Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Changes in Priorities
When you have outside work that really needs to be addressed, you take advantage of good weather. Sometimes that means giving things up. This past weekend, that meant giving up my riding in the neighborhood schooling show.
Our house is the last house on a road of four homes and we are about two miles from the main road. With the exception of our drive, the road is gravel. But recently it seems to consist of more pot holes then road and I swear some of them have become 4+' deep.
It's been a stand-off as to who would make the move to fix the holes. My husband and I have been the only ones to come forward in the past to purchase the gravel and patch them. We figured since we drove the furthest, being the last house on the road, that we should 'contribute'. But we were really hoping and communicating (in a nice manner) that someone else would step up this time and take the lead.
No luck. Once again, we made the purchase and set forth the action to address the issue, considering it another investment in being a good neighbor and exhibiting goodwill towards others.
My husband looks at gravel the way I look at tons of sweet smelling orchard grass in the barn as winter sets in. It's that 'good feeling' that the larder is stocked. Gravel means the road will be in good shape, and if we're lucky we'll have some left over for our own place. I guess just like hay, one can't have too much.
It also means my husband gets to use his tractor. And that always makes him happy. So once the 24 yards of 5/8 minus gravel was dumped, I thought for a moment that he was going to jump into the pile for a swim - he was that pleased. Thankfully, he just walked away, whistling some silly song, in search of his tractor key so he could to start 'spreading the wealth'.
Sure, I could have hauled myself to the show, but my husband and I have always worked together as a team. That is part of what makes us love each other so much. As he came and went with buckets of gravel, I went into my mode of support team. One of the neighbors down the road came out to help patch the holes. So since the guys had it covered, I felt a need to be engaged in something, but what?
Initially, I got out the riding lawn mower and mowed the lawn. I could hear that little voice saying, "I am helping!" What next? Pull weeds? (Nah!). Horses? (Yes!).
I put my efforts into Gus and Sunny, our Belgians here at home. These big hairy horses are shedding terribly. Plus they've spent time in the mud. Looking more brown then gold, they were more mud then horse. They needed my attention.
I pulled Gus, our younger Belgian out first to give him a "Beauty Treatment". What a mess! His mane is long and he is truly the biggest horse I've ever encountered. It took a long time to clean him up. I then followed up with working on some of the ground work I do with Champ - stopping, backing, etc. Gus is young and it's good to remind him of these cues. I was just as pleased with his responses as he was with being tended to.
It was about thirty minutes into my cleaning Gus that I looked over to see how Sunny (see prior post "Sometimes It's Right Underneath Your Nose") was doing. I stopped in mid groom to see Sunny standing at the gate, his head lowered, nose to the dirt, looking totally dejected, sad as could be.
My husband, on his 300th run to get a bucket load of gravel noticed the same. Sunny's nose was wayyy out of shape that he wasn't getting any attention. If he wouldn't have looked so dejected, it would have been funny.
When Sunny's turn came, his whole attitude changed. It was like I'd injected LIFE into him. Nobody can tell me that these huge animals don't have feelings! He literally purred like a cat as I cleaned him up.
When I finished, arms aching and the ground looking like it has snowed golden muddy horse hair, I fed the Belgians their evening meal and left them for the night. They appeared to be as pleased with themselves as I was in cleaning them up. I headed into the house to clean myself up, covered in golden/muddy horse hair and start our dinner. The tractor came and went with buckets of gravel until well after dark.
There is a good feeling about doing something good for others, whether it's patching the potholes on your road, sprucing up your horses or supporting your husband with dinner on the table when he finally gets off of his beloved tractor. There are other shows down the road, indeed many in the next few weeks, but days like this don't come around often so it's good to grab them when they do. In the meantime, we have left over gravel that will come in handy around our place!