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Friday, May 4, 2018

the derby...

Spent this past week busy, busy, BUSY. Three days at TLC’s—for many reasons. Biggest one? She needed my help, as Her Hubby was out of town. If I can? I'm there. Y'all know this by now.

My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) and I headed East in his truck Tuesday afternoon and went to Little Leighton’s Spring Program that evening. At her school. It was precious. Of course. He went home after said program, returning to pick me up yesterday afternoon. (I felt like one of my grandmothers. My Dad would drive a couple of hundred miles to pick her up a couple of times a year and bring her back to our home. For like a week. Summers. Christmases. Then take her back. She was in her late 70s and early 80s when he did this.) Not having my car—being Driven Like Ms. Daisy—made me feel like my grandmother. Yes. I’m a grandmother. Even though I think I’m a young one—I’m probably not. And it was actually kinda nice to be chauffeured. Not going to lie.

He came to retrieve me yesterday afternoon around 2:00. We got home by 5:00. Today I’m being rather lazy. It’s dark outside. Rainy. I’m loving it.

This morning, as I watched a bit of the news and morning shows, I saw an ad for The Kentucky Derby! Tomorrow!

Y’all, there is no explanation for my obsession with horse races. NONE. Zero. I didn’t grow up with horses. Although, after I graduated from high school, my parents moved to a 30-acre place west of Ft. Worth, where they had lots o’ cows. My mother, who had grown up riding horses, decided to buy two at an auction. A big brown horse and a small Welsh pony. The brown horse was named Taurus (longish story) and the pony was named Charlie Brown. Charlie was adorable.

My mother was always looking for someone to ride with her. I avoided doing it. One lovely weekend afternoon, my middle sister and I were talked into riding these two down past our creek. Mother said they really needed to be ridden consistently. So they'd be good riding horses.

My sister rode Charlie. I rode Taurus. I vividly remember being extremely nervous. Y’all—did I mention he was BIG? We went across the creek and rode for a bit on some of the most beautiful land on our parents’ place. Things were going okay. Then something scared Taurus as we went back across the creek to wind up the ride. He bolted so unexpectedly and fast, both my feet came out of the stirrups and I lost one of the reins. I held on to the saddle horn and that one useless rein for dear life—certain I was going to die or be seriously injured. He came to a complete and hard stop at his feed bucket in the corral. My mother had watched all of this happen from our house (I’d had no control of this horse for at least ten to twelve acres.) and she'd come running to help. I was a mess. A complete and total wreck. So frightened. So angry. In tears. Possibly saying words I shouldn't have. But grateful to be alive. She tried to make me get right back on him. I refused. I knew I should. I couldn’t. I was a ball of shakes.

A couple of months later, she talked me into riding with her. This time, she’d ride Taurus (I had no intention of ever getting on that horse again.) and I’d ride Charlie. He was adorable. Silly. Gentle. She convinced me everything would be fine. Off we went.

We’d probably ridden down some country roads for about an hour when Charlie decided he was tired. Finished. Needed a nap. He literally laid down—with me on him—in the middle of the road. My mother had one heck of a time making him get up. She attempted to trade horses with me—telling me she’d have to keep Charlie Brown going to get him home. Uh. Yeah. NO WAY. So for the next thirty minutes, as we worked our way back home, Charlie laid down three more times. Mother would go through the process of encouraging him to get the h#l* up while I stood and rolled my eyes. Vowing my days of riding these wackadoodle horses were officially over. It. Was. Ridiculous.

That was pretty much the end of my horse-riding attempts. Almost forever. I have, since that time, ridden a couple of times when we’ve been in Colorado. I always ask for the horses that are Senior Citizens and/or possibly not feeling well. On one trail ride, I did worry my horse was going to keel over before we got back to that corral. He made it. They all sense my intense fear, too. I know they do.

Yet…I treasure horses. Have always loved watching movies about horses. (Secretariat? Oh. My. Wow. I watched that Derby! It was chilling.) I am obsessed with horse races. I have no clue how to read the racing forms or pick winners. I generally go with numbers I like (3,5 and/or 8), the colors the jockeys are wearing, names of the horses or names of the jockeys. Maybe where the horses are from. You get the idea. I have not one ounce of knowledge about how to win. Because, frankly, I don’t care if I win. I never bet more than $10 a race—dividing it up between two to four horses. I make no money. It’s all about the experience! The entertainment! I have a blast. Every. Time.

My favourite place to go to the horse races is Ruidoso, New Mexico. Been there many, many times. It ROCKS my world.

We’ve also been to races in Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie is not far from us and a great place for an afternoon of fun. Haven't been there in several years. This post is making me want to go. ASAP.

The Kentucky Derby? It’s tomorrow! This will be the first time in several years I’ll be able to sit down and watch it. From beginning to end! I normally record it and do my best not to hear or read who the winner was until I can watch for myself. It’ll be LIVE and in REALTIME for me. I am PSYCHED.

Hope each of you has a Wonderful Weekend—wherever in this World Y’all are! If you're watching The Derby? I will be, too! Think of me. I'll be in my jammies, drinking my Coke Zero and eating my Jolly Time kettle corn. I’ll be in HEAVEN.


P.S.: If I won The Lottery tomorrow? Or next week? Or next year? I’d want to buy some racehorses! First, I’d have to buy a big beautiful ranch in Kentucky. Or Tennessee. Then I’d hire lots of experts to help me raise my horses. Then I’d travel the “circuit!” Praying that someday I’d have a horse who qualified for The Kentucky Derby! I don’t really like to wear hats all that much—but I’d do it. I'd wear one. In a heartbeat. I’d drink one of those mint juleps and sing My Old Kentucky Home loud and proud! It could happen, right? It could happen. Right. (Winky. Wink.)

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