Why did that Oprah have to take us to Australia this past week anyway?
I did not watch every episode of her trip Down Under, which included hundreds of her ultimate fans, but I did watch enough to wish I could magically shut my eyes and open them a second later, leaning on some remote Australian ranch fence, admiring horses.
So far, I have to do that in my dreams. Annie's been to Australia. She and one of my former students and good friends, Kelsi, visited there at the same time on separate trips. They hooked up with each other on the steps of the Sydney Opera House, and they've been good friends ever since.
I've written about Australians for the Appaloosa Journal, and that story, published more than a decade ago, about a mounted Search and Rescue team in South Australia's wine country, will bring me even closer to the culture I've longed to experience most of my adult life.
One of my main sources for the story, a lady named Polly, has kept in touch with me off and on, indicating her fervant desire to make it to America. She tried a few years ago but had to put off the trip because of an injury.
Since then, she's received a nursing degree, and, as a reward, she's treating herself to a visit to the Calgary Stampede and then on to Sandpoint.
She's traveling with a friend and her daughter, so we'll be their hosts once they cross the border into the United States.
Polly's trying to work a deal to bring along some of the home-produced wine, so that should be fun. Plus, for me to have Aussie's here for three days this July with a common love of horses is going to be treat enough.
So, my long-nurtured dream will come to at least a partial fruition.
This is the time of the year when my mind wanders more than usual, yearning to be in far-off places---namely wherever the sun shines, the ground is bare and there's a sense of living, growing, colorful plant life to behold.
I read on Facebook this morning that some folks from "Wp Ranch" are at a dude-ranch convention in Arizona, learning how to get "more butts in the saddles and heads in the beds."
The author of that post told of riding in the desert and taking in some team penning at the White Stallion Ranch.
I read stuff like that, and my mind goes wild with a desire to close my eyes and just be there.
Yesterday, I read on Facebook about a former Selle-ite visiting Savannah, Georgia. I instantly saw some green within this snow-white environment, only my green was envy.
Savannah has also been on my priority list of places to see some day, and even the slightest mention of someone else visiting there---in January---sent my mind into a tailspin.
Julie said she's going back and that she still hasn't met anyone who doesn't rave about the place.
Recently, I was given an assignment to write a feature story about the "Sisters on the Fly." One minute into research---all of two sentences describing the concept, and I wrote back to the editor, stating, "I want to do this."
Of course, I wanted to the story, but being one of those sisters would be nice too.
Basically, these gals travel in caravans---pulling their renovated vintage travel trailers---dine around campfires, spend time fly fishing or trail riding, shop and develop a camaraderie like no other.
Who wouldn't love that?
After I'd read a few pages from the Sisters' recently published book and knowing Bill had peeked at a few himself, I suggested to him that we needed to start a movement of our own, just like those sisters.
It could be a branch-off from their concept----we could call it the Love's New Old Motorhome Geocaching, Et. Al. Traveling Squad.
After all, we've got the major necessity, a new old motorhome. We just have to come up with a way to decorate it in keeping with its vintage roots, with the exception of one modern commodity: a Tom Tom GPS which tells the driver where to go and to "recalculate" if necessary.
I gave one of those units to Bill for Christmas, and he seems to like it. I understand that the Tom Tom with all its bells and whistles, could even tell folks where to go--- in an Australian voice. That aspect could add even more reality to my far-fetched longing of being Down Under.
And so, my wandering dreams continue, and images of traveling to faraway places keep me going on these January days when spring and flowers and new life seem so far away.
And, I hope everyone I know who's someplace else is having a good time---honestly, I do!