Yesterday I drove to Chapel Hill for a latte at some little kiosk called 'Southern Mudd'.
I was supposed to be going to Chapel Hill for a certification trial for my dog trainer. However, there is apparently a Farrington Road in Durham and a Farrington Road in Chapel Hill, and you guessed it, they don't actually meet. By the time I figured out where I was, and had roughly 43 phone calls between my trainer and I, I ended up going the hell home, 84 miles for a stupid latte.
I found a field along the way, and trained/exercised my very patient dog, then swung by the local Petsmart to help a friend pick out a puppy from a local adoption agency. Nothing to take the tarnish off the spoon like wiggly puppies. They chose a little lab-looking girl puppy that the foster mom found in a trash pile with her two siblings. I love it that there are people that will pick three puppies out of the trash and keep them until they are lucky enough to find happy homes. I hate it that there are far fewer people like that, than people that will look away, and try not to see them.
This morning I helped my riding instructor feed the horses at the farm. How anyone can not like horses is beyond me. Standing in a nearby field watching a herd takes the tension right out of me. This farm, is the only place in my life where everything else just slips away. It's a little like magic. After feeding and turning the horses out, I had my riding lesson. At the end of the lesson, we were talking about canter leads, and my riding instructor was promising me that soon enough, I would just know, I would feel it and soon after that I wouldn't have to think about what came next, it would just come. Riding is new enough to me that I always come away from it trying to make it 'fit' into something else I am familiar with and good at. Today it was running. When I run, I adjust, to accomodate the distance ahead, the cramp in my left hamstring I often get when I run uphill, or the unexpected cramp in my right upper ribcage.
Learning new "tricks" at a rapidly approaching 40 years has been humbling. Many have questioned the smartness and sensibility of me learning how to ride a 1500 lb animal and make it jump over stuff at a high rate of speed at this point in my life. I'll freely admit that I have often felt like a sack of loosely tied potatoes perched on a moving vehicle with a mind and fears of its own. I have learned that running and riding use different muscles, and there are even more muscles in my legs I didn't know existed. I have learned that just when I begin to feel confident a more experienced rider will show me how much I have to learn, and that the ground is very hard and comes up to meet you quickly when you aren't fully engaged.
Probably most importantly I have learned, that laughing at myself is still great fun.
Sunny November weekends where I accomplish nothing real trump looking sensible and smart anyday.
I recommend it highly.