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September 23, 2017: At the End of a Long Hard Day

At the end of a long hard day there is yet another day to come. And the distance between the one and the other becomes immeasurably shorter if the end of the long hard day is late in the evening.

I can’t even imagine it, living a life in which the day sort of ends at 5:30 p.m. That is, those who live such lives come inside, eat dinner, relax, watch television or Netflix, and then go to bed. We just keep going with whatever needs doing – there is always something.

Today was a day of heavy socialization. Went to Katie Long’s internment ceremony. She died a year ago. I cleaned horse pens at her and her husband Bill’s Moose Creek Ranch. I also boarded Raudi there for a few months. Katie was, when I met her, in the very early stages of dementia – she went down very slowly.

Last year I went to her memorial service which was well attended. The internment just consisted of family members. I arrived late. Actually I was not late but the internment started early. I drove in on the wrong side of the loop – my beater car was facing the other, newer trucks. I strode across the lawn and joined the Long family who encircled the internment site – Katie’s ashes were next to the square hole, in a wooden box that Bill Schmidtkunz made. He also made a cross for the site – it will soon be replaced with a marker.

I could, from where I was standing, see the distant mountains, and above them clouds that were in shades of gray and white. A priest dressed in white read from the old testament – the standard lines priests read. I thought, huh, you have an easy job today.

There were a lot of tears – people were grieving. I could not help but think the wrong thing which was that had the internment been a year ago, then those present would have put today behind them at that time. Seemed to me that this might have been a healthy thing to do.

I had never before been to a human burial service. This one really had a sense of finality about it – as in, this is it, say your goodbyes – off she goes. After the priest finished reading, I put a horse shoe and some horse treats in the hole. I was surprised no one else had anything to share although we each took a flower from a bundle Bill had on hand and also tossed them in the hole.

We then each shoveled dirt into the hole. Admittedly, I did feel like I was a part of this family – something that I didn’t expect. And this feeling intensified when, after, we stood around and talked. I figured that everyone would leave quickly, but instead everyone lingered. I was the first to leave – someone had to make a break for it.

I do not mean to sound in the above so detached and irreverent. But this is how I felt. The feeling did dissipate some – a good thing, I think.

Next: 264. 9/24/17: The Horse Life: Rethinking How I do Things

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