I’ve rearranged my schedule somewhat because of it, though. Yesterday I waited for the temperatures to cool down toward evening before I cleaned the horses’ stalls. I’m smart enough to not try to tackle that in the heat of the day. I waited long enough, that it was almost dark by the time I finished. I have to say, I absolutely loved it. The cool evening, the horses following me around like they loved me or something; and a bright, although waning, full moon.
As I was finishing up my duties, the little light my husband attached to the side of the barn caught my attention. He bought a set of 8 solar lights last week. He lined the side walk with 4 of them, and decided to attach one to the side of the barn. I love them. The one on the barn creates such a cute atmosphere around the stalls. It’s amazing how something so small can make a not-so-nice job such as cleaning stalls a little more pleasant. Actually, this “not-so-nice” job is one I really enjoy.
It was nothing but peaceful as I worked; so quiet and with perfect temperatures. I couldn’t help but reminisce days of my childhood once again. This summer evening reminded me of a summer evening that I spent with a friend about 45 years ago or so. She was my best friend in Jr. High. We loved to spend the night sleeping outside at each other’s homes during our summer vacation from school. Her home was at the base of the mountain. Her family owned property on the mountain as well as a wooded area at the base. Her family was one of the wealthier families in our area at the time, and I always felt a little like Trixie Belden (She was Honey Wheeler) when I visited her at her childhood home, complete with stables and all the things that Honey had in the Trixie Belden book series that I loved to read while growing up.
On one evening, my friend and I got brave deciding to make a little tent and setting up camp in the woods as far away from her house as we dare. There we spent the night. What I remember most about that sleep-over is waking up to morning – relieved a bear hadn’t found us in the night.
But on this evening as I cleaned stalls, I was reliving a memory when she had spent the night at my house. We slept in my backyard under the big locust tree that held my brother’s tree fort. Normally there was not as much excitement at my house as hers, but this time we decided we should create some.
The next door neighbors had recently acquired some new horses. I don’t remember for sure who those neighbors were at this time; owners had changed a few times in that beautiful, old, turn-of-the-century home. I don’t know if the horses belonged to the owners that lived there at the time, or if perhaps someone was boarding their horses there. But regardless, that’s the point; we knew absolutely nothing about these horses!
Though my friend’s family had horses, and her and I had ample opportunity to ride together (and did) for some reason on this evening we decided we needed to ride those new horses next door! Lapse of judgment, yes! But remember we were 13! However, don’t try this at home!
We snuck down the gravel road in front of our house, and entered the pasture from the east side, thus requiring us to only go through one fence. My friend easily caught one of the horses and before I knew it she was mounted.
“Come on!” she exclaimed. “Get up here behind me.”
So I did. I don’t remember how we mounted; no bridle, no halter, and of course no saddle. Not the smartest thing I have ever done. The horses could have been green for all we knew. The only thing I remember is riding that horse around in the moonlight, on that warm summer eve. The horse seemed to go everywhere we wanted, though I do remember at one moment having to duck as we went under the branch of a big old locust tree.
It’s all just a vague memory after all these years, but a treasured memory just the same. Yes! I know we shouldn’t have done it for a number of reasons. The reason stated above for one; and respect for someone’s property for another! But it is a treasured memory just the same.
I don’t know if our folks ever found out. I almost remember telling my mom about it. I know we had plans to do it again, but those plans were never brought to fruition. Why in the world we wanted to ride someone else’s horses when we had our own, I will never know. Why in the world we didn’t think about it possibly not being a safe horse to ride, I will never know, either! I guess it was one of those times of just being caught up in the moment. Maybe it was simply something we thought Trixie and Honey would do while solving the latest mystery. I don’t know.
The only thing I know is my life on this evening brought me back to a moment in time that seems like lifetimes ago (Yes, it feels like lifetimeS!) and I like being there…albeit, just temporarily. The memory makes me smile and I like it - almost as much as I like cleaning stalls on a warm, summer evening with horses nuzzling me with love…ok, they probably only wanted a treat. But for a moment I was again a character in that Trixie Belden series, only this time I was Honey – the richest kid around.
Oh, that's right. Honey wouldn't have had to clean the stalls...maybe I'm Trixie, after all. ;-)