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December 27, 2014: Happy Trails to You Dear Neighbor and Friend

Some days I can’t help but be happy for what I have. I thought this today, as we were out on the trail – I always wanted Icelandic horses. I own three. And I always wanted a border collie. I own one. And then there are all the other animals here, who really do give one the sense that this is a peaceable kingdom.

Today was one of those days that you don’t want to forget – like a good dream. Pete, after months of dealing with this project, got the snow blower working. I admittedly, am short on details because I only half listened to the ongoing saga. I’m not at all mechanically minded, and so I don’t give such things my full and undivided attention.

What follows is what I know. Gearheads, this will have to suffice. Pete first learned that there was a snow blower for sale last September, when we were at the state fair. Pete talks to everyone there; this is how he found out about it. After, he came up to me and said that this piece of machinery would be a good deal. So we agreed to buy it. Acquiring this tractor attachment turned out to be a very complicated matter, indeed. It first involved Pete’s borrowing a trailer from our friend Andre, and then loading the trailer onto it, and then driving it all the way out to KGB road, which is a long ways from here. It turned out that the PTO went into the wrong direction, so Pete brought the trailer and tractor home, minus the snow blower. And he of course returned the trailer to its owner.

Pete next had to order a different part. It took weeks for it to get here. Once he got this part, Pete again got the trailer, loaded up the tractor, and drove out to KGB road. This was the day before Christmas. On Christmas we got our first major snowfall. Then the day after Christmas we got our second major snowfall. Today dawned bright, sunny, and somewhat cold, as Pete thought, a good day to test out a new snow blower.

I was working, Jenna and Ryder went to the window and began barking. I went to the window to see what was up, and saw Pete on the orange tractor, coming up the path to the cabin. A plume of white snow was coming out of the side of the yellow snow blower. I went and got the camera, and ran out the house. I was wearing my talking slippers. I took several photos and cheered Pete on. He did look supremely happy.

In a bit I went outside and began scooping with the large hand shovel. I didn’t have much to do for Pete had already taken care of the minor and major pathways. My not having to spend hours doing this provided me with time to do what I needed to do, which was to scoop/shovel out the areas in front of the horse pen. (I hate clomping around in the snow and I equally hate having to search for errant manure balls.)

After lunch, this self-congratulatory couple went for a horseback ride. Of course, the ‘bilers were also out. I was really glad that we made our own trail system. They’re twisty and windy so the snowmobilers stay off them. We could hear and smell the ‘bilers. We saw two on a nearby trail—they didn’t see us. The horses were attentive but not reactive. Positive me thought, this is good because they’re being exposed to yet another thing. We got lucky – as soon as we completed our ride, we heard them coming in the direction of the trailhead.

It was a beautiful day, which was marred by just one thing. Just a few minutes ago we got word that our neighbor Gary committed suicide a few days ago. He walked into the nearby woods and shot himself. Pete and I speculated that there were family issues going on. At the same time, he was at loose ends with his life. He was also bored a lot of the time. The question that came to my mind in thinking about Gary’s life was, how could he be bore living here? This is hard for me to imagine, for I’ve not, in the ten years we’ve lived here, ever once been bored. Maybe this life is the end of the trail. And our existence is either heaven or hell, depending on what you make of it. This is one of those times when I don’t know what else to say.

Next: 347. 12/28/14: Book Overview: Zen and Horseback Riding, by Tom Nagel