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.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Drinking Spring

Yesterday, the rain stopped and the sun came out. Everything was wonderfully green.

I’m currently reading On Agate Hill, by Lee Smith, one of my favorite authors.

Yesterday, I read this passage on p. 255 of the Algonquin Paperback edition (the speaker is the protagonist, Molly Petree, who is riding a horse through the mountains):

The whole earth seemed to be stretching and yawning, waking up. A robin, back early, sat perched in the crook of a tree ahead, then flew away at our approach. I gulped in the cool moist air like I was drinking the Spring.

Yesterday, I drank in the Spring. And I rode my horse.

For the first time in nearly two years, I rode my old mare Cupcake. Our bodies remembered each other, and—for fifteen minutes in the front pasture—we moved as one being. We didn’t move fast—and I had some trouble feeling the stirrup on the left—but we went around the pasture and chased Ruby, the neighbor dog, until Ruby got tired of the game.

If you add my age and Cupcake’s age together, the total is 89. We’re not spring chickens anymore. Was this our last ride?

Back in the late 70s—when I was younger, thinner, and healthier—I often rode with members of Walnut Grove Trail Club on the Blue Ridge Parkway trails. I had a little black quarter horse gelding then, a wonderful trail horse. I was young enough to think I’d ride forever.

One of the guys who sometimes rode with the group was an older cowboy, Bruce Friend, who also danced competitively. On one of the rides—a ride in spring when everything was green, I heard him say that he always danced every dance and rode every ride as if it were his last. That way he always enjoyed the experience.

If yesterday’s ride turns out to be my last, it was a good one. I enjoyed it.

I enjoyed drinking in the Spring, too.


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Blogger CountryDew said...

I haven't read that Lee Smith book yet. I will have to look for it. Thanks.

8:21 AM  
Blogger Amy Tate said...

Is that the same Lee Smith from Hollins? I'll have to pick that up. I'm proud of you! I'm sure Cupcake enjoyed it as much as you did - it was a beautiful day to ride.

5:53 PM  
Blogger Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

You rode your horse! You know, I was thinking you looked great today. Wonder if a good ride had anything to do with it?

Don't underestimate yourself. I wrote an article about older riders one time. One story was about a 70-year-old barrel racer. Barrel racing is an extreme sport. I'll e-mail you some more tidbits about older riders.

9:57 PM  
Blogger Amy Hanek said...

What a great week to get back on the horse. I am glad you enjoyed it!!

2:57 PM  

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