There's no doubt my roots have paved a clear path for my present... and future goals.
I grew up as an only child, and am still grateful to this day. I don't plan to have children, so the ball really stops here-unless I have a change of heart within the next 6-8 years.
The world was at my beck and call, my parents weren't running two other siblings to soccer and basketball or hockey three days a week. I tried the whole soccer thing like a normal kid but quickly realized it was not the sport for me when I got hit with the ball three times during our "jamboree". The bloody nose was the winner for me.
I found my way into the horse world, slowly at first, then dove deep. Some might say I got the "horse bug" from my mom who grew up on a farm and had the opportunity to have her own horses. I started with weekly lessons on a little black and white pony named Benny, but there were too many people in and out of the barn for me to make progress. Plus, I was six.
A few years later, I still couldn't let the horse thing go. That's when I met Daisy. An ol' girl when I first met her, I took lessons every Thursday for many years. Eventually, I half-leased her and rode a few days a week. I gained, lost, and regained a lot of confidence in those years. Daisy taught a lot of riders, and now enjoys a well deserved rest in horse heaven. When I had finally convinced my parents I was ready for my own horse and my own responsibility, I had to prove it. I began working at a local horse barn owned by a former neighbor. It was nothing fancy, but introduced me to a fantastic group of people and I finally got my wish.
I brought Checkers home in 2009 on a late June evening, just as the sun started to hide behind the hilltop. He is still a grumpy boy, living at a different farm, just 8 minutes from my house. It's been nothing short of an adventure, but that's a song for another time.
Throughout my adolescent and young teen years, I remember constantly asking my mom, "Can I spend the night at the farm tonight?", alluding to my grandparents. My grandfather ran a dairy farm in the center of Charlotte, VT. To this day, it remains one of the proudest parts of me. I remember countless hours roaming the calf barn, letting the curious babies suckle on my fingers with their rough tongues and barely-cutting teeth. I'd wipe the slobber on my jacket and head to feed the barn kitties.
I recall the acreage of fields we harvested. My grandpa, Poppy, drove the truck, while Gram and I held down the chopper.
Once, right next to the farm, we plugged the spout on the chopper. I was reading a book for a homework assignment and lost my page when we came to a grinding halt. Similarly, I recall the time we buried the chopper and wagon. I remember getting to the platform at the bottom of the ladder and walking off, instead of hopping down a good 12 inches. The ground was wet and the wagon was almost full, so naturally gravity said no way. I don't think we used the wagon much after that compared to just driving next to trucks.
My grandmother passed away just three years after the sale of the farm. I'm not sure my heart will ever recover from the time stolen from me, but I am so grateful for all the memories and experiences she gifted me.
We vacationed together often. I grew up taking frequent trips to see Mickey Mouse, or cruising in the middle of the Caribbean. I've even crossed Hawaii off my bucket list. So I've got a travel bug too...
It's no surprise that I've adopted a funny farm, as I type this with a cat purring in my lap. And once I purchase my own property with plenty of land, it's game over-I'm planning on more chickens and ducks, adding goats, and maybe even a pig.