Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July on the Farm

I always forget how busy summers are. In my head I imagine the long, lazy days of my childhood summers... riding horses, waterskiing, swimming, fishing, going camping. At least, that's what I remember. My mother would probably remember those days as filled with gardening, washing lots of filthy clothes, fixing meals and trying to find a few minutes to take it easy. Those are things I've been doing, along with milking goats, cleaning barns, mowing and weeding.

Summers also invariably include company. Our 9-year-old grandson visited last week. My work was happily interrupted by riding horses, canoeing and hiking the beach with him. Johnny enjoyed time spent with Ian, too. Together they canoed, plumbed the new goat barn, watched videos, and played in the sand at the beach while I looked for Black Oystercatchers ( my continuing once a week activity).

We returned Ian to his parents at the big Dressage at Devonwood horse show last weekend. For three days we enjoyed friends and family and beautiful horses... between morning and evening chores. The weather at the show was lovely, particularly the first two days when it was clear but pleasantly cool. The grounds at Devonwood Equestrian Center are spectacular. Here is Jessica's horse Rudi with his trainer Nicki Grandia in the warm-up ring, Mt. Hood in the background.

And here is one of Nicki's clients, Katie Newbury, on her beautiful Friesian gelding Joe, being escorted by some of the Traumhof team and their supporters, including Kevin and Ian and Johnny (Jessica and her sister Sarah are hidden behind the big black horse). Joe was high point Friesian at the show. The Newbury family along with all the other members of the Traumhof team were very supportive of each other and a lot of fun to be around.

The downside to the show was Kevin's chest pains that scared us all but turned out not to be a heart attack, but muscle spasms from some yet-to-be-diagnosed problem with his esophagus. Here's hoping it's easily and quickly fixed.

Now I'm back to watering, weeding, hoeing, mowing, washing lots of filthy clothes, and today: picking and freezing peas. Strange to be harvesting peas at the end of July but that's the strange sort of weather year it is. The rest of the garden is still waiting for the heat of summer to hit. And I'm still waiting for those long, lazy days of summer. But I stole a few minutes to take it easy and write this blog post so that, in the future, I can revisit what I actually did this summer.

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