"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and once it has done so, he/she will have to accept that his life will be radically changed." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, July 29, 2010

6 weeks down, 4 to go!

While sitting in the Milwaukee airport this morning waiting for my first of two flight connections home, I got to thinking about what this summer has taught me so far.

First, it’s hard to keep up with a blog! I should blog every Friday, but I’m finding that Friday nights are the time when I can catch up on the sleep I’ve missed during the week. I know some people read this and think, what the heck? I know it’s not the most exciting writing or story telling in the world, but I will appreciate having this all written down many years from now. When I moved out of my apartment in Virginia, my dad told me to take pictures of the place because I would forget what it looked like. He’s right! I hope that this blog helps me remember what an incredible summer I have had in Wisconsin.

Secondly, I have wonderful friends all over the country. My co-workers who are local to Milwaukee have been so gracious and generous. They’ve invited me into their homes and lives. You always hear of southern hospitality, but the midwesterns are just as good. My traveling co-workers have been tremendous fun lately. And my friends back home have proven to be loyal and, as always, extremely reliable.

Last week was a hoot. Tuesday night I met up with Chris, Duane, Ramon, Detroit, and Rob at an upscale entertainment complex which had bowling! We bowled three games. My first was a disaster, the second was ok, and I almost beat Detroit in the third game! 

Wednesday was a peaceful evening at the barn with Tyler. Rob came along to keep an eye on us. As much as I love a busy barn, the escape to a quiet barn and countryside during a hectic work week makes everything better.

Thursday was the big storm! We had at least four tornadoes within a four county span. Anne called me as I was just getting on the highway north to the barn. She said not to leave downtown Milwaukee and she was right! Within the 15 minutes it took to get back to the hotel, the storm had arrived. I can’t explain the wind and rain that pummeled the area for a few hours. Nearly 8 of us from the project passed the time playing Euchre (crazy Midwestern card game) and of course there was beer! Around 9:30, Danielle convinced us to meet her and some friends at a bar not far from the hotel. Somewhat unexpectedly, Ramon and Detroit tagged along with Rob and I. It was a riot. Everything outside was drenched and many, many basements flooded. There had been 8” of rain that evening. We found two german bars and proceeded to watch the storm move out from there. I can definitely say the storm was gone by 2am. The hangovers, however, were just staring for the guys. 

Marshall, Detroit, Ramon, Rob, Donna, and John play Euchre in the hotel bar during the storm.

Friday at the airport was hectic! The runways were flooded with rushing water and so the tarmacs were closed until noon. Using an array of trains, planes, and automobiles, almost all of the travelers made it home Friday night. I went to the barn and had a nice afternoon with Tyler. After that, I headed north to Diane’s. We had a marvelous dinner, she can really cook! I took Diane up on her offer to stay overnight. Saturday morning she took me to my new favorite Wisconsin tack shop. I made it out of there without spending more than $50!

The afternoon was very warm, so Tyler practiced a few things and called it a day early. Tyler has been such a good boy for the staff at PCF. Everyone comments on how well behaved he is and how cute he is! There’s no denying either of those facts, not it my mind anyway. Tyler doesn’t despise the wash stall as much as he used to. In fact, I think he almost tolerates his daily hosing.

For the three years or so I’ve known Donna, I’ve heard about her monthly poker night with her friends. Finally, I got to join in on poker night! It was a blast! The women were great fun. Once again, I found myself being welcomed into a group and quickly forgot that I was an outsider. The drive to Donna’s house is about 90 minutes, so I stayed over that night. We went to a great local diner for brunch Sunday morning before I went to PCF for a lesson.

Because of the rain, the horses had not gone out for a day or two. Tyler definitely had a reserve of energy! He was a spit-fire know it all on Sunday, but jumped great. Charles had us doing demanding courses; each jump required attention and set up for the next one. We rode with Rachel and Butter and it was a very nice way to spend the afternoon.

I had hoped to go into work Sunday night to get a jump start on the week since I would be cross country schooling on Monday and leaving for home Thursday. Unfortunately my sinuses decided against that plan and I spent the evening watching a great episode of True Blood and chicken noodle soup.

As for the XC schooling Monday… well that deserves its own blog!

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