Saturday, January 23, 2010
Hello out there! =D
I'm getting ready to post a bunch of pictures on my photography blog about the 1 foot of snow we had, and a bunch of other things. If you'd like to see pictures, please go to:
Please leave a comment!
Friday, January 22, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
A story in honor of Red, my dear horse.
“Hannah! It's time to feed the horses!”
The fifteen year-old girl turned from facing her desk where she was drawing pictures, twisting her head over her shoulder to look out the door of her room.
Sighing, she glanced out the window, looking upon the green grass and flowers, watching the dappled patterns that the sun cast down through the full trees. Standing, Hannah looked up at the shelf above her desk where she kept pictures of her horse, Red, and a Brier model that looked exactly like the 28 year-old gelding.
“I miss you, buddy.” She said, laying a hand on one of the photos. Ever since November 16, 2009, she had had this sort of...empty feeling whenever she went to the barn to feed her two other horses, Silkie and Belle. The red colored horse had been having problems with his back legs, almost as if he didn't know where they were, and kept stumbling all over them. The next morning, her brother had found him in the hole where all the brush had been cleared from the pasture, straddling a log and sitting like a dog. Dad had tried so hard, for almost an hour and a half, to get him out. We even had friends come to help to get him to stand, but he just couldn't. He was old, yes...and she knew that one day, he would indeed die....but she never imagined it to be this way. It was cold, cloudy....and she stayed with him the whole time. She hugged his neck, stroked his soft nose, kissed the star on his forehead, and cried into his thick main. They couldn't get him out. There was no way. We had to put him down. Red had been the best horse ever, and she could trust him in every way. She could go behind him, crouch down and hug his back legs, and he wouldn't kick. He wouldn't rear up when you rode him, and she always enjoyed those Summer days up at the barn when she'd just sit on his back, arms thrown around his neck. Now that ended...all of it ended. She stayed while he was given a shot...she stayed until his last heart-beats faded.
Hannah sighed, taking up her cargo pants and a barn shirt to go and change, giving all of the pictures taped on the wall one last glance. She missed her horse very much, and oh how much she longed to bury her face into his mane just one last time...to see him well just one last time.
A few minutes later, the brown-haired girl was down in the garage, pulling on her muddy steel-toed boots. In this pleasant weather, there was no need for a sweater, so she tossed the one that sat idle in the chair aside. Tying the laces, she stood, exiting the garage and walking out into the beautiful early Spring afternoon. The sun came down in horizontal rays, casting long shadows and warming her skin. She was glad that Spring had finally come, after such a long and cold Winter. Taking in everything around her as she always did, she took in a deep breath, soaking up the warm air. It was so pleasant! Spring had to be one of Hannah's favorite times of year. A gentle breeze rustled the newly budded leaves, carrying in it the fragrance of, let's see...roses from the front yard, fresh grass, daisies, Japanese cherry blossoms—wait...what!? Japanese cherry blossoms??? She wasn't in Japan! Smiling to herself, she giggled, talking quietly as she continued walking up the driveway.
“Okay...that was either your imagination, or you put on that lotion that you got for Christmas!”
Oh well...a nice thought. Open your eyes and you're in Japan. She wished!
The gravel crunched under her feet as she walked up the driveway, spotting their 7 year-old Halflinger mare, Silkie, and their 5 year-old black and white paint mare, Belle. Hannah smiled when Silkie neighed at her as she always did at feeding time, and called back,
The blonde horse nickered, swishing her tail. That was definitely a yes! Stepping over the electric fence, Hannah greeted her horses with a kiss on the nose and a hug around the neck, patting their shoulders.
“C'mon, let's get you some food.”
Up the hill she went to the red barn that sat at the top, and without delay, the brown, black and white goat named Chester started bleating at her.
“What? You too?”
Chester stamped a foot impatiently. Hannah laughed, tugging his horns affectionately.
“Oh alright, I'll feed you, ya fat thing.”
