June 1, 2010


My birthday weekend was so wonderful, it almost defies description. I don't even know what to tell you about it, except to say that it was full of the things that make me happy. I actually don't much want to talk about it; it feels quietly sacred somehow. Suffice it to be said: I love twenty-nine so far.

I will tell you one of my weekend activities: I had a great jumping lesson with Cookie on Monday night. They've brought in a trainer originally from the UK to help the 4H kids with their jumping and dressage prior to their big show this summer, and have opened up those lessons to those of us who are interested. I haven't done much jumping in the last ten years, and Cookie has done hardly any, so I expected it to be sort of a disaster, especially given that her steering mechanism is not always so good. But she was a superstar. She jumped everything I pointed her towards, even if the approach was bad. And the physical memory of how to ride a jump remained in my body throughout all this time. What a gift. The last jump we cleared was probably over two feet, which doesn't sound like much until you're trying to get your horse over it. Cookie sort of sat back mid-stride as if she wasn't going to do it, and then surprised me by rounding up over it beautifully. Afterwards the trainer said, "Well, she surely is willing!" Sometimes she is so giving of herself that I feel wretched having ever been frustrated with her. That animal tries her heart out for me, and I am so grateful to her, and occasionally humbled.

Tomorrow I'm headed out to Olympic National Park with an old friend from high school, who came to town today so we could get our backpacking gear situated. We were going to enjoy a day doing PDX sight-seeing things, but he got up at 3:30 and promptly arrived at the WRONG AIRPORT for his flight; I haven't had more than 5-6 hours of sleep since last week. We stopped at Powell's for ten minutes, ate crepes and french fries at the food carts, and came back here to play on my old school Nintendo before I dragged him to the barn so I could feed. We shopped for our trip, and now we're fully stocked but were too tired to pack. When we got back here, we stuffed ourselves full of sushi and promptly went to bed. It's supposed to rain rather seriously throughout our 3-day trip. I'm pretty sure we're going to come back covered in moss.

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