Share Music, Share a Poem

Bloganaury Daily Prompt #25: What is a song or poem that speaks to you and why?

I have felt the prompts to Bloganuary 2023 are to delve in the psychology of our thinking and lives.

Today I will share a song. It is not the song, the words to the song that have meaning. It is the memory attached to the song.

Horses love music. Put on music and their hoofbeats and action will match the music. Music will calm a nervous horse. Music will energize the horse to perform animation and action with speed and grace. Watch the Tennessee Walkers Rack or Saddlebreds and Arabians. They love to move to music.

In 1993, I purchased an Appaloosa stallion by the name of Top Jet H from the estate of my fourth grade teacher. Top Jet H, commonly called Jet performed in horse shows as a three and four year old, then retired to the breeding barn. At the time I purchased him he was fifteen, eleven years of not being ridden or shown. I decided to ride and show him. Jet had a long history of wins in Western Pleasure and English Pleasure. The Pleasure classes exhibit three gaits of the horse, walk, jog – a slow trot, and canter. When Jet was shown, a four beat artificial canter was taught to the horse for these classes. I needed to have Jet show in a natural three beat canter, as the four beat artificial canter was ruled as a disqualification after Jet was retired. The three beat cantor gait of the horse in these classes is a very slow, collected canter, and is a natural gait of the horse.

In order to get in rhythm with Jet at the Western Pleasure cantor and train Jet not to use the four beat cantor he was trained to do, I would play ‘In a Different Light’ by Doug Stone. We cantor a three beat cantor for miles to this song.

After a couple of years showing Jet and trying to get people to breed their mares to him, of which not many did. And my children were wanting to show with me, but had no horse to ride I made a decision. I gelded or castrated Jet so my children could show him. Children can not show stallions. Although my children learned to ride from Jet, they were unable to show him. At the age of seventeen I had the operation performed to castrate this wonder horse so my children could show him. For four years my children rode, showed and enjoyed this great teacher, especially my oldest daughter. Then one day while saddling Jet for a parade, he had a heart attack. He was permanently retired to the pasture. He was no longer safe for my children to ride. Although that did not stop my oldest daughter from going to the pasture, climbing on top of her beloved Jet and sitting, enjoying each others companionship.

The song is attached to the wonderful memories of a great horse – Top Jet H and all that he did for me and my children.

My oldest daughter and Jet

Rest In Peace my old friend, I will see you when the time comes.

amtolle

Whispering Pines

Bloganuary prompt for day #16 : Do you have a memory that’s linked to smell?

The smell of pine trees bring forth a flood of pleasant memories from my past. Not the scented pinecones smelt at Christmas. The smell of Spruce and Ponderous pines reaching towards the sky in the mountains of Colorado.

My adoptive dad fought for my adoption as my adoptive mother did not want to adopt me. This followed through my childhood and beyond. I was daddy’s girl. Once a year we would go on a week long camping trip for fishing. My dad taught me how to watch the shy brook trout in the rivers. I learned to fish in the meadow lakes. Walked the pathways and deer trails learning how not get lost and to find my way back to camp. Watching wildlife and learning how they travel and what their tracks looked like. Enjoying the beauty of wildflowers and butterflies.

The once a year camping trips were a special time of my dad sharing the knowledge of the forest and those who occupied it. It was also the short time of year, I was away from my mother. My mother was always fishing and the children were to stay away and not disturb. Hence, freedom to explore and spent some precious time with our dad. My dad worked long hours, and often away from home. The week of being together without the interference of work was special.

The whispering pines also bring back memories during my adult life. Friends camping and horseback riding in the mountains. The knowledge I gained from my dad was most helpful on these trips. Most of those friends are gone now. And I am far from the mountains I grew up and lived near most of my life.

The smell of the whispering pines returns me home, at least in my heart and mind.

amtolle

Earliest Memory

Bloganaury prompt for day #3: What is your earliest memories?

Watching over me as I sleep each night, perched on a high shelf. He sits in a place of honor not shared with others. Aged by decades of time, the fur is rough and dull, the whiskers are gone, a treasured gift from long ago. A physical rement of a joyous memory created in the wee years of childhood.

