Thursday, October 15, 2009
Everything's better with a little horse slobber!
Fall is my favorite season. No contest. The other seasons don't stand a chance with me. I love the way Fall smells, the way it looks (all those gorgeous leaves), the crispness in the air... I love breaking out the turtlenecks and scarves and sweaters for the season... I love spiking my hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps and snuggling with my sweetie to watch football... I love that Fall means making great family memories on Halloween and Thanksgiving, and the anticipation of Christmas on the way... I love it all. And one of the things I love the most is Family Farm Day. What is it? It's actually a weekend in October, when farms throughout the county basically throw a giant open house for the public. They have free samples of their goods (as well as lots and lots of stuff you can buy, of course), activities for the kids, tours, mazes, hay rides, etc... Every year, I get online and print out the map of the farms. Then, in my completely anal retentive way, I figure out the exact, best route we can take to maximize our Family Farm experience. (My hubby just rolls his eyes and goes along with whatever I decide.) There are two absolute musts on our Family Farm Day. We must visit the Double O ranch, which is the farthest away, in the most beautiful location imaginable, because they have the absolute best hayride AND they have horses, and we must visit the Dairy Farm, because they give out free chocolate milk and ice cream bars. But, with around 16 farms to choose from, there are lots of other places to visit as well.
This year, Family Farm Day was the best one ever! Why? Because everything's better with a little horse slobber thrown in, don't you think? You see, I am a horse freak. I was the 12-year-old girl taking horseback riding lessons, Breyer horses lining every shelf and horse posters covering every space on the wall (except for the one space that was taken up by a poster of Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, with the hat, and the leather jacket, and the whip...sigh), dreaming of the day I would be riding bareback across the field of my very own ranch...aaaaah. Life turned out a bit different than I had planned, eh? Anyway, I still have four big boxes of Breyer horses sitting in my closet, because I just can't bring myself to part with them. I don't dare pass them on to my little guys, because the horses wouldn't stand a chance. I can just see those delicate legs breaking one by one as my boys stage a raging stampede across the backyard...It makes me shudder, just thinking about it.
Sooooo...back to my story. We got to the Double O ranch, which, in many ways, is the ranch of my fantasies. Every time we've visited, their horses are somewhere off in the distance - beautiful and untouchable. Not this time. Oh, no. This time, one of their horses was right up by the fence and looking for love. We were waiting for the hayride, when I saw her up ahead, and I was gone in a heartbeat, heading for the fence. Kids? What kids? Oh, they'll be fine with Daddy. There's a horse that needs my attention! Oh, it was heaven for me. She wanted to be scratched and rubbed and fed grass. She nickered and pushed me with her head and licked the salt off of my palms. It was glorious! John snapped my picture with a huge grin on his face. He said it was just about the perfect image of me, because it captured a moment of total, complete, happiness.
Finally, the mare took off for the other side of the field. SIGH. We had missed the hayride,(sorry, boys) so we wandered over to check out the barn before the next ride, and...OMG!...not one, but two, Clydesdale mares were tied up in the barn, just waiting for me to shower them with love and affection!!! I couldn't believe my eyes. So, abandoning my family once more, I headed straight for the horses, threw my arms around their necks and inhaled their wonderful horsey smell...I scratched behind their ears and rubbed underneath their chins...I could have stayed there all day, sandwiched in between those two horses, just loving life. John practically had to drag me out of the barn by my hair to get me to come along on the hayride. And, here's where the slobber part comes in. I plunked myself down on the hay bales, grinning from ear-to-ear, when John suddenly pointed and said, "Ewwww...what is that on your scarf?" It was horse slobber. A big, wet spot of Clydesdale slobber all over my scarf. Giggle. The icing on the cake! What a Family Farm Day! I can hardly wait until next year... Cheers!
Posted by Beth