The Other Shoe

My new little male dog, Kique, is becoming so attached to me that he “screams” from the dog yard when I’m out of sight working with the horses. This sounds as if something truly horrible is happening to him and the first time he did it, I ran, panicked, heart pounding to find him jumping for joy to see me…

My beautiful picture

He scared my neighbor today as she heard his screams and she came running out of her house to my quick explanation. She and I both have that “danger Will Robinson” reaction. Right after she was startled by Kique, my brother returned home and, to my perception, he kept honking the truck’s horn. This would be so out of character that it scared me and I ran to the driveway, totally out of breath from the bronchitis I’m fighting.

Billy’s truck has something wonky going on with a sensor or a connection and when he turns the steering wheel, there is one little spot where it makes the horn honk. Crikey. We’ll get it fixed this weekend, even if we have to disconnect things and run the horn to a toggle on the dash…

Back in the 1970’s when we lived in Tucumcari, New Mexico, my Mum and I went to visit a friend in hospital there (a very small facility surrounded by “QUIET” signs). Just as I shut off the ignition to her Cadillac, the horn started blowing – constantly, loudly! I popped the hood (the bonnet) and pulled a wire from the square horn where the sound was – the tone changed… I saw another square “horn” thing, pulled the line to it… the tone changed… there were FIVE separate horns on that engine!

My “danger Will Robinson” reactions come from a lifetime of “other shoes” falling. I learned, from growing up with an alcoholic father, that I could never let my guard down. I also learned how to wire and strap a driveshaft up level again after the pillow block disintegrated so I could drive the 3 ton tilt cab truck home… how to use my jackets and a blanket to drive a car up out of deep mud… how to put a roll of paper towels under the accelerator when my horse van lost the spring that controlled that gas pedal… how to get a drunk father out of a dangerous bar with the owner threatening me… how to later care for my Mother (for a total of decades) physically and emotionally to make her life worth living after it had seemed destroyed by said father/husband.

I have an infinitely long list of experiences with that “other shoe” and yet, day by day, I do not go around looking for drama or emergencies. I just face them if they rise up in front of me and solve them… most of the time. It was good training for a horsewoman. Life with horses is full of split second decisions; life and death situations; needing to set aside all personal needs, comfort and safety to tend to the needs, comfort and safety of a horse…

Why? Because horses cannot take care of themselves. Not in these “modern” times. Not confined by the lifestyles we must inflict upon them. Horses are “at our mercy”. So are our dogs and other animals… and the people we care about and care for.

So I used to sleep lightly in case my brother would intercom me that my mother was in trouble at their house across my farm yard. Now, after her passing, I am able to sleep better, if a bit guilty about it… better nonetheless. I also sleep better after taking up playing my didgeridoos – the different way of breathing has improved my overall breathing! And, after being told by a man in Australia that it is bad luck there for a woman to play a didge – I am more committed to the playing! A friend in the UK told me it’s good luck there! I’m thinking I likely resonate better with England than OZ… time will tell.

a concert 008

I had a friend here ask me some advice about relationships online – yeah, since I’ve had such great success with the one I tried! NOT! But, I tried. I was open to the possibility of finding something special (which, actually, I did, it was just short lived) and, while I will never do that again, I was brave and honest. It was worth the try.

Here is what I believe, what I have learned that makes life bearable for me, in all of its complexities – just be honest. About every single thing. Be honest with oneself, be honest with the world, be honest with each other. Being honest makes everything easy… even when things get scary.

I don’t shrink from situations. That never would have worked in my life. I’ve told a lot of stories here and they just scratch the surface of the strange life I have lived – and I’m not done. I have an awesome life ahead of me still. But, if I had planned on a simple, quiet career and a peaceful retirement, I would not have been happy… not me, my soul would have been screaming.

I accept the strangeness I attract and embrace and resolve day by day. I don’t sit around waiting for the other shoe to drop… but I’m fully aware that it will… and I’ll deal with it when it happens.



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