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January 3, 2019: Having Fun Yet?

The first photo accompanying this dispatch is of Frank Sihler and his older Icelandic mare, Geoff. The second photo accompanying this dispatch is of our older Icelandic gelding, Tinni. They are both close to the same age. Many years ago they attended the same competitions and clinics.

In November Frank and Claudia, acquaintances of ours, headed down to Arizona for the winter. They wanted to spend the winter in a warmer climate and to be able to trail ride until spring. And this is what they’ve been doing. I’ve heard said that they have thus far had a good time on the trails.

The photographic comparison is quite striking. You have Geoff, who has a partial trim, called a trace cut, and Tinni, who is wearing a blanket and has snow and icicles on his nose. No, I have not been riding Tinni as much as Frank’s been riding Geoff. Rather, I’ve been taking him on daily walks around the hood and sometimes ponying him while riding Raudi. We enjoy our altogether too brief outings. Frank is having fun. I am having fun.

Would I rather be there than here? The answer is no. My sister sent me an email after I told her I went cross-country skiing yesterday. She added that it’s good we are having fun. This statement got me to thinking. She and others equate fun with recreating – skiing, bicycling, hiking, snowshoeing being the primary recreational activities around here in the winter. And these activities ARE fun.

But my definition of fun is lifestyle related. Most things I do around here are fun. Today, for example, I enjoyed all the tasks that needed doing – some of the outdoor

Frank and Giff

Frosty Tinni

tasks being taking a photo of the moose that wandered across our property midmorning, tending to the horses, cleaning the chicken roost, shoveling the porch steps, making a healthy lunch, doing agility with Tyra and taking Tinni for a walk. The sun was out, low in the sky, the shadows long – it was breathtaking.

Later in the afternoon, Pete and I went to strength training – this was fun because our trainer, Ben, was in an expansive mood. He’s a good communicator, and I enjoyed listening to him talk about athletic training. I also started a new program – one that’s both reflective of the fact that I’m gaining strength and becoming more agile, and not so challenging that I might either hurt myself or get discouraged. Ben knows what he’s doing.

Then after, Pete and I went to eat at the local Mexican restaurant before going Contra dancing. Was this fun? No and Yes. No in that this form of dance (which is much like square dancing) is dependent upon being coordinated and synchronized. Mess up a move and you throw all the other dancers off. I at first detected some irritation on the part of the better dancers, but I didn’t let this bother me. And yes in that I enjoyed it when I did catch on. I’ll probably go again because I tend to be a bit too solitary. Plus this is a movement-related activity.

So yes, I’d say it’s a safe bet that I’m having as much fun as my friends who are snowbirding down in the Lower 48. Maybe, though, I should spend next winter in Arizona and see how it compares to an Alaska winter. Har har.

Next: 4. 1/4/19: The Writing Life: Ownership

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