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October 31, 2018: A Letter to Our Friend, Dan LeMay

Our riding buddy Dan (and family) recently packed it up, Beverly Hillbillies style, and moved six horses (two are minis), two dogs, one cat, and their household possessions to northern Arizona. The following is my letter to him.

Dear Dan,
Pete said that he heard from you yesterday. You said that you’d arrived in Arizona and that you were hanging out in shorts and a tee-shirt and grilling brats. I sensed that Pete was envious because he loves brats. Me, I was envious because I love warm weather.

Well, you did it. You ventured down the highway in mid-October and beat the bad

Alys's writer cabin
Alys's writer cabin

weather. And you are now closing on a place that has a 12-horse stable, at least one arena, and a swimming pool. (The Beverly Hillbillies used to call the pool the cement pond.) And I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that you now have access to numerous public trails. Now, apparently, the living will be easy. That is until July when it’s hot enough to cook an egg on the pavement. Then we’ll see who’s envious.

I do understand you left in part because dealing with eight months of winter was too much for you. I won’t deny the fact that this does contribute to Alaska’s being a tough place to live if one’s primary activity is horseback riding.

I have often considered moving, particularly when, like two days ago, I was assisting Pete in shoveling out after getting our first snowfall, 18 inches, or like today, when I was still uncovering poop that was covered during the storm. Yes, sometimes it just seems like too much to deal with. It’s then that I fantasize about living someplace warmer and having access to ATV free trails.

But then there are days, like today, when I would not trade being here for anything in the world. The sun was shining brightly, the sky was a cloudless brilliant blue, and the snow on the branches was illuminated by the low lying sun. It was, indeed, a winter wonderland.

I first took Raudi for a ride and ponied Tinni. Ryder came with and broke trail for us, bounding along quite happily. The horses moved along at a steady pace. I first thought that I’d make this a short ride, and just do Siggi’s trail. But it was so nice out that I opted to do Peach’s Loop. Then, Raudi suggested that we do the Tincan Trail, to which I agreed. It was a magical ride, so much so that after, I did Siggi’s Trail on Tyra who was wearing her new saddle. Like the other two, she let it be known that she was having a good time by repeatedly snorting.

I came home and did agility work with Tyra and Hrimmi. I was treated to a most amazing sunset – the sky was so clear that I could clearly discern the distant peaks in the Chugach Range. By 6:30 p.m. they were pink, as was the sky.

So yeah, you are obviously enjoying your change of venue. But most definitely, you have left a very special place behind.

Next: 305. 11/1/18: Taking Care of Ourselves

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