Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Life Without Horses?

After having more worries dumped into my lap on Monday, I couldn't sleep. I went for a walk at the crack of dawn in part to get some exercise and fresh air, and in part to search for the wrecked truck that belonged to the drunk driver who hit my kids. I figured the guy probably had it hidden behind a house or in a garage, but was counting on him being like most Northern Nevadans who use their garage for storage and park in their driveways. Interestingly, I found that the ATV / motorcycle mechanic had a pickup truck behind his house with a smashed up front end, but I knew it wasn't the right truck, because it was light gold instead of white and it had a camper shell. It was too far away for me to be able to read the license plate. The way he drives, I'm not surprised that he'd crash into something.

My husband ended up popping the rear bumper of our car back into place where it had separated from the body, and cleaning up the white paint smears and scratches. He opted to just touch it up with red paint instead of sucking up all of our time dealing with paperwork and phone calls to track down the driver and get him to pay for bodywork. We really don't need the headache right now, and that man will be paying for his stupidity by having to fix his own truck, which suffered way more damage than our car. Of course I want to hold him accountable, but we have so many other things going on in our lives right now that need our attention. Not to mention how insurance companies raise your rates even when the accident isn't your fault. The money we would have to spend on increased insurance fees in the long run would be more than what we would pay if we just covered the cost of the bodywork ourselves.

We bought this car with the expectation that it would get its share of nicks, dents, and scratches, because we bought it for the kids to learn to drive with. All I have to say is that I'm truly impressed with the way Chevy manufactured that back bumper on the Cobalt. It held up amazingly well when you consider that it got hit by a pickup truck hard enough to make the truck's front end collapse. All the tail lights on our car survived without a crack, while the truck broke some headlights of its own.

I went to work and had to struggle to stay awake, so when I got home, I quickly ate some spaghetti my husband made for us, and then climbed into bed. I had gone 48 hours without sleep and was beginning to have both visual and auditory hallucinations.

I had a dream in which my deceased father told me that I'm under too much stress and need some rest, so he shipped my horses off to a friend's farm in Northern California to be sold. YOU WHAT? I had to launch into a long tirade about how much time and energy I have invested into training those horses, how they were family to me, how I loved them like I love my own children, and how horse care was the only activity in my life that helped me relax and feel at peace.

In the dream, my father argued that I was spending too many hours of the day cleaning up manure, painting fences, staining the barn, cleaning out water troughs, bathing, grooming, and exercising the horses. He said that now with the horses gone, I had the free time to take care of myself. I explained that I love doing every one of those activities, that they keep me in shape and keep me sharp mentally. There is so much to benefit from caring for an animal. Without that responsibility, I'd probably just be sitting in front of at TV set with my mouth hanging open, wasting my life away.

The more I thought about life without horses, the more depressed I became. I couldn't imagine any other lifestyle. I told him that by taking my horses away, he reduced my life to nothing but work, cooking, and cleaning house. He took away my hobby and my goals. In the dream, I started crying uncontrollably. I managed to make my father so nervous that he had the horses instantly shipped back to me. However, when my horses returned, they were different. Living with other people had changed them, and not for the better. I worked with them to try to pull out their old personalities. Bombay then got that twinkle in his eye, stole my hat right off my head, and took off with it in his mouth while I gave chase. After that I knew things would return to normal.

In reality, we live in a somewhat rundown house with stained carpet, chipping paint, and cracked tiles. Everything is falling apart around us. Yet when I see people buying these brand new cookie cutter houses in suburbs where windows look right into windows and there isn't more than a couple of feet between neighbors, I can't imagine living like that and being happy. I need land for my horses. I'd live in an outhouse as long as I could keep horses there. I don't want to live in a museum. I need to live somewhere where I can track in manure on my boots and not care.

