Sunday, May 30, 2010

A New Routine

With such extreme weather changes comes a change in routine. We went from the 20 to 50 degree range for the past six months to the 75 to 100 degree range overnight. All the people who have been suffering from cabin fever during the long winter came out in droves and made lots of noise. The construction workers came out to build their latest projects, the visitors and vacationers from distant states came out in their RVs, the ATV and motorcycle riders came out, the pilots came out and one flew just a few feet above the roof of our house, the joggers and bicyclists came out triggering the barking of dogs, the horn honking from near misses of too many people on the road and the sirens for those who didn't miss came out.

The amount of trespassing on my property has been outrageous this Memorial Day weekend. I had gone outside to dig all the sand and pebbles out of the concrete hole in the ground where I place the pole that blocks vehicles from turning around in my driveway, but I forgot to put the pole in the hole after I backed the horse trailer down the RV lane.

You know that saying from the baseball movie, "Build it and they will come?" Well, all I have to do is take the barrier down at the end of my driveway, and within a few minutes strangers will just start randomly turning up my private road and turning around in my driveway or worse yet, parking in my driveway and coming to our door or calling me out of the barn or round pen to ask for directions. There have been several times when my husband had to get dressed and climb into his car to show someone how to get where they needed to go by having them follow him. He's too nice. If someone doesn't understand my verbal directions, I direct them down the street to the 7-11 for a map of the area. With all the GPS features on cars and in mobile phones, you'd think people could figure out where they are going without having to bug the locals. I have so little time to spare that I don't want to be distracted from my activities by anyone for anything. That's part of why the barrier is there.

Anyway, sure enough this big van pulled into our driveway, driving right over the cement hole I had just dug out and knocking all that sand and rock right back in there. It was a solicitor. Like me, my husband has no tolerance for salespeople or anyone who ignores our NO TRESPASSING signs and comes to our door unannounced while we are busy, so he quickly dismissed her and told her not to come back. I had to march back out there, re-dig the hole and put up the barrier.

The majority of my neighbors had visitors coming and going. My nosy neighbors sat on their porch all afternoon and evening with their visitors preaching the gospel to one another and watching me do my chores. I kept waiting for them to leave so I could ride a horse without any sudden surprises that would spook my horse, such as a child on a scooter shooting out from behind my barn or the bushes, but I had no such luck. These people would not leave. Apparently, they had plenty of time to kill and didn't know what to do with themselves. I can't relate to people who are bored. I have so much to do that I don't have time to be bored. Because I work 60-hours a week, I look forward to a holiday every now and then so I can get some personal work done.

I was exhausted from all the physical labor and collapsed in bed. I didn't have a good night's sleep, though, because with the temperatures changing so quickly, the dogs haven't had time to shed. So, they kept walking into the bedroom and panting really loudly, waking us up because they couldn't sleep with the heat. I'd get up and chase them out of the room and tell them to go lay down some place else. Eventually, my husband got so sick of it that he locked them out of the room.

Then this morning I heard what I thought was a horse kicking a stall door, which made no sense because I had actually left the horses outside last night without blankets on. Up until yesterday, the horses had been kept inside their stalls with blankets on at night for the previous six months. I knew the change in routine would upset them, but Lostine had such bad cabin fever that she had actually chewed a hole right through the wood siding of her stall and I didn't want her making it any worse. There was no reason for a horse to be kicking a stall door, because they were free to come and go.

Normally, the kicking is a quick series of raps and then it stops before I can get out there to tell them to quit. However, on this morning, the noise went on and on and on. I thought it sounded more like hammering. My neighbor was building something on his driveway yesterday afternoon and evening, so I thought it might be him. This was at 5:30 on a Sunday morning. I was furious. After being woken throughout the night by panting dogs, I wasn't about to tolerate a neighbor doing construction that early on a holiday weekend morning. I don't get to sleep in often, but when I do, it's only on holidays or weekends.

So, I threw on some slippers and a coat and marched outside in my pajamas ready to give him a piece of my mind. I stopped short when I realized that the pounding noise was coming from my own horse! Bombay had the fits and was galloping all over the paddock, rearing and bucking, waking up the whole neighborhood at 5:30 AM. I'd swear that these animals joined forces to keep us awake all night. Now I don't know which is worse -- Lostine chewing a hole through her stall or Bombay galloping around in my head in the wee hours of the morning.

I think tonight I'll try locking up Bombay and Gabbrielle in their stalls and just letting Lostine stay outside. I'm also going to brush the dogs until every inch of loose hair comes out so that they don't have to pant so much. As far as all the interruptions and lack of peace, quiet and privacy at home goes, I'll just have to trailer a horse and go somewhere quieter. I don't think there's anywhere I can go nearby where there aren't people, but there are places I can go where there are less people or people with my sensibilities who appreciate the sounds of nature and their alone time.

On the other hand, based on the number of horse injuries I've been seeing reported lately in blogs, I'm thinking I should lay low for a while since something bad seems to be in the air. I hate to see horsemen and women spend the best part of horseback riding season in traction and recovery, and I'm so sorry for those of you who have been injured. It seems most of these are unavoidable freak accidents, but it prompts me to spend more time doing groundwork before climbing into the saddle, especially on a holiday weekend when so many people are out. Horses are very sensitive to changes in routines and their environment, and I think I'd rather not risk an accident. I don't get time off from work to ride very often, but I think it would be wise to wait out the activity. Eventually, people will start getting sick of the sun and heat and start hibernating again. Then I can ride without surprises.

1 comment:

fernvalley01 said...

Sounds like a bit of a wild west show on the weekends .I live near a "resort " area so the weekends around here can get busy , but I live at the end of a gravel road ,so if I stay close to hoem I miss the worst of it