Monday, June 6, 2011

What's up

On a usual week in the life, some little things happen. A paper gets accepted or rejected, I have a good riding lesson or a not so great one, we try a really lovely Shiraz at a restaurant and are able to get a case very reasonably. And then big stuff happens, but it is far removed from my everyday life and involves no one I know. There is a natural disaster, a president is elected, a crime is committed, music awards and sporting championships are won.

But this week, the big events that are usually spread very thinly crowded into my life. Last Tuesday, True Prospect Farm suffered the horrible loss of the barn and 6 horses plus injuries to 5 more and to 3 riders in a barn fire. These are not strangers on the news, but friends and colleagues, horses I know and have seen at many events. I've given a bit of money, rounded up a few things that might be useful, expressed my sorrow and been proud to be part of the eventing community that has stepped up to help in so many ways. Despite all of this, on Friday, Caitlin Silliman completed the sale of my young horse Tag to the perfect home with a dressage rider in Florida. His new owner heard of the fire and called, very worried before the sale went through. Luckily Tag was down the road and is well and will be heading off soon. Kudos to Caitlin for dealing with all the sales details, while dealing with Hoku's injuries, all the losses, moving into a new home... This is a real horseperson and I'm proud to have her as a friend.

Meanwhile, Henry and I looked at "Country Homes" in Kennett Square and environs. I've been wanting a place to spend some time out of the city and closer to the horses and Henry has agreed that it might be fun. We found a place we quite like,

This morning we made an offer on it. Then on Wednesday, Henry heard that his promotion to Full Professor at Penn has gone through, so we headed off to celebrate.

Saturday, I headed down to Waredaca to volunteer. All was going well until just as SJ was ending, I received a call from my brother that my mother was not doing well. Less than a half hour later, she took her last breath. My brother was able to be with her and said she was very peaceful at the end. I spent Saturday evening with my extended Waredaca "family" and was immensely comforted by their kindness and care.

So in a single week there has been a family death, a close at hand tragedy, a new home (or at least the potential of one), a promotion and a horse sale (my first since 2004 - and that one I have since bought back). The small things happened too. A paper was accepted, another submitted. I jumped my first course on my new horse, which was the first time I have jumped 8 fences in a row since March of 2010. We had dinner on the roof deck of our city house for the first time. Henry found baby lobster tails and had another culinary triumph last night. Thank goodness, life goes on.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


It isn't juggling the time and the stuff; work, working out, riding, volunteering, teaching, family, friends, house. You do it or you don't and you get used to prioritizing, and eventually figure out that you have to say no sometimes. I am a long time expert at this game. What I'm finding harder to juggle is the emotions. The grief and guilt of enrolling my mom in hospice and then being 2500 miles away, the sadness and feelings of helplessness over the True Prospect Barn Fire (I know anyone who reads this blog has already contributed and is dealing with their own feelings about it), and then at the same time the fun of house hunting in Kennett Square and my pride in Henry's promotion to full professor at Penn. Yesterday evening, I left work and talked to my brother about my mom while I was walking to the restaurant to meet Henry for his celebration dinner, then after dinner spoke with Caitlin's mom about what she needs and looked at my schedule for today which includes work, riding my horse, teaching, more work, hopefully a workout and trying to pull together stuff for Caitlin. That piece of the juggling is fine.