I kept the group message short because some amongst us (no names included) have short attention spans. “All,” I said, “we are a nation under dog, gathered together in a near-serendipitous fashion, with the combined purpose of continuing to create a harmonious existence. And our lifestyle, let it be a model for others who are attempting to do the same, all four and two-footed creatures included.” I apologized, of course, for the fact that climate change has resulted in bad weather locally, increased precipitation in the spring, summer, and fall, and increased wind in the winter, but I added that we need to continue to do as we have been doing, and live in a resource-related mindful fashion.
To Ryder, The Dog, I said that food, exercise, and water were in abundance this past year, and that I expect the same this year. Regular exercise will continue to be a constant. We will continue to work on sticking close when cars, snowmobiles, and ATVs cross our paths. And we will continue to practice on keeping all four feet on the ground when we have visitors.
To Rumba and Flag, chickens extraordinaire, I said that that food, exercise, and water were in abundance this past year, and that I expect the same this year. Pen cleaning will take place on a regular basis, as will excursions into the yard. More eggs would be a plus as we came up a little short these past few months. I am also considering increasing the flock size by one.
To Stormy and Ranger, Greatest of All Times, I said that food, exercise, and water, were in abundance this past year, and that I expect the same this year. Addressing Stormy directly, I said that milk production was okay though we could do with another month’s worth. I added that I hoped that she is pregnant and that she gives birth to three very healthy does. Plans are to keep at least one, who will be named Stormy’s Gale. And addressing Ranger directly, I thanked him for being such a sociable guy at the Alaska State Fair – no easy feat considering that he had so many to converse with during the two-week meet and greet.
To the horses, I said that food, exercise, and water, were in abundance this past year, and that I expect the same this year. Weather conditions notwithstanding, we’d continue to check out area trails and maybe get in a few local trips. Fixing the fencing (as it always has been) would remain a priority.
Addressing Tinni directly, I said that he had a great year, and this one would be even better. I noted that more Adequan (a joint supplement) is one the way, and that the motto “never a day without a slurpee” would continue to be a constant.
Addressing Hrimmi directly, I noted that she’d made great strides (no pun intended) in her training and that this had been a great year in that she and Pete had begun working as a team. Furthermore, the adage “Little horses do what big horses do,” no longer held sway because “Hrimmi you are now the largest animal on the property.”
Addressing Tyra directly, I commended her for having continued in her quest to find spiritual enlightenment, as difficult as this might be, given that she lives with three other non-believers. I also applauded her decision, which was to put her limited spare time into studying the Norse sagas. I also commended her for having come up with a name that she felt best fit her character and outdoor interests. Tyra the Toolie Buster it is, and Tyra the Toolie Buster it will remain.
Lastly I turned to Raudi, who was waiting patiently for me to speak to her. “Raudi,” I said, “you continue to remain the apple of my eye.” We had yet another great year together, and this one will be even better. You now share with Tinni the honor of being the Number One Riding horse, and so together this year we are going to have a wonderful time as we continue to put Intrinzen, TTeam, and Centered Riding Training to practice.
I concluded my group and individual speeches and then headed back up to the cabin, leaving all to give some thought to what I had said, well knowing that I had thrown open the doors for what in the days, months, year ahead, will be insightful dialogic exchanges. And this, I concluded, is what a State of the Anyplace address should accomplish.
Next: 32. 2/1/18: A Conversation with Tinni and Ryder