Thunderbolt and Lightening…Very, Very Frightening!

Last night my little corner of the world was under tornado and severe thunderstorm threats for most of the night.  The wind was howling and the lightening was fantastic.  Dogs were drooling and pacing and I was very scared.

I do not like lightening.  If I am driving I pull my shoulders to my ears and close my eyes for a second.  Not the best thing to do when you are operating a car, but a response I am unable to avoid.  When the warnings to take shelter came over the radio, I ran to the closet under the stairs to hide. My husband thought it was the funniest thing he has ever seen.  But when I told him the reason for my over the top response, he totally understood.

When I was young, 4 or 5, my family lived in Winter Park, Florida. A magical place to grow up; summer all the time. Storms and hurricanes every season.  One evening, with a hurricane bearing down on our town, my parents decided that they needed to go play bridge with their friends in the next neighborhood.  They left my oldest sister in charge, telling her that if things got really bad before they came home, we should go into the hall and shut the doors so that we wouldn’t get hurt if the windows exploded.  Now my sister watched us all the time.  Her mode of getting us to do what she wanted was using fear as a motivation.  When we played on the phone, she used the extension and told us she was the police and they were on the way to pick us up.  When I wouldn’t go to bed, she pretended to take pills and kill herself.  I was only a little girl for goodness sake; she scared the poop out of me.

Anyway, the parents left, and it was time for me to go to bed.  I could here the storm outside, but it wasn’t bad enough to get worried, but storming non the less.  Well I didn’t want to go to bed.  I wanted to stay up with the big girls.  My dear sister, the one I looked up to the most,  informed me that if I didn’t get to bed, she would not wake me up when it was time to go into the hall.  She would leave me sleeping in my room to get cut up by the flying glass.  I didn’t sleep that night at all.  I remember laying in bed, trying to be still so she would think I was sleeping waiting for someone to come and get me.  Thankfully my parents came home before we needed to do anything.

Obviously the incident made an impression on me.  I have never forgotten that feeling and every time it storms I have cow!  My sister is gone now, but there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t remember her in some way or another.  Not always in the fondest terms but ever present in my life.



Oh Mercy, Mercy Me

Wow, it has been a full month since I last posted.  And I recall indicating that I would be more diligent about posting.  Well evidently I lie!  What a strange month it has been…

I don’t know if I posted that I broke my knee.  Broke, cracked, whatever, the knee doesn’t work as well as it used to.  This is also the same knee that I had surgery on in December.  Ouch!  So the doctor told me to take it easy, not do anything that would put any pressure on my knee.  “Can I ride?” I asked.  “Well, I would rather you didn’t,” he replied, “but if you must, take an easy stroll and don’t go crazy”.  Ok I can do that.  At 58, I am not that much of a dare devil anymore.

imageTwo weeks later I went camping with my peeps.  We set up camp, had the horses in their fences, life was good.  “Lets go riding”  OK, that was what we were there for.  I got my trusty steed Cisco (the love of my life, mind you) and started to get ready.  He didn’t want to stand still to be tacked.  He spit the bit out several times, and was generally a brat.  Got him ready, put on my helmet (usually I don’t ride with one), and the three of us set out for a nice stroll in the fields.

Cisco evidently didn’t understand what the doc told me.  He was jiggy from the start.  If you ride, you know what I mean.  So around the trees we went, trying to calm him down.  I should have taken him to the ring, but friends were waiting so one I went.  Surely he would settle.  As we rounded the field to go up a slight incline, he decided he was done with walking and started a very animated trot.  I tried to pull him back. Felt things were starting to get out of hand and sat really deep in my saddle, and quietly put my hand on the horn.  Next thing I know we are doing a full out gallop up the hill with him doing his best impression of the bucking bronco.  I was on such a loose rein I could not even do a one rein stop.  I remember saying, well this is it, good bye life….took my foot out of the stirrup and went flying out of the saddle.  However, I would have won that silver buckle! My riding buddies said I had great form and stayed in the saddle well past anything they would have expected.

When I came to, I was staring into Cisco’s nose.  He had a look on his face that was asking what the heck was I doing down on the ground.  My friend was talking to me but my ears were ringing.  I think she was telling me to lay still, but up I went.  Wow did the earth start to spin.  I told them I would walk back to camp, but they called someone who came out into the field and drove me back to camp.  I don’t remember much from that night except that my ribs, neck and back hurt like crazy!  Needless to say, I didn’t stay the weekend.  Left early the next morning.  Crying all the way home.  How could he hurt me like that!  Since I couldn’t stop crying, my husband thought I was really hurt and insisted I go to the urgent care to get checked out.  After 20 x-rays, we were assured nothing was broken, just very very bruised.

This incident was a real eye opener for me.  I know I am getting old, but it never really impacted me.  It sure has now.  I have only been on Cisco once since then.  I am afraid of getting hurt.  It I had osteoporosis, I would be a bag of broken bones!  But I can’t give up riding, it is my only outlet.  So what do to do?

imageBUY A SMALLER HORSE!   Meet Robley…he came to our house Sunday and will be my new riding partner.  A full hand shorter with only one speed, he is going to help me gain my confidence and get back to riding without much fuss.  The vet comes today to check him out.  I sure hope he is the age they told me, and not a horse ready for retirement.  More on him next time.