Walking to the entrance of the barn, she shut the huge sliding door before any of the animals could get in, so that she could clean the stalls and get the feed without them walking all over her. The fiber-glass panels in the roof let in plenty of light, even with the door closed. Outside, she heard the horses running about and the goat rubbing against the door in want to get in. Smiling, she turned away from the door to go to the stalls and take up the buckets...but what happened next was totally unexpected. A nicker, soft and low, came from what sounded like inside the barn. Startled, Hannah spun around, but saw nothing. It had to be on of the horses outside. She opened the door just a crack, but saw that Silkie and Belle were no where to be seen. Heart beginning to race, she closed the door back, standing very still for a moment, and almost panicking at the familiar crunching sound of a horse eating hey that came from...Red's stall. They had kept it locked up so that the other horses couldn't get in, and the only time anything was in there was the goat at feeding time. Her heart raced when the crunching stopped, and the nicker was repeated. She—she had heard that nicker before, but only from Red. It was a sort of low, slightly broken nicker that the old horse had almost always sounded at feeding time. Stepping a little closer, she wondered if she should go closer. Was her mind playing tricks on her? It had to be...Red had died in November. It had to be. Trying to shake it off, she turned back to get the feed buckets, but froze when this time the nicker sounded louder, and she heard the chain on the stall gate clink. Slowly, half hesitant, she turned. Her eyes grew wide with a mixture of shock, disbelief, fear and joy when she saw the head that looked out over the stall gate, a white star and strip running down the face and onto the nose. The old horse pricked his ears, looking at her with big brown eyes. Hannah resisted the urge to scream, slapping a hand over her mouth and falling back against the wood walls. She could not bring herself to speak; her throat was dry and her heart was racing, her stomach felt like it was spinning. This—this couldn't be Red. The horse expectantly nickered again at her, snorting lightly as if to say “get over here and let me out!”. Finally gaining the courage and strength to actually take a step closer, Hannah did so, watching the horse and looking him over intensively. It looked exactly like him...everything from the mark on his forehead to the tiny smudge of white on his shoulder. Everything. Slowly, she placed a shaking hand on the horses soft nose, and he swung his head upwards...just like Red did. Her cold hand ran along his forehead and over the white star and strip, and then she gasped when she saw the cut area of mane in his long, thick hair...exactly where she had cut a hand-full before they put him down. The horse snorted and nipped at the chain around the stall gate, impatiently wishing to be out. Hannah wasted no time, unlocking the gate and watching him walk across to the tack-room door where the feed was kept. Tears entered her eyes when he began to nudge the door to the tackroom, wanting his food. She unlatched the wooden door, and swung it towards him, watching him catch it with his upper lip and swing it right back. Red had always done that at feeding time. He would swing the door opened and closed until he got his food. Running into the tack room, Hannah grabbed a hand full of sweet-feed, rushing back out and offering it to him. He ate it with gusto, straight from her hands. A sob caught in Hannah's throat at the warmness of his muzzle against her hands, and the sticky wetness of his slobber as he ate the food....that felt so good! She missed that slobber and those wet kisses. Looking into his foggy eyes, she came to the conclusion that this was, indeed, her horse. This was indeed Red. Throwing her arms around his neck, she buried her face in his thick mane, breathing deeply and crying. Her tears wet his neck, and he seemed to know that she was sad, tossing his head around at her and tugging at her shirt a little. Hannah ran a hand along his slightly swayed back, and then looked up at him, grabbing a hand full of hair.
“Just one last time, Red...let me ride you one last time.”
The big brown eyes seemed to shine their approval, and Hannah rushed to the barn door, sliding it open wide and ignoring the curious glances from Silkie and Belle. Running back to Red, who had turned to stand beside the mounting step, she climbed onto his back, feeling like she was on top of the world. As soon as she had taken hold of his mane, he shook his head and ran out of the barn, running as if he had never had arthritis in his knee and as if on wings. The wind ripped through both mane and hair as he galloped towards the fence, and Hannah lurched with the horse as he leaped, clearing the fence without a thought. This was amazing! They were suddenly in a massive field with flowers, trees, lush green grass, hurled to a land of beauty and peace. Red galloped full speed across the wide open field, his neighs clear and sharp as he sprinted for joy. Hannah laughed as she gripped his flying mane, watching the green grass blur under her horse's feet as they soared across the glade.
She was back with him, albeit for a short while...but she could feel his warm body under her, run her fingers through his thick red mane, and kiss the white star on his head...one last time.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
My brother caught off guard by a man-eating T-Rex.
The long...and I do mean, LONG...ride home. =D Rebekah, myself and Nathan were all crammed in the middle seat...so Bekah and I decided to make the best of it and take a bunch of insane photos. For your sake, we have agreed not to put them all up lest you too, become insane. =D
My little sister, Rebekah, having the time of her life. :)
And now I can say that I've had my picture taken with a movie star! This is John Moore from the movie "The Widow's Might". It's an EXCELLENT movie, and if you haven't seen it....SEE IT! It's one of my absolute favorites. I was happy that I got to meet a REAL actor, and NOT from Hollywood! I was hoping that the rest of the Moore's would be there, but sadly, they weren't. Hopefully, I'll get to meet all of them one day! =D
And this is dad after a looong night of sessions. :) We were all so very tired, and it was around eleven-thirty when this picture was taken. I love my daddy. And look, he's always got his Bible with him. Even when it's really, really late, he still takes time to read his Bible. Love you, Daddy!
Taken inside the hotel. I enjoyed sitting by this little waterfall drawing and writing in my Diary. It was very peaceful and I enjoyed watching people go by...some of which were friends that I talked to for a while. :)
Ah yes...this is the hotel parrot...that talked. :) And look! She's actually smiling for me!
Last day in Ohio. It was sad to leave...which is an understatement. Sure, I wanted to see home again...but...AH! I LOVED IT THERE! Such a wonderful time. I didn't want to leave the few familiar faces I had seen in times past, or the several new faces that I had just come to know. *sigh* Ah, but hopefully I shall see them again!!! =D Okay...now that that's out of my head...the photo below was taken from the elevator, and we were on the floor right below the very top, right on the end corner. :)
A night in Ohio/view from our Hotel