Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Rural Living, Wine Sipping, and Loose Horses

Marion Higgins recently blogged about the joys of sipping wine on her sunporch. She made it sound so good, I figured, What the heck, I’ll give it a try.

Talk about timing—while I was reading Marion’s blog, John handed me a small glass of wine and asked if I liked it. I took a sip and decided I did.

“Where’s the rest?” I asked.

“Refrigerator,” he said before he went into his room to get on his multitude of ham radios to talk about nothing in particular to guys he doesn’t know.

Marion had blogged about how she and her husband used their time to sit on their sunporch and talk while they sip wine and watch their dogs play in the woods.

I figured my wine-sipping on the deck might go better without John (unless I wanted to get on a radio to talk to him), and I couldn’t actually watch the dogs unless I walked out to the kennel. I was within hearing distance of them, though, so I was careful not to say anything, lest I start them howling. (I know from listening to Peggy read part of her WIP at Valley Writers the other night that dogs howling after dark is a sign of impending death. With only two of us on the property, I had a 50-50 chance it would be me.)

Anyhow, I topped off my glass of wine and plopped myself on the lawn chair. The two elderly outside cats, Foxy and Camilla, plopped themselves on top of me. The three of us sat there in the dusk, watching the moon over the dusk-to-dawn light in the side yard. Half a dozen bats flitted overhead and chowed down on the mosquitoes. Some little critter—probably a young possum—skittered along half the length of the deck before reversing itself and skittering away. The cats either didn’t consider it worth chasing or else didn’t notice it; I noticed that the wine was pretty good even with the cat hairs in it.

How John got the wine is a story in itself. While I was in Roanoke Thursday, he got a phone call. A person who lives about a mile down the road asked if we had a horse out. Before he panicked, John checked. Nope, both ours were accounted for. With temps in the high 90s, our elderly mares weren’t likely to go gallivanting over the countryside.

However, he decided to go down the road and see if he could help. The folks who caught the horse weren’t livestock people unless you count a herd of labrador retrievers as livestock. John noticed the horse was a good-looking gelding with shoes. He figured it might belong to the Smith Mountain Hounds (the local hunt) about two miles down Ramsey Memorial Road, so he gave them a call. George answered and said they’d been looking all over for that horse—they’d just gotten him three days earlier and Mitzi was frantic. It wasn’t long until George arrived with the trailer. He didn’t know if the gelding would load, but it hopped right in. He offered a reward, which John and the neighbor declined.

Anyhow, it wasn’t long until Mitzi came to the house and brought John a bottle of white wine. Valhalla 2004.

How the gelding got out is a mystery. Their fences were in good shape. Likely he jumped. If so, he ought to do great on fox hunts this fall.

So, I missed all the excitement Thursday afternoon.

Luckily, I didn't miss the wine. It was delicious.



Blogger Amy Hanek said...

I wish I had such a relaxing evening. I filled my house with four extra little girls to watch the recap of High School Musical 2 (cause the Friday night opening night performance wasn't quite enough).

I think I finally got to bed around 12:30 and I woke to my oldest daughter getting sick. I am not sure if she just had too much junk food or if a virus is afoot. I am just glad four girls LEFT the house today.

4:04 PM  
Blogger Marion said...

Poor Amy! But she'll get through all this and get to retire like some of us, sitting on the porch, rocking, sipping wine...

3:46 PM  

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