Horse property is getting scarce in my part of the state. People keep coming in and buying up land, knocking down barns and corrals only to subdivide and build more houses closer together. We are planning on moving, but not within the vicinity of where we are now. We know the patterns of this community and know that things are only getting worse. We need to find that hidden rural community somewhere out west that is close enough to jobs, but far enough away from neighbors, truck traffic, and crime. We need to find a place that hasn't been affected by the current economic problems of our country.

It's complicated. This isn't just about me and what I want. My husband loves his current job, and I don't want to take him away from it. My son doesn't need to be uprooted from his high school and friends. My mother doesn't need the stress of having to sell this house. We will move, but I need to be patient. We are fortunate to be able to take our time looking for the right community and horse property. A lot of people get a new job in a different state and just have to grab whatever living quarters they can find and hope that their old place sells.

A lot of things have to fall into place when you move, such as the timing of getting a new job, a new house, and selling the old one. When we moved into the house we are in now, our previous home didn't sell until a year later. That means paying two mortgages for an entire year. Most people couldn't survive a financial blow like that now-a-days, and they'd end up losing everything. Moving is a gamble, and it's not going to happen overnight.


Anonymous said...

I am sorry things seem to be going so bad right now. At least the kids are ok, the car can be fixed and you do still have your horses. I hope things start to get better for you and for America, People ae hurting all over.

fernvalley01 said...

It will be good for you to move when it is time . you are sounding so stressed . hope you catch a break soon

Katharine Swan said...

NM, this post really hit a chord for me, because of your dream. (I always have really bizarre, crystal-clear dreams when I've been depriving myself of sleep, too.)

A month or two ago, I was really frustrated with how busy I was, how little time I had to spend with my horse, and how much more of a financial burden my horse created for me. If I didn't have a horse, I'd have savings and less credit card debt.

But as soon as I start thinking like that, I imagine how purposeless my life would be without my horse. He is my best friend, my soul mate, my therapist (LOL), and my favorite hobby. It would be like taking away a piece of myself if I didn't have him anymore.

P.S. Bombay steals your hat off your head too, huh? Panama also likes that trick. :o) As the owner of our local tack store would say, "Those naughty geldings!"

manker said...

yup.. we planned and planned before we made our "last" and final move to montana.. sometimes i still think in the dead of winter "can i live my days out here"? But i wouldnt go back in a "NY minute" as they say :)

and even tho i'm brand new to horses.. boy they are so in the heart... i t'd be hard to imagine w/o 'em

Trust in The L-rd and He will direct your path

Laura said...

I'm sorry to hear that things are still going off the rails for you. Every time I read a post, I can't help but worry a bit about your stress levels...

Adding crazy dreams into everything else probably isn't helping much!

I really hope you and your family can work out the logistics to move sooner rather than later - it will be a big deal, but I'm sure you guys could handle it!

Breathe said...

Glad to hear you're in the mindset to move - sometime. I hope ou can find a horse community, it's a lot easier when your neighbors are similarly inclined...

Cheryl Ann said...

Girl, I hear 'ya! We would LOVE to move out of our home and find 5 acres for the horses (with a house), you, it will be SOMEDAY! Until then, it's up the hill I go, off to see the horses!

S. Lauren said...

I understand what you mean - dreaming of a life without horses would be a nightmare. I haven't been able to truly have a horse of my own, always ridden everyone elses lol, but once you develop a passion for something, taking it away is taking a peice of you also. I'm glad it was only a dream for you :-) even thou it wasn't the best. Hoefully you'll get your dream house someday for you and you're family to enjoy.

Reddunappy said...

I am sure glad that the kids are ok. I was hit head on by a drunk driver in '02, I know him. Anyway its not fun, I hope you find him.

Life without horses, that would be a hard one for me too! They are what keeps me going after all I have been through, hard as it is to get out and do the physical stuff, I still love every minute of it, I came so close to losing them. Twice!!

Mary Olson said...

Your dream sounds like my reality. Because of my divorce and having to move and find a place to board, people say I should just get rid of the horses - that it would simplify things so much. Non horse people just don't get how important horses are to a horse person's sanity. I hope you find a way to cut down on things stressing you out.