Well, That’s a Bunch of Horsesh!t…

April 24, 2010 at 2:40 pm (On the road again...)

I joke about procrastination, but am pretty good about getting things done when I set my mind to it. I had all kinds of home improvement projects planned for this weekend, and one by one they have been getting postponed until next weekend. Do I feel guilty? Not at all. They call them “days off” for a reason. My sloth has been rejuvenating. The planned housecleaning and remodeling has yet to begin, but I managed to ditch chores in exchange for some fun…

The procrastination started right out of bed Thursday morning, not that I planned it that way. As soon as my eyes opened, I popped out of bed and went to the kitchen to make coffee. Strike while the iron is hot. There’s a giant pile of clothes stored at the end of my bed that needs sorting. (Most are too big now. Yes…) I need access to the stuff under the pile, and know it’s going to spill over like a shaken forty-ouncer on a warm day. How will I get it all condensed back into that pile?…

Little Sister was home, so was Brother-in-Law. BIL was asleep, and Sis needed a ride to work.

“I thought maybe if you had a couple hours free time you could drive me out to the country?”

How quickly my domestic ambitions flew out the window. “I get to drive the Death Proof-mobile?” She has an old, beat-to-hell Chevy Nova that looks like the one from Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse movie. It guzzles gas faster than Kathy Lee slams vodka in the morning, is a total cop-magnet, and its driver-side door has a tendency to fly open on sharp corners. Of course I wanted to take it for a spin!

I chugged a 20 oz mug of high octane java, showered just long enough to de-beehive my hair and headed for the driveway. Being a foot taller than either regular driver, I eyed the spare tire holding the driver’s seat in position. Hmm. Would I fit?

The last car I drove was a tiny Kia. (Once inside I was fine, but folding into it was a developed skill.) The Nova was more accommodating, and I had leg room to spare. How does Sis drive this thing? KISS boots? As Sis gave detailed instructions on how to start the car, I turned the ignition. VROOM! Started right up. Come to Papa…

Going for a long ride in the country with Little Sister as my co-pilot took me back. We spent our teen years behind the wheel of a car, shuttling parents to and from hospitals, rest homes, etc… It was different this time. We weren’t sharing joints and passing a mug of beer back and forth. Cops watch the back roads for that sort of thing, and that’s why I was driving in the first place. Sis got a DUII a while back, and her suspension had two days to go. Neither of us were partying, but my not driving for six months made it seem like I was buzzed. Proceed with caution!

A half-hour later, we were well off the highway, up in the hills above the Clackamas River. We pulled into a gravel driveway, and I paused as Sis got out to open the gate. “Hurry through if I start yelling. If a horse gets out, it’ll take forever to round it back up…” I pulled through and parked.

Sis got to work, shoveling out stalls and watering the horses. I busied myself by taking in the atmosphere. It had been almost a year since the last time I got out of city limits; might as well make it count.

I wandered out to the pasture and arena. Two horses were segregated in their own pen, secured by a snapping electric fence. I was later told that these were “troublemakers”. That was good enough for me. I’m not being paid to deal with troublemakers today.

There was another horse that caught my eye. He was being kept a pasture away from the rest of the horses. He wore what looked like a horsie raincoat, and was quite animated. He was pacing the fence, trying to catch my eye. He really wanted to come say hi to me. Knowing better than to hop fences to pet a horse, I waved at him from a distance. That wasn’t good enough for him. He kept whinnying and giving me these “Come play with me!” looks and head-shakes.

As I walked back through the stable, I heard a familiar clickity-clack from behind. Oh shit! A blonde pitbull running full-speed toward me! There was nothing to grab to hit it with. Please god don’t let him bite anything I’m too attached to…

Doggie skidded to a halt three feet from me, tail wagging. After giving him an introductory sniff, (like the Queen would offer her hand in a handshake) I petted his head and scratched his ears. Sis came out of a stall, pushing a wheelbarrow full of droppings. “Oh, there you are!” she said to the dog. Then to me, “It’s a good thing he likes you. He’s a love/hate dog. There’s no in-between.”

“There’s a horse out there that seems to like me as well.” I told her about the raincoat-wearing attention-whore out in the field, and how he wanted me to come pet him.

“Um, that’s Dizzy, and he’s out there for a reason. He attacks the meter-readers, and other horses. He’ll get close enough to nuzzle, then bite your arm and throw you down so he can stomp on you. He lives here because he killed another horse at the last stable. Ripped its throat out.”

Yikes. And I wanted to hop fences to pet him…

In all, it was a great start to the day. I smelled real air instead of car exhaust. The poop on the ground belonged there, unlike the stuff on the sidewalks downtown. I didn’t have to pretend that traffic sounds were the ocean, because there were no traffic sounds. The giant pile of horse-poop and straw that served as a compost heap? According to Sis, “The dog will climb up on top, make a bed out of the straw and use the heat rising from the methane to stay warm.”

My favorite moment? There was a lone woodpecker up in a tree somewhere, doing his thing.

I’d rather listen to that than a bucket drummer any day…

1 Comment

  1. Wine and Bacon with Sausage said,

    fertilizing my computer screen are ya?

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