Sunday, June 04, 2017

From Barnyard to Birthday Party

I haven't used this saddle for a few years because it's heavy, and I bought a lighter model to throw up on Lily's back.  Since Terra was using that saddle, this one needed a spruce-up after collecting a few years' worth of dust.

It's heavy but also a good solid roping saddle.  Plus, it's got some history as it was once owned by a former county commissioner and Priest River rancher, Harold Anselmo.

Actually I was surprised yesterday that when I flung it toward Lily's back:  a perfect landing. 

At the birthday party, people seemed skeptical that I really had a diabetic cat in need of a shot.  

We'll get to that later.  Twas a day filled with activity, all fun and very satisfying.  Today could be more of the same if the rain stops.

In a couple of hours, Terra, pictured above, will come over, and we'll load up Lefty to go to the Gold n' Grouse 4-H meeting over at Brian Wood's home.  

We'll load up feeling good about the horse trailer too because Bill took it to Les Schwab yesterday to make sure its tires are safe and to get the wheel bearings packed.  Turns out those tires are just fine, which is amazing because they've been on the trailer longer than we've owned it---11 years. 

But the experts say they're fine for the limited use the trailer gets during the year. 

In readiment for today's 4-H meeting, Terra came over yesterday to continue getting acquainted with Lefty and to expand her riding horizons a bit.  During yesterday's afternoon session, she graduated from round pen to barnyard, to open-space riding, to even climbing aboard Lily for a short ride.

Bugs were driving both horses a bit crazy, even after a good spray, but, overall, it was a good day for all concerned.  For a while, Terra and I rode around the place.  Each session she's had with Lefty has shown steady improvement and continued understanding of what to do when things are not going right. 

I was really proud to see her, after a bit of a rocky start in the barnyard (Lefty pulled a few tricks on her, stopping to drink at the trough and heading toward his stall in the barn), but she managed to keep the upper hand and eventually Lefty was going where Terra wanted him to go. 

It all takes time, and I'm sure there will come a time when she looks back and sees that she and that little horse have covered a lot of territory together. 

Today will be a new adventure as Terra works with Lefty in a crowd of unfamiliar horses, many with beginning riders.  So, fingers crossed that all goes well. 

The minute Terra left yesterday, I headed for the bathtub as part of a transformation from barnyard ensemble to birthday party apparel. 

Patti Howell was celebrating her 75th birthday yesterday, and I had received an invitation from her daughter Larisa earlier in the week. 

It would be safe to say that Patti has served as a surrogate mom to lots of kids at formative periods in their lives---my two included. 

Patti's babysitting service on Boyer near Washington School served as a training ground for hundreds of Sandpoint's youngsters from their infancy through their elementary school years.  I believe Willie was about 8 months old when he first went to Patti's. 

The regimen at Patti's included supervision from a host of loving adults along with kids teaching kids about manners, fair play and just plain basics of how to behave in the midst of all ages. 

I always felt guilty not being the mother my mother had been to us, but times had changed and it was the era when many moms were working rather than staying home with their children. 

In retrospect, however, as I see how my kids and their friends who attended Patti's turned out, that guilt has substantially subsided.  From what I can see all those kids and Patti's own are pretty productive, well-adjusted, model citizens.  

So, the "village" aspect of parenting worked well.  In my case, my sisters also contributed to the mix for Willie and Annie's formative years. 

Anyway, I owe a lot to that babysitting service and I have always enjoyed Patti and her family.  

So, yesterday's birthday party turned out to be a wonderful opportunity to visit with Patti, her family and a host of other familiar faces who have called Sandpoint home for longer than I can remember. 

The only problem was the timing.  It was an open house running from 5-8 p.m.  Smack dab in the middle was a need to get home to give Festus his 6 p.m. shot of insulin.  

Well, I was having so much fun I really didn't want to leave but eventually got out the door to give that shot almost an hour late.  

I think Festus will survive the tardiness, just as will some wonderful memories of great conversations with great people. 

So, Alice Nelson and Bobbie Brown Huguenin, my cat did really need his shot, but I'm sure glad we had some time to visit. 

Loved the party, and loved the day, a very fulfilling Saturday from start to finish.  Happy Birthday, Patti!

And, Happy Sunday to all. 

Patti's granddaughter Sasha Behrens helps prepare the goodies. 

I had to take this picture because of the "Alice Bookends" with the birthday girl in the middle.   Alice Woolsey Coldsnow, Patti Howell and Alice Nelson (former county treasurer). 

Mark Perry, former student and educator/coach extraordinaire in Snohomish, Washington.  Mark and I probably could have talked the entire evening.  Turns out we have something in common:  our kids followed our footsteps into the teaching profession.

Two of Mark's (wife Tammy Howell)  three boys have chosen to teach high school math.  His youngest son Luke, pictured below, just graduated from Pacific Lutheran University.  Luke named his favorite high school teacher:  his dad because things got done in Dad's class. 

Sasha Behrens and mom Tonya Howell Behrens.  I've really enjoyed getting to know Sasha and reconnecting with Tonya. 

Larisa Howell Alexander and her lovely daughter, Kealey, also a horse lover.  

I enjoyed a visit with Bobbie Huguenin, another "Brown girl." 

Esther Pennington Haynes Inselman and Alice Woolsey Coldsnow. 

Birthday girl Patti. 

Chet Howell greets Bobbie Huguenin. 

No comments: