Archive for the ‘children’ Category

MISTY

May 3, 2018

Misty (2)

After the loss of my first horse, I was afraid I’d never find as good a friend as Sugar. I was so wrong. This amazing black gelding came into my life: MISTY.

My Misty was the sweetest, most wonderful horse a kid could have. We were never sure of his breed, but I always considered him a Morgan. Misty had a Morgan’s calm, trustworthy nature and good sense. We bonded instantly. I could ride him bareback the first day, barely signaling turns and gaits, as if he could read my mind. In the mornings, I’d open my window, and Misty would stick in his beautiful head to say hello. I could hardly wait until school was over so I could see my friend again.

4-H Horsemanship came to town, and Misty was the perfect horse to teach me the tricks of the trade. He was a natural, getting the right lead before I even knew what that meant (leading with the inside leg at a canter). He rode as well with an English saddle as he did with western gear, so I was able to learn both.

In the first book of the new series, Horse Gentler in Training, from Winnie the Horse Gentler: The Early Years,  young Winnie teaches a horse o say yes and no.  I really did teach my horse to say yes and no, much as Winnie teaches Royal Princess in this book. Misty proved over and over that a horse can definitely be a kid’s best friend.

 

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ANGEL & ROCKET

April 30, 2018

Angel and Rocket

The bottom picture shows Angel and Rocket in our pasture. Some of our horses let us ride them into the pond, and some did not. We set up jumps in the back pasture, and there was a very short trail  that circled the pond behind the trees. I learned to drive our old station wagon on the long, dirt lane that led from the gravel road down to the pasture gate. Far too young to drive on the road, I’d steer down the lane (under the supervision of my dad), then back up the long lane when done riding. To this day, I’m better driving backward than forward.

The top picture shows the pen, or the fenced-in yard beside our house. You can see how close the house is to the fence. Farther to the left was my room. At one time, the outside wall of my bedroom formed one side of the pen. If I opened my window, I could hop out and join the horses . . . or they could stick in their heads. In the bottom right corner of the first picture you can see the rim of a round, metal horse’s trough. On hot summer days after a ride, that trough became my tiny swimming pool. My horse drank while I cooled off.

Two of the books in the Winnie the Horse Gentler series feature foals. In Gift Horse, Winnie helps with the difficult birth of a foal. Then we see more of that foal in Friendly Foal. I was, of course, remembering Rocket and Angel.

SUGAR THE SUPER HORSE

April 24, 2018

Bareback on Sugar

I want to pay a final tribute to my first horse, Sugar. She put up with me when I was just beginning to ride and to understand horses. She taught me about friendship and loyalty, and I credit her with my lifelong love of horses. Sugar is the Pinto I write about in the first chapter of Horse Dreams, the first book in the Backyard Horses series, the shaggy mare that becomes a best friend. She probably made an appearance or two in the Winnie the Horse Gentler and Horsefeathers! series, but I’d have to look that one up. (Or, if any of my wonderful readers would like to inform me, that would be great. Many of my horse-loving readers know the details of those books better than I do!)

I remember sitting by Sugar’s side on that last day. Her chest barely moved, and I watched it to make sure it did. Her breath was raspy, but she didn’t seem to be in pain. I stayed out in the pen with her well after dark, missing supper, until I couldn’t take it anymore. I returned to the house and curled up on the couch. I pretended to be asleep, but minutes later I heard my sister ask Mom, “Should we wake her up?” And Mom answered, “No. It will keep.” And I knew Sugar was gone.

But not completely. That night I broke out a fresh Big Chief tablet and started writing down everything Sugar and I had ever done together–the morning rides before school, the “explores” after school, the races with Maureen and Rocket, the Cowboys and Indians games with neighbors and cousins. When I ran out of stories, I made up more. I created “Sugar the Wonder Horse,” followed by the sequel, “Sugar the Super Horse.” So maybe that first horse taught me even more than I thought.

HAPPY (HORSEY) NEW YEAR!

January 1, 2018

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The pretty one in this photo is Angel, obviously. He was the first colt born to one of our mares, Rocket (not pictured). Angel did not like the big red bow we stuck on his forehead. Shortly after this photo was taken, our sweet “Angel” turned and bit me. Ah, memories…. But I learned a lot about horses as we grew together.

