October 17, 2005

The Rustic Life

Phew, we've still got more of this wind and rain to go through. Yesterday afternoon and night were just awful. The winds were fierce and the rain slanted. My husband left around 11 for his 3 week stint away for his job.

Delivering hay to the buckskin mare was extremely nerve wracking on several counts. The hay is not close by her house and so, a walk in high winds sets my nerves on edge. Even if I walk along the edge of the woods, it still doesn't protect me. And then when I hit the the open area, the wind tries to knock me down or take the hay away from me.

Horses are notoriously nervous when it's windy. They can smell a bear or coyote or moose a couple of miles away, just from the few molecules rolling in the air. When it's windy I prefer to put the hay inside of the mare's run-in rather than have it blow acres away wasting it, but that presents some problems if my timing isn't right.

The first year, when she was getting the booster for her shots, the vet, who was very bad at giving shots (more like throwing darts) restrained the yearling in the corner of the run-in, tied her nose right into the corner in order to give the shot. She has never forgotten and unfortunately the part of the run in where I would put her hay in these extreme wind conditions is right there where the vet and I stood to get out of the scared and kicking filly's way. So my timing has to be right, get into the run-in, put down the hay and move out of the way before she comes running at me and for the hay, eyes white with fear from the memory, fear from the wind, with an added plus of being stuck in transitional estrus. Phew. I'm already nervously spent and it's not even 8:30.

Electricity went out last night at 7. I waited until 9, thank God for my laptop, fully charged, loaded with instant messaging so I could at least talk to DH, before I decided it was time to power up the generator. Raw nature, winds strong, loud, trees groaning, standing in the dark garage with a failing flashlight, trying to remember how the generator works, how many switches need to be turned this way or that. The last time it had to be powered up was two days after Thanksgiving, when my daughter and I were here alone. After trying to get it started (it has a lawnmower pull-cord that might suit a 300 lb male, but not me, with no upper body strength.) we flagged down a passing car. Hoping for a man to help, two women got out of the car. They saw my disappointment at not having a man on board, but they were a gay couple and one being a manly-man-woman was more than happy to step up and give that cord a yank. I was extremely grateful for her.

Last night no such person appeared, but I did remember all three switches that needed to be turned or flipped before attempting the cord. I jerked it a couple of times, nothing. Turned my eyes above and pleaded, Abba, I need some help. A couple of more yanks and LIGHT!!!!!

After we slaughtered the last of the turkeys on Saturday, I had been feeling sorry that the farm now houses no critters to be taken care of. Last night I was glad there were none to worry about, save for the buckskin mare. She pretty much stayed inside her house the whole day. That tells you how bad it was.

More of the same weather today plus some added flooding. I have a board meeting to attend this afternoon. Hope the waters go down by then or there may not be a route to take that doesn't go through water.

I will finish this post by saying that I thought about to the people who were hit by the hurricanes recently. I wondered what I would do if the weather we were having got worse, like if the 100 year old maple tree in the front yard crashed down on the house. What would I do with my mare? I could, most certainly would, take the dogs with me, but the mare? I decided I wouldn't leave the dogs, cars or mare alone. I'd stick it out, but I wouldn't expect the government to give me a hand-out after.


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