Horses

family, friends, humor

We rode horses!

I want horses!

Someone get me horses?

(And that nice horsey lifestyle too, k?)

IMG_2517 2

(Wait. By “horsey lifestyle” I mean the lifestyle of rich people who own horses and board them and know how to post without looking like a sock in a tumble dryer, I do not mean the life of a horse, which seems difficult and largely unrewarding.)

IMG_2507 2

“Hi. I wish that Alex had taken a photo of me where my nose wasn’t over-exposed. Also, I wish that the lightbulbs above my head didn’t look like GIANT FLY EYES. Also, I wish people wouldn’t climb on my back and ride me around like I’m some kind of carnival attraction. Also, I wish I was a cat.”

Waaaaaaaay back in August, as Trevor prepared to leave and embark on a new life as a Portlandian and married man, Sister, Brother T and I went horseback riding. We have all been on horses before, but we thought it would be nice to get some actual instruction. I don’t have a lot to say about it (I know, right?) but I thought it would be nice to commemorate our riding lesson with a blog post. Also: SUMMER. I miss those days. Where did they go? They were just here. Now it is like…autumn…and I’m not okay with that.

THE PASSAGE OF TIME. SOBBING EMOJI FACE.

(That seems to come up a lot.)

IMG_2518 2

In the video below, you will see Trevor practically galloping through the paddock. He learned how to jump, and you will see the horse successfully complete the course as Trevor flies over the obstacles. I did not get that far in my lesson. Go Trevor!

Okay, so by now you know that I lied about the video.

IMG_2515 2

Do I know what I’m doing? No. But do I look like I know what I’m doing? Kinda.

In addition to the useful lessons we learned about riding horses, we also learned some other lessons:

  • This particular rescue dog pictured in the small picture is kinda mean and tried to bite meIMG_2516 2
  • Horses attract a lot of flies
  • There are then a lot of flies around your head
  • If you are a woman in your mid-seventies and you own some horses and you are driving by to drop them off at this particular horse barn and then you stick around to chat with whoever is there, you should have a bra on. That’s all. It’s not that hard. Just put a bra on. Just do it. Put a bra on.
  • It is hard to find a helmet big enough to fit on any of our heads. THANKS GENETICS.
IMG_2508 2

Look at that stud. (Heh heh.)

IMG_2512 2IMG_2511 2IMG_2510 2

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2505 2

Please help. The giant fly is going to get me. Don’t leave. Wait. Don’t go.

A Moving Sale

family, small town life

A couple months ago, Sister and I stopped at a moving sale and peeked through the belongings of an elderly man who was moving from his long-owned house. There’s something melancholy about seeing a collection of Christmas decorations that took about fifty years to accumulate and now they are up for $10 each.

Something melancholy about seeing a collection of well-used garden tools that the owner can’t use anymore, leaning against the side of the garage, waiting for someone younger to make an offer.

Something melancholy about the vibrant rhododendron, obviously cultivated and loved for many, many years, and he can’t take that with him when he goes. He leaves behind that piece of himself.

IMG_0858

But there’s also something so nice about running into someone who knew your grandmother. In all the moving I’ve done and all the places I’ve lived, there is only one place where that is possible and it is so good for my heart to have those moments where I am reminded of my roots, of where I came from. I don’t know what the future will bring or where I’ll end up, but I am happiest here right now, surrounded by my people and my places and knowing that generations came before me and that gives me a sense of belonging I haven’t experienced anywhere else.

IMG_0860

And that’s enough of being sappy…I will also say we picked up two nice vases for $2.

 

Swimming Hole!

family, friends, friendship, personal essay, small town life

I bring you a quick trip to a local swimming hole.

IMG_2150 2

Brother T and his then-fiancé–but NOW HIS WIFE– (we need a name…Sister K? Katey? KT? WEIGH IN, PEOPLE!)–Sister and I drove to the town hall, walked down a tunnel of illuminated greenness, climbed down a slope and ended up at a perfect swimming hole under the old railroad trestle.

IMG_2165 2 IMG_2175 2Despite my best efforts to convince people that if we just believe hard enough summer doesn’t have to end, I will here and now admit that some of the leaves are starting to shift from green to yellow, orange, and red. They are so magnificent here in this part of the world. I’m planning to take the camera out and document the changes, and maybe try my hand at painting some of those colors. There is something about the red-orange leaves against the bluest autumn sky that makes any painting seem insignificant.

IMG_2161 2

Anyway, summer is shifting to fall, whether I like it or not. And, actually, if summer would shift to the loveliest of autumn days, and then slowly fade to a holiday- and cheer-filled winter and then QUICKLY MOVE INTO SPRING AFTER ABOUT SEVEN DAYS OF PICTURESQUE SNOWFALL, I would be okay with all of that. It’s the knowledge that winter is long and cold and often dark and often dreary that makes me want to hold on to these long summer days as hard as I can. It’s not easy for me to just sit back and enjoy the change and enjoy the transition. THE PASSAGE OF TIME IS JUST NOT EASY FOR ME, PEOPLE!

IMG_2160 2IMG_2167 2

 

Well, that’s why I’m posting photos from this past summer, since I’ve been lax at updating on time. That’s okay though…it was better to just enjoy the moments and take pictures for later!

 

IMG_2181 2

CULTURE SHOCK

culture shock, family, friends, personal essay, photography, small town life

Good morning! A short post to start the day, and then maybe like eight more posts because the internet has decided to upload pictures? We’ll see.

