Count Your Horses

Names were changed to retain the integrity of the guilty.

Clara was 18 and her husband, Jakey was 20 when they were married. Jakey was a scrawny little fellow scarcely tipping the scales much over 120 pounds. She was robust. They moved on to the family farm and kind of farmed. He is a hustler. In his hustling, he sometimes forgets why he is hustling.

In the early days of their marriage, I watched him come up the lane to the barn with a load of hay. I looked at that load of hay, and at the horses that were supposed to pull it up a steep hill and into the barn, and I came to a thoughtful conclusion. I knew for certain that those horses would not pull that load up the drive. His optimism, however, was the size of the load.

The horses looked like mice peering up to the top of a grandfather clock. Though the mouse may have looked up at the clock, you may as well forget about Hickory, Dickory Dock. Those horses would definitely not be running or walking any hill with that load. Jakey looked like a little replica of himself sitting way up on top of that load of hay.

I trembled with excitement. Let the show begin.

Suddenly, the scrawny little fellow way up on that mountain of hay slapped the lines and screeched an astonishing yell that rose way above his size. The horses dug in. The yells rolled over them. The wagon inched forward.

He continued yelling as the horses crouched low. They pulled with all their will and their great strength. The screams rose to a terrific crescendo as the horses treaded gravel. Peculiarly, I noticed that though the horses’ feet moved nothing else much did.

Finally, they stopped. The brake was quickly set, a fork grabbed, and the unloading began. The brake was released, the screams rose and the horses pulled—for one foot. The brake was set again and more hay was unloaded. This happened about three times until a good half of the hay was unloaded.

I decided then and there that children should never get married until they are able to evaluate the size of their horses in comparison to the size of the load.

The moral of this true story:

“Sitting on your work does not necessarily mean that you know the full size of it.”

The Big Fall

The trees displayed their best colors as the stream wound its way toward the Ohio River. IMG_0161.JPG

The horse was delighted to take such a stunning trip.IMG_0193.JPG

The light tickled the leaves as they hovered over the road, giggling softly. IMG_0237.JPG

The community of trees came together to create drama for the schoolhouse. IMG_0266.JPG

A mirror of trees saluted the quiet water on its way south. IMG_0277.JPG

They walked in gentle harmony to the neighbors to eat popcorn and discuss what kind of winter it would be. IMG_0281.JPG

He grabbed the last of the grass while the grabbing was still good.IMG_0319.JPG

The vapid pieces united to make a strong case for themselves.IMG_0253.JPG

It lived a great life until the winter of its life showed up. IMG_9199.JPG



This N That

Summer’s over and fall is upon us. It’s time to share a few leftover pictures with you since summer has closed the door and locked it (the key is under the door mat).

Looking out over the hills during the summer reveals this pleasant treasure. Doesn’t it look serene?  You can walk for miles and find the same idyllic setting. Nice!


A few miles away and there is that red and white again tucked neatly into the hills. I hope the red paint stays on sale. Don’t you?


The little tree takes advantage of the mirror that the sun creates, and bends over to look at itself. What do you think little tree? Are your leaves shiny enough?


This monarch doesn’t care all that much for greens. He enjoys the sweet yellow wildflowers. Go for it! You’ll need it once your start on your southern trip.


Not all school busses are yellow. It looks like this one is full. How do you like the air conditioning on this one?


It’s a brand new world for this fellow. Three years from now he’ll be as big as Mama. Looks like you have plenty of nutritious grass. Eat your fill. You need the vitamins.


How would you like to live in this hidden cove? No electric lines means no modern technology can creep into this place and ruin the whole culture. Peaceful isn’t it?


Just Thinking

Sitting on the freshly turned over sod is a great way to view the world. There is something solid and back to earth about it.

Summer’s evening creeps down the lane ready to make itself at home.

The smell of new hay and the soft plod of horses finishes the day well.

The most precious gold lies not in the vault but in open fields of a summer evening.

A storm might be brewing on the horizon but from where I sit everything is tidy and in order.

You might have your computer games and other electronic gadgets but I bet you don’t have your very own pet clothes line!

You can have a good enough day, but if you don’t have a giddy up trip home you’re missing it.

Present Things From the Past

It is always sad when I see what lack of use and maintenance does to the past. It only takes a little bit of neglect to render the once useful, useless. Needs change over the years, and what was necessary becomes unnecessary.  What was profitable becomes a liability. It is the way of life, and has been thus I suppose for as long as man has existed. Milk sours, honey thickens, and cheese becomes moldy. Iron rusts, wood decays, and cement cracks. Aging and decay is part of life. Look into the mirror and you will see that time moves on. Come with me and let’s see if we can find beauty in age.