When I sold my business and retired in 2011, it was to write more, ride more, and spend more time with my animals. Life has a way of filling up the cracks and crevices in our daily schedules, like sand fills in a bucket of pebbles, leaving you wondering how you ever found time to work before retirement.
Over the past few days, I’ve made time for my animals. I rode Mallory, my Tennessee Walker, though my woods Saturday. Yesterday, I rode Jazzy, the paint pony I bought for my grandchildren. Both days were sunny reprieves from the cold spell we’ve had, making them perfect for horseback riding. I’m so glad I took advantage of the rise in temperature, because by 10 a.m. this morning, a blustery wind had kicked up, the sun was hiding behind some dark snow-clouds, and a few tiny pieces of frozen water tried their best to make it to the ground before disappearing.
This morning, before the cold had enveloped my senses once again, I sat down on a piece of leftover fence post and watched my critters munch. One of my barn cats, Barney, strolled up and asked me to pet him. I obliged. Betsy, my goat, wondered over for some head-scratching, too. Sometimes I think that goat is part dog, she’s so affectionate.
So there I sat for 10 minutes or so, petting two of my critters against the backdrop of llamas, donkey and horses chomping on dry hay. The crunching sound they made was like a barnyard lullaby, so soothing that I could have fallen asleep had I been lying down.
“Ahhh,” I thought to myself. “This is the life. This is why I moved to the country.”
I am truly blessed.