Archive for the ‘sisters, family, friends’ Category

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.

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HORSE PALS?

April 13, 2018

Sug Rocket Dan Mo

This foursome–Dandi, Sugar, Rocket, and Maureen–made some fearsome rides in Hamilton, Missouri. Note the sleepy horses and the flashy dressers in their striped shirts, cardigans, and barrettes? We usually rode bareback, though our parents insisted we use bridles (at least when we rode outside the pasture). Hamilton offered us country dirt roads and rarely a car to get in our way.

Maureen and I got along very well for sisters, and you might assume the same could be said of Rocket and Sugar. You would be wrong. Sugar owned us before Rocket came along, and she never let any of us forget that. Poor Rocket took a couple of kicks from Sugar before realizing who was boss. When Sugar died (more on that sad day in the next blog), she lay on the ground while the vet came and we did all we could as Rocket looked on. Then miraculously, Sugar got to her feet. Ears flat back, she walked up to Rocket and kicked her. One last time.

SALE: WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE– $2.99 for 2 weeks, the e-book everywhere

February 1, 2018

with-love

This is the day I’ve been building up to in these posts. Thanks for sticking with me this far. For the 2 weeks of the sale, I’ll be posting more war photos and hoping you’re not tired of me. . . or of my parents’ story.

WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE continued

January 12, 2018

Helen and Frank (2)

Guess what! I thought I’d have to rely on photos I posted last year, but I discovered some new ones–if you call pictures from 1944 new. They weren’t in the Army trunk, but in a very small photo album I discovered while searching for something in the attic. The photos are a bit faded and blurry; but if you’ve read the book, you’ll recognize Lt. Helen Eberhart Daley and Lt. (later, Capt.) Frank R. Daley, Army nurse and doctor in WW2, my parents.

HAPPY (HORSEY) NEW YEAR!

January 1, 2018

dandis-christmas-card_edited.jpg

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 #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 #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.

FRANK THE STORYTELLER

November 14, 2017

Dad and Dandi

My dad, Captain Frank R. Daley, M.D., told me stories before I understood what he was saying. I remember that when I was very young, Mom would read me a story at bedtime. Then Dad would come in and make up a story. My favorites were part of a “Big Foot Dan” series, where Dan always beat Superman and Mighty Mouse in races. It wasn’t until a decade later that I figured out the amazing similarities between Dan’s feet and mine.

When I was a bit older, I got to partake in the story creation. Dad: “Once upon a time, there were four horses grazing on a hill. Their colors were. . .” Dandi’s turn: “Um, brown and brown and brown and brown?” Thankfully, my answers grew more sophisticated as time went on.  http://www.dandibooks.com