My dad awoke me from my sleep, “It is Christmas. Come see what Santa brought”. I climbed out of bed, along with my sister. We walked into the living room, and next to the Christmas tree was two tricycles, each had a stuffed animal on the seat and a pair of snow boots next to them. I was so excited my feet ran in place like three year olds do. My dad walked to the tree, and rolled a tricycle towards me carrying the tiger. I grabbed the tiger and hugged him, his fur soft and pleasant to touch. Then we climbed back on the tricycle, me in the seat and him under my arm. I fumbled with the petals, finally getting the tricycle to go forward, with no control in the direction of travel. We bumped into an end table. “Perhaps you should learn to ride your bike outside.” Mom said. My dad took me off the seat, “You can do this outside. Look there are other gifts.” I do not remember opening the other gifts, or what they were. I remember seeing the tricycle and my new companion.

I have treasured my friend, Tiger, through decades. The early years together I carried him everywhere I was allowed to under my arm. At night for he slept with me. Together we made many moves, traveled to different states. Some years he spent in a trunk of treasured memories. Until a time came for him to once again take the honored place of watching over me as I sleep.

amtolle

Summertime Visit

Each year I drive the long miles to pick up my grandson, Mr. J. He has come to my home each summer since he was four years old. He actually lived with me for nine months starting at age two. Circumstances with the divorce of his parents, and his mother moving to Texas, he needed a place to stay for awhile until she became settled. Granny’s house was a good place to go. Then his father came to Texas and stayed with us for nine months. So, for over a year he lived at our house.

When things settled and his parents found their rhythm in life, he came for visits. The length of time started as a whole month. But as children grow, they have other activities. This year Mr. J will visit for three weeks.

The drive to bring him to Texas and return him home is the worst part of our summertime visit. Two days on the road makes a long trip. On the trip to Texas we talk about the year and catch up. We also make plans for what we will do this visit.

This year, we are fishing and riding horses. His horse is not caring for a baby this year, and we will be able to go on rides. He has been riding her since he was two, they are both getting older. There will come a time when he will not be able to ride his beloved Vicky horse.

Fishing is another activity he started learning at the age of two. We would take him to the local lakes, hook the perch and let him reel in the fish. He has learned how to bait his own hook, take off his own fish, and how to put rigging on his pole. The first day of fishing this year, his first fish was a channel catfish, 20 1/2 inches long, weight 3.5 pounds. His largest fish he has brought to show was three years ago, a channel catfish 28 inches long.

But staying with Granny is not all play, there are the daily chores of taking care of the sheep and horses. We are also refinishing a dresser for his aunt who is having triplets. He has learned how to paint different items in the past visits, but this year he is learning how to hand sand and refinishing an old dresser, and make some minor improvements and repairs.

Two years ago when Covid-19 broke out and everyone was on lockdown, he could not come for summer visit. His mother said he was miserable. She said that would not happen again. His summertime visits are a recharge for him. A time to learn new things and just be a kid.

Mr. J and I have a special relationship, grandmother and grandson, but also best friends. He is able to talk to me about anything and everything, without feeling judgement or getting in trouble. We have worked through some of his hard problems, learned how to deal with emotions,the problems that arise from having divorced parents and step parents.

During our fishing trip, we discussed that these summertime visits will eventually come to an end. He is getting older. One year he will have a job, or be at college, and unable to take three or four weeks visits with Granny. He is getting older, growing up and will eventually have commitments and responsibilities, that he does not have today. Today, we will enjoy the talks on the lake banks waiting for the big catfish to bite, or feeling the rhythmic hoofbeats under us as we ride.

He also realizes that the day will come when his beloved Vicky horse will no longer be able to carry him on a ride, she is sixteen this year. His hope is to ride her filly born last year, when the filly will be old enough to ride. And perhaps, he will be able to train her, be the first on her back for the first ride.

It has been a cherished joy to teach my grandson the many lessons, first to be talk using words, to learning to ride alone, to catching and reeling in a 28 inch catfish. Memories we both will cherish for a lifetime and beyond.

So, if I miss a day or two from writing the next few weeks, I am out fishing or riding or working on a dresser, building more memories to recall in the future and a relationship for a lifetime.

amtolle