Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2018 >Daily Dispatch #65

March 6, 2018: Which End is Up?

I seem to do far better at tending to animals than I do to non-motorized vehicles, with Hestar, the fifth wheel, being the lone exception. This morning is a good example. I got up at 6:45 a.m. so as to get the college in time for class. Am relieved that the sun was up by the time I stepped foot outside. I can no longer drive in the dark. I ate breakfast and fed the dog, who went outside then came back inside, and went back upstairs to bed. She is not an early riser.

I stepped outside and with Tinni’s slurpee bucket in hand, greeted the day, first saying good morning to the chickens and the goats, then heading down trail and saying the same to the ponies, who were

all clustered at the gate. All the animals here think that I am the maître de – they have about as much feeling for me as we humans would for a waiter or waitress in a fancy restaurant. I’m okay with this -- the fact that they are incapable of love means that they are also incapable of hate.

The biggest fear that any of them have is that I might forget to feed them. I fed them all and made sure they all got their supplement rations. And as always, I kept an eye on the horses and made sure that no one had shoved anyone else aside. I then told the horses that I’d be back in the late afternoon.

I then strode over to my car, which was parked in the driveway, near the gate. On Sunday, I was unable to get it up the driveway rise and into the upper driveway. Too much snow being four-or-so inches. Pete had managed to drive up the rise, re-parked it, and turned it around thus insuring that I would not, in attempting to turn it around, go into a snow berm.

Alas, the first thing I noticed as I approached the car was that the windshields were coated with a thick layer of frost. I’d wrongly assumed that Pete would also take care of this. Now I know from past experience that I have to turn on the engine, fan, defroster, and heater – this then thaws out the front window. Far better to do this than to hack at the ice with the blue plastic Mat-Su College defroster thingy that is usually buried under canvas bags and whatnot. Thingies and whatnot – if we lived in a warm climate we’d have no need for such items.

Okay. I next looked at the gas tank indicator and then cursed, for this indicated that the tank was nearly empty. How could this be? Must be (I thought) that sometime in the night, one my neighbors came and siphoned off just enough to get their own car engine going. It’s an instance of what goes around, comes around, then goes around again.

I went up to the cabin, grabbed a gas tank (three-quarters of the way full) dragged it downhill, and filled the tank. I then left the tank in a snowdrift because by now I was late. I got in the car, started the engine, put it in gear, and rolled down the driveway. I could see the horses in the rearview mirror – they’d all come to paddock fence because they wanted me to know that I did not give them enough hay. I rightly figured that Pete would give them more, later on.

It might appear in reading the above that I’m incompetent. I don’t think this is the right word. I just have the wrong priorities. I need to get my vehicular act together. Easier done than said.

Next: 66. 3/7/18: The Writing Life: Procrastination

Horse Care Home About Us Dispatches Trips Alys's Articles