Joyous Simplicities

Joyous simplicities are hidden throughout life. Stumbling upon one is a wondrous moment—even more so when you discover one with your teen. A time to treasure, or so I’m told.

Teens. They have a way of spoiling things. It’s their mission in life.

Mishap #1

Saturday evening into Sunday was hellacious, and the week hasn’t stopped since. I went camping over the weekend with four girlfriends and four horses. We had a terrific time. Until Saturday night. My mid-sixties girlfriend looked dreamingly at her horse and sighed, “Someday I’d love to ride him bareback.” This she says to the beautiful white Spanish Andalusian with the big soft eyes. But, we call him Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. My daring girlfriend stood on top of the picnic table, plopped onto his bare back as he bolted out from under her. Thankfully she’s a trooper and came through with a bruised arm, a bruised butt and a slightly bruised ego.

Mishap #2

Sunday morning began at 6 a.m. to the sound of spattering rain hitting the aluminum roof of the camper. There’s nothing like the sound of the repetitive tit, tat, tit, tat, hitting a roof during a rainstorm. Something was strange though. The sun woke us up. There was no rain. One of the girls ran out of bed, opened the bathroom door, and was greeted by Niagara Falls. Water came gushing through the bathroom door, soaking the camper’s carpet. Oops. Someone left the toilet’s rinse lever in the open position. This, on the morning we had to pack up and leave.

Mishap #3

Needing to be at a Cavalry mission by 1 p.m. to practice for the upcoming Fort McHenry Flag Day ceremony, I rushed around hoping to be on the road with my horses by 11:30. Didn’t happen—the two previous mishaps didn’t help. Add to that the destination turned out to be a lot longer than an hour and a half, and I was dreadfully late in arriving at the mission. Never good in the military. Although my commander knew that I might not make it on time, because of the camping weekend, I assured him I would make every effort to be there. Note to self: marks against you when you arrive late at a military operation.

My girlfriend dropped me off at 1:45 p.m. and headed on down the road with Val, my other horse, to drop her off at the farm and then continue on to pick up the other two horses and girls. I hastily saddled up Rocky and headed into the ring, only to be greeted by a kicking horse and another I’ll call The Beast.

We were on his farm, he was the leader of his herd and the other kicking horse in the ring was his herd mate. We didn’t have a chance. Rocky was the odd man out. The 17 hand stallion-like beast towered over Rocky, frothing at the mouth, sweat rolling off his rippling muscles and hooves flying every which way. Our mission was to stand still by The Beast’s side, 4 inches off his stirrup while the National Anthem played. We couldn’t get within 4 feet of The Beast , let alone 4 inches, and therefore failed at our mission and were booted. Crushed, we stood in the corner like sulking school children. Tears streamed down my face as the National Anthem blared for 3 ½ minutes over the loudspeaker strategically placed in the field for the practice mission. It was the longest 3 ½ minutes I ever heard.

3 p.m. and I was done. A failure. We had practiced so long and so hard only to meet up against unfortunate circumstances beyond our control. Neutral territory would have made all the difference in the world. But it wasn’t our lot that day.

Mishap #4

At 4 p.m. I was still in the field waiting with my tail between my legs for my girlfriend to return with my rig. The girls, waiting for my truck and trailer on the other end, called wondering where our girlfriend was and when she’d be returning. It didn’t look good if she wasn’t even back at the campground yet. Fortunately one of the officers took pity on me and offered me a ride home. Rocky, unfortunately, would have to stay with The Beast until I returned.

Arriving at the farm, I fed the other 8 horses in our co-op while I waited for the return of my rig. At 7 p.m. it rolled in. I drove the long drive back up to the field where the practice mission was held and retrieved my forlorn horse.

Exhausted, I fell into bed at 11 p.m, only to get up at 6 a.m. the next morning to feed the horses and start my work week.

Joyous Simplicities

Thank God work was without mishap and I was looking forward to spending the evening with my 18-year-old son, whom I hadn’t seen in four days. He was an endless chatterbox as we drove to our dinner destination. I smiled as he went on about his weekend and the relevant happenings in his life, as I told him about mine. After dinner he looked at me and said, “Come on Mom, you know what you need? An ice cream cone. My treat.” Be still my heart. My teen age son was growing up to be a sensitive man.

As I sat there on the bench licking my mint chocolate chip ice cream cone watching the sun descend in the sky as it cast it’s golden rays on our faces, I sighed and said, “This has been the best moment in my life in the past 72 hours. I think I’ll write about the joyous simplicity of this moment in my blog.”

His response, “If you even mention me and joyous simplicities in the same sentence I’ll launch a DOS—a denial of service—with all my friends shutting the blog down.”

“Why?” I asked. “I’m just going to talk about you and our time together.”

“If you do, you’re declaring war, and I’ll have to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile,” came the banter back.

“But I’m just going to say how much I enjoyed the time spent and how much I love you.” I smiled waiting for the inevitable response.

“Mom, now you’ve launched a nuclear attack.”

Teenagers. The mission: to spoil the joyous simplicity of the moment. At least he succeeded at his mission that night. But Peter, guess what, I still love you! There I said it, the dreaded “L” word to my teen. Ah, the joyous simplicities of life. I love ‘em.

Rocky and me at the Fort McHenry practice mission.

Rocky and me at the Fort McHenry practice mission.

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