Aspens Ahead

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

We’ve had a bit of heat from temperatures in the 40s. Yesterday, predicted as a no-rain, no-snow day. I was scheduled to work. I asked my managers to text in advance my hours. If they’re short enough, the horses could be left on pasture, and later, I’d get home with still enough light to get home with them safely.

My scheduled hours would be short, and so, I scrambled early to go outside and onto the street leading all three the quarter-mile to a kind neighbor’s pasture. While Weather Channel predictions tend to be accurate, I worry about leaving the horses without shelter on winter days, when I can’t periodically check their welfare.

The streets were damp but not slippery. We’re rarely bothered by traffic, but while nearing a corner, I felt Rosie’s head turning toward the left. She was correct, a vehicle was coming toward us. The driver slowed and waved, gave us lots of berth, and passed. It’s essential to move the horses home while the light is adequate for drivers to see us on the streets. After leaving for work yesterday, my daylong focus was getting home and early enough to stay safe.

As promised my hours were short and I left for home with yet another hour of daylight. Immediately after parking my car, I hurried to the pasture still wearing my at-work shoes, lacking appropriate treads for the little snowy back path that returns us to my property.

While still quite a distance away, I saw Rosie’s blaze held high as she stared in my direction. “Good girl!” I muttered aloud, “Yes, I’m coming for you.” They were at the far end of the pasture and I wondered about their long hours there. They answered, as I approached the main gate, by all three leaping into action and full-out galloping from far away to where I stood. Rosie stopped at the fence and I reached toward her blaze. “Girl, I believe you’re tired.”

I was correct, as while we traveled home Rosie lagged behind. Typically, she walks faster than me and slips slightly ahead. I often pause to ask Rosie to realign her shoulder to mine. Yesterday, all three animals were tested when a big FedEx truck roared up behind. I moved us away from the street’s center and we waited as the big truck passed. Not a single ear so much as flicked!

The little snowy back path toward my property was slippery and challenged my workplace footwear, but we walked slowly and arrived home safely. Best, adequate light remained to handle the necessary evening-care for all my animals.

My managers, willing to text in advance my scheduled working hours, offer a step forward in the care for my equines. Now, in good weather, the horses may be left on grass while I work. It’s terrific that they needn’t await my returns simply hanging around in dry lot.

Best of all, is a tired-out Rosie who lags as we walk home.

Dear Friends: New rain is beginning, exactly as yesterday’s Weather Channel predicted. Diana

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