Exploring the Empty Nest – on horseback!

Although I have ridden a few times since then, it’s been many years since I’ve actually taken horseback riding lessons.  (Dare I say close toConniearthur_3
20?)  One of Steve’s arguments, or should I say "incentives", for moving to Iowa is the close proximity to the countryside – and horses.  I took his argument seriously and yesterday I took the first of what I hope will be many more lessons.  Meet "Arthur".

I arrived at the stable (Wyndtree Farm) and greeted by a very young lady named Winter.  And I do mean young – as in 11 – and maybe 4′ tall.  Winter had been instructed to meet me and help me get ready for class.  "I’ll go get Arthur" she said.  The next thing I knew she was leading this HUGE horse (16+ hands) down the center aisle.  I’m not sure these photos do him justice.  Just trust me when I say "huge".  It was rather comical watching this supremely confident, tiny young lady handle this gentle giant.  Tossing the saddle pad on his back was a huge stretch for her.  I assisted with the saddle.  It was the least I could do.

I’m pleased to say the lesson was uneventful and most delightful (thank you, Denise!)  My form, it turns out, was not too bad after all these years, or so I was told. Holding it took some effort, however.  Never mind.  I look forward to working on it!

Arthur2Photo descriptions: Arthur is a dapple-gray gelding, 16+ hands.  I was told he’s part Percheron, part Thoroughbred.  In the top photo I am standing by his right shoulder, an indication as to just how big he is (I’m 5′ 2").  In the bottom left photo we see him standing alone.

On the Road Again

We’re entering Phase II of our transition to Iowa today.  I’m driving Steve, Vidal, and "stuff" to Iowa City where they will stay with friends (dear friends) while I come back to Ohio to sell our house.  (Phase I was moving Ross, our 18 year old, into his own place…)

I guess it’s too early in the morning to sort through my thoughts.   Or perhaps I’m just feeling numb.

~ Connie

Tara's 21! Happy Birthday!

Not much time to write – while in Chautauqua I found a computer to post this (should have brought my laptop after all!)Turning_21_2

Happy birthday to my favorite – my one and only –  daughter, Tara.  (She’s the young lady on the right.)

Why just last night someone said to me "you don’t look old enough to have a 21 year old daughter!"  Steve said the gentleman was just flirting with me. 

Leave it to a husband (my husband) to spoil the moment.

I’ll post a photo of Tara once I’m back home.

~ Connie

Empty Nest: Day 10

Steve is home from New Hampshire (as of three days ago).  Today we are off to the Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York.

It’s our first "date" as empty nesters – a mini-vacation of sorts.  Well at least for me.  Steve may have an audience of 500 to 1,000 people to entertain Thursday afternoon.  As for me, I just have to get him there.  My work is then done.

~ Connie

Empty Nest: Day 9

My how time flies!

Ross survived the removal of all four wisdom teeth.  I was glad, quite frankly, that he did his recovering at his own place.  Oh I’d stop by a couple of times a day with mashed potatoes, pudding or applesauce, but once the moaning and complaining started, directed at me of course, I was able to say, "see you later Ross"
and walk out.  How liberating.

Ross sees a counselor a couple of times a month as for a while he seemed to be dealing with some anxiety issues. 

This evening I suggested to him that next time he sees Andy, perhaps he (Ross) could inquire as to whether or not Andy had an hour in his schedule to see me.  (Naturally I want to make sure Ross is as "OK" with the idea of Steve and I moving to Iowa as he can be.  Perhaps this is harder on me than it is him.  So what if I want to talk about it.  I’m entitled don’t you think?)

"Oh Mom.  Andy doesn’t want to sit and watch you cry for an hour!"

"I will not cry for an hour!"

"Yes you will."  Ross is now grossly exaggerating the amount of crying I did do a week ago in anticipation, I think, of The Big Cry.

Is this good or bad I wonder?  Will he feel ready for The Big Cry when the time comes or is he experiencing anxiety just thinking about it?  Probably a little of both.   

Just like his mother.