I thought I’d show you a few of the things that have inspired culture shock in the last two weeks since I’ve returned to America. There are always things…not the ones I expect…that throw me for a loop. Sister and I often discuss how we are back in our own country, but having spent so many years overseas, we don’t quite fit in. There are…apparently…many things that we should just know, but we don’t! Such is the life of a third-culture-kid.

America is BIG. The big-ness of it hits me in different ways. When it comes to driving somewhere, you have to drive FAR, and that doesn’t faze anyone. Any place within an hour’s drive in any direction is considered do-able and local. The hills and the meadows stretch on and on and on. This is the big-ness which I love. I like that it makes me feel like a small part of a huge thing, and I like that the roads are overgrown with wildflowers and more trees than I’ve ever seen anywhere else. I like that our history is so upfront and personal, that America is still fairly wild, that there are far, far more birds that fly past my window than cars.

IMG_0841

This is a giant bear claw mark on my Aunt’s house, about a mile from our house. Bears are making a come back around here!

And then there is the big-ness that I don’t like.

Our area has a population of 5,402 spread out over a lot of land. Two miles up the road from us is the grocery store, which used to be a small-ish, manageable, slightly run-down place. Then they replaced it. With a fortress. It is the size of a small airport. For all I know, it is ALSO a small airport. It is open 24/7. There is just no reason that anyone around here needs to run to the local store at 3 AM and I have personally only been able to bring myself to go inside it a couple of times because it is just SO OVERWHELMING.

There is a big-ness in the book stores, the grocery stores, the construction stores, the clothing stores, the stuff stores, the more stores, the even-more stores that I can’t tolerate. Things are cheap. If you want cheap, there is cheap. Walmart is KING of the cheap, but this is what happened to me when I made the mistake of venturing into Walmart.

IMG_1131

Sister found me here, on the verge of a panic attack, hiding behind the cooler.

There are so many options. The options sprawl out in front of me and I–who am not good at making decisions–find myself paralyzed.

Here is how you buy a loofah in Europe: You go to the store and if they have a loofah, you buy it. If they don’t have a loofah, that is to be expected, and you will be fine.

Here is how you buy a loofah here in a small town in the middle of nowhere:

IMG_0503

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Yes, the following options are available:

  • textured
  • net
  • scrubbie dubbie
  • delicate
  • exfoliating
  • charcoal-infused
  • and men’s, which are not different from the other ones.
  • on a stick
  • on a different kind of stick
  • on a stick that is ergonomic
  • on a wooden stick with a sponge
  • on a wooden stick with a different kind of sponge

And Target. Oh my goodness, let’s not go THERE ever again. Behold what Target hath wrought:

IMG_0380

Poor Sister. All we wanted were chips!

And then there is tipping. Let’s save that one for another day. But America, just pay people a living wage! It would make everything so much easier!

 

The other day we met Aunt K thirty minutes away for dinner and WONDER WOMAN. (I loved Wonder Woman!) We went to a place called the Recovery Room, which made the following bold assertion:

IMG_0875

It says: EVERY GAME EVERY DAY.

While you’re eating.

Here is what that looks like, and pretend you’re not good with sensory overload:

IMG_0881     IMG_0882

 

 

 

 

 

SCREENS EVERYWHERE. This was just from my seat at the restaurant. Some of the TVs had four different screens within the screen. Every sport imaginable! Lots of people talking at me! SO MANY DIFFERENT SCORES.

The menu did not have any vegetable untouched by cheese or meat, haha, and because of the decision-paralysis discussed above, this is how my ordering went down:

Waitress (SUPER PEPPY): Have you decided what you’ll be getting tonight?

Me (paralyzed from the menu, points to childhood favorite): The chicken strips?

Waitress: GREAT CHOICE. Okay, will you be having that with a special shake spice blend?

Me: …what?

Waitress: Will you be having that with a special shake spice blend? We could do ranch, or adobo, or habanero, or–

Me: No.

Waitress: And what dip will you be having?

Me: …I…thought it came with the honey mustard?

Waitress (positively chipper): IT SURE DOES, but you can get another dip, too! Ranch? BBQ? Sweet and sour? Or maybe–

Me: –HONEY MUSTARD IS FINE THANKS

Waitress: SURE THING. Okay, and would you like regular fries, onion rings, sweet potato fri–

Me: –JUST THE NORMAL THING. JUST THE THING THAT EVERYONE GETS. THE REGULAR ONE.

Waitress: SOUNDS GREAT. Okay, and to drink?

Me (going crazy): Iced tea.

Waitress: Regular, lemon, raspberry, sweetened or unsweetened?

Me (puts my head down and begins to sob uncontrollably).

IMG_0884

I think four chickens had to die for my meal.

In no particular order, a few other culture shock moments:

IMG_0769

The deer ate ALL THE FLOWERS. Ughhhh.

IMG_0379

There are yard sales everywhere.

IMG_0369

Finding the car battery and figuring it out made possible thanks to Uncle M.

I can hear Brother T and Sister in the other room cackling over Parks and Rec, I am drinking coffee with half-and-half, and later I plan to go and buy the best burrito I’ve ever had in my life. There are beautiful things here. It’s just better for everyone if I don’t go into a box store ever again.

IMG_0475

We are coming for you, Taste Box.