The first day of a New Year makes me think of God’s amazing forgiveness, a grace offered to us through Jesus Christ. We get a fresh start, a clean slate, something no one else can give us. I pray that 2018 will draw us closer to God, to family and friends. Resolutions–they can help or depress me. My amazing husband gives me a gift every year, something I’ve never heard any other person willing to do. He lets me give him 5 things I’d like him to change about himself. Can you believe that? He’s such a good guy that over the years, he’s stopped chewing gum (like a 12 year old) in my presence; refrained from shutting down my backseat driving; started cheering for Mizzou, the Cards, and the Chiefs. I hate to admit it, but I’m running out of resolutions for him.

Anyone feel like sharing New Year’s Resolutions, past or present??

MERRY CHRISTMAS #6

December 23, 2017

Santa

Santa. This is the real Santa, the one at Macy’s in Kansas City, Mo.–not the skinny Santas (elves in disguise, of course) who stood on sidewalk corners and rang bells. Can’t fool me. Can you tell that Little Dandi is inspecting that beard and mustache, getting ready to test Santa by asking intimate details about his reindeer? Meanwhile, Maureen, my trusting sister, shakes Santa’s hand and gives him a smile. I was probably asking for a horse for Christmas. My big sister undoubtedly was beseeching Santa to help the poor and bring about world peace.

Merry Christmas, one and all!

MERRY CHRISTMAS #5

December 21, 2017

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Tradition! I’ve been reading up on the history of wreathes, and most accounts credit the ancient Persians for using the wreathe as a symbol of wealth and success. Later, the Greeks placed wreathes on the heads of winners of the Olympic Games. And in ancient Rome, rulers like Caesar wore wreathes as crowns. So why do we hang these things at Christmas? I try not to get too caught up in the origin of our traditions because we can claim traditions for ourselves and use the symbols to take us deeper into the meaning of Christ’s birth. We can use an evergreen wreathe, long-lasting and circular, never-ending,  to tell our children about the everlasting life God’s promised us through Jesus.

In this photo, it looks like my sister and I are holding hymnals. So, what are some of your favorite Christmas hymns?

MERRY CHRISTMAS #4

December 19, 2017

Christmas2

I recognize several intriguing features of this Christmas card, assembled by my dad and undoubtedly sent out by my hardworking mom. The background is a chalkboard that resided on our kitchen wall my entire childhood (and adulthood). We left messages there, practiced arithmetic and math, drew stick figures, and did Christmas countdowns.

Before anyone points out the “X” replacing “Christ” in Christmas, I can assure you nothing was intended, except extra space. Besides, the early church combined the Greek letter “chi,” (pronounced Kye), the first letter in Christ, with the second letter to form a symbol for “Christ.” It looks like an X with a P on top of it.

The town shown is Hamilton, Missouri, where Dr. Frank and Nurse Helen Daley served around 50 years and where I grew up. Maureen and I as angels–well, that would take some fancy convincing (although my sis did come close).

MERRY CHRISTMAS#3

December 14, 2017

Christmas 5

Merry Christmas, once again! True, this is a pretty funny card, pasted together by my dad. But it makes me think about the way my multitude of Christmas memories bounce around in my mind. At the time, this was my family (minus Santa): Mom and Dad looking much as I picture them in their WW2 days, young and handsome; my sister, Maureen, urging me to be quiet; Sugar, our first and beloved horse; Susie, our Dalmatian dog (I think that’s Susie at Santa’s feet.); a hint of house and fireplace; and a book. I’m not sure how much I understood about the true meaning of Christ’s birth, but that would come. Merry Christmas!

I would love to hear about your favorite Christmas memories!

MERRY CHRISTMAS #2

December 12, 2017

Christmas 3

You have to remember that we haven’t always had easy-to-make photo Christmas cards. Dad (Captain Frank R. Daley, M.D. from With Love Wherever You Are) happily settled in Hamilton, MO, to family and country-doctor life after WW2. But he always had new projects, new things to learn. He began developing his own pictures in our tiny garage, and he made his own Christmas card pictures. Don’t ask me why he decided on this specific image–little Maureen and Dandi being run over by Santa. But that was my dad.

MERRY CHRISTMAS #1

December 7, 2017

Christmas 1

It’s never too early to send Merry Christmas wishes, is it? My friends tease me because my card is usually the first they receive. Little do they know that I write my cards around Halloween and wait to mail them as long as I can stand it. And so, I’ll be posting a Christmas card every now and then throughout December. This is one Dad enclosed in Christmas cards about 5 years after WW2. As you can see, my sister, Maureen, and I are engaged in a serious discussion about reindeer. Sometimes, instead of sending a picture of us at Christmas, Dad would send people pictures of themselves, photos he’d secretly snapped of them during the year. People did seem to like those photos better than the ones of Maureen and me.