright elated!
I was up before the sun baking cookies and pies and cinnamon rolls. Why?
My boys were home from boarding school! We had so much planned for the brief two weeks they would be back.
Our first adventure was a family breakfast followed by a trip to the Winter Festival.
We all piled in the van and headed to the city square.
I had to laugh. Owen is quite athletic but he was not having the ice skating.
I took it upon myself to show the boys how their mom still rocks even though she is now “old” and “uncool.” Put that in your sock and sniff it, kiddos!
Not to be outdone by her mom or brothers, Ellie Jayne was a badass bull rider. Perhaps she’ll be the one to take over my legacy when I’m gone? She sure seems like she might be an equestrian!
Finn says he sees a lot of me in Ellie Jayne.
I have no idea what he is talking about. Pfft.
Later that evening we hosted the annual Snowflake Day party. Twenty of our family and friends showed up to celebrate.
I noticed how empty the house looked. Not only were Finn, the boys, and I leaving for France in the morning, but we were also moving in the spring. There was no reason for the huge house anymore. My dad was staying on to watch Ellie while we were in France, but he was eager to get out on his own. He had purchased a house and was ready for the next phase of his life. The boys would be leaving for college soon. Finn and I weren’t getting any younger and a three-story farm just wasn’t going to work forever. It was time to downsize.
I realized this would be the last of the huge parties. Everything was changing. I felt a stab of nostalgia. Alas, life goes on whether I want it to or not.