Monday, September 12, 2011

The day no one will ever forget...

Sept 11 2001. Ten years ago. Will we ever forget that date? Anyone who was old enough on that faithful day to understand will never forget. I know I won't.

I was just 16. 17 days before my 17th birthday.

I was living away from home on a farm doing what I loved to do, work with horses. My life had gone from complete darkness and hell, to light and peace. My upside down world had been righted. I was back in my element.

I woke up early that morning. I ate my breakfast and got dressed for the day. I was living with 5 others in a house on the farm we all worked at. 5:30 am and I was the only one up and moving. The house was peacefully quite. At 6 I headed out the the barn, just a short walk up in-between the paddocks. I had been working there for less than a month. Just really getting into the groove of things. I walked slowly in the morning sunlight, just enjoying the moments. I took a deep drag of my morning smoke and looked up into the clear blue sky, smiling. It was going to be a great tuesday. Two morning doves circled the sky above me steady and strong. I took it as a good sign. Was I ever wrong.

Walking into the barn I smiled as the show horses greeted me. Nickering and banging their feed bowls. "Hush guys, I'm getting to you." Cliffy was just coming down from his apartment in the hay loft to feed. When his boots hit the stairs, you could have sworn those pleasantly plump warmbloods were starved. Shoes banging walls, horses screaming there dismay at the slow, steadiness of his cowboy boots on the stairs. Above the pounding hooves and screaming calls Cliffy yelled for his barn cats. "BONNNNNIE..... BONNNNIE. BREAKFAST!"

I waved to Cliffy as he bent down to pick up his favorite cat Bonnie. He poured her cat food into a dish and set her down beside it crooning at her the whole time. Cliffy then set about getting the feed cart out and graining the hungry warmbloods. I followed behind him with a wheelbarrow full of hay. The morning was peaceful and routine.

At quarter to 7 the rest if the crew had made their way into the barn. We had our normal meeting over a smoke and Tim Hortons coffee brought in by the boss. Who's going where, who's doing what and who needs to be ridden by the boss. We got the first round of horses out by 7:30 and started mucking stalls. The barn was done by 8:30 and I was sent to get a clients horse ready for her 9:30 am lesson.

I set Foxy up in the grooming stall and got to work making him shine. The radio was bumping along beside me. I was blissfully unaware. In my own little world of perfection. I had Foxy all set and ready to roll by 9:10 am. Just before the first plane hit the first tower.

At 9:15 the barn phone rang. My farm manager answered. It was our client. She was just up the road and told the farm manager of the first plane hitting the twin towers. She hung up the phone and ran to grab everyone from their duties. Everyone was ushered upstairs to the office and the TV. We all dropped everything to watch. We watched as the second plane hit. We watched the jumpers. We watched the towers fall. At some point during this our client had arrived. She too stood around the TV with us. No one said a word. Tears rolled down cheeks and gasps were all that could be heard as things played out on the news.

I remember getting up and untacking Foxy. There would be no lesson today. It didn't need to be said. It was understood. I went back to watch the TV after putting Foxy back in his stall. The rest of the horses could wait.

I remember thinking it was a horrid hoax. I remember watching the planes fly over the farm. Redirected from the USA to Toronto,Ontario. Could one land on us? Our farm was right on top of a major natural gas pipe line. Would we become a target? With each plane that passed over I cringed. The depression I had ran from was returning. The anxiety was gripping the edges of my sanity. I wanted to run and hide. But I stayed rooted to the spot, watching that damn TV.

The jumpers. The firefighters, police, EMS, and good citizens covered in a thick grey dust. The mushroom cloud. The fire. The papers scattering the air. The gravity of the situation hit me like a ton of bricks.

I don't remember what we did that afternoon. I don't remember pulling myself away from the TV. I do remember bringing in horses long after they were due to come in. I remember working away at my tasks for the day, just going through the motions. I no longer smiled. I only looked up at the sound of a plane passing over head.

I am not a religious person by any means. When I turned 12 I stopped joining my family at church. I no longer said prayers at night or even really believed in a god. On Sept 11th 2001, I prayed. I prayed for the innocent people inside the buildings and planes. I prayed for the police, firemen, EMS, and the good citizens who were helping get people out. I prayed for their family's. I prayed they would all get out alive.

I laid in my hammock that night after dinner and just looked up into the sky. I laid there for hours. I finally got up long after the sun had set, and the stars had risen. Long after I had been called in by my housemates and coworkers. I said nothing to anyone as I sat on the couch. I just stared at the TV. The news was back on. Replaying the horrific details over and over again. I didn't need to see it to know what had happened.

The world had changed forever.

The world is still recovering 10 long years later.

I am still recovering 10 long years later.

I may not have been there.

I may not have had anyone inside the area.

But it still effected me profoundly.

My the souls of the lost rest in eternal peace.

I will never forget.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It's been a great year

The end of 2010 was crazy busy for me. I spent the last 3 weekends at the farm getting ready for Florida among other things.

Not much snow but enough to make me pack quick!

I packed the RV chalk full of almost everything we need while down in Florida. Only tack and blankets were left behind. Tack because it's being used and the blankets were still dirty from last year. I know bad groom!

Damn I thought I had pretty tack room pictures but I must have deleted then.... Grrrrrr!

Anyway we got lots accomplished that weekend. After packing the RV and tiding up the never ending tack room disaster, we all loaded up into the truck to make a midnight run to Sarnia to pick up Fly.

Miss and Roo in the back of the truck with us.

The boys piled into the front seat and the ladies got the back with the dogs. To be honest I'm not sure if we won or lost with the dogs...150lb bloodhound takes up most of the back seat no matter how he sits.

There is a lady and a Miss under that bloodhound.

We pulled into a hotel off the Hwy around 2 am. We got a room and snuck the dogs in the back room. I'm glad Roo was to tired to howl he would have given us away. No dogs allowed hotel... Oops?

Miss figured out that if she lays on top of him she doesn't get squished. This was on the trip home in the am.

The 3 adults and the dogs piled back into the truck at 7:30 am. The boys refused to get up so we left them behind in the hotel. We drove the 10 mins to pick up Ms. Fly, chit chatted for a bit with her former owners and everyone said a quick prayer for her to load. Well I have to say for 8 months old that little baby loaded and shipped like she's been doing it her whole life. We turned and tried to burn rubber coming back home as we still had to feed and turn out our 29 horses. We grabbed the boys as we passed the hotel and jumped back on the hwy.

We made a quick pit stop at some dive type truck stop for breakfast. Poor Fly got left in the trailer. If we could have brought her in to eat with us we would have. She stood like a rock on the trailer and made us proud!

The girls calling to Fly on the trailer as we pulled in.

We have such great boarders (the few we do have) they came and turned out horses for us. We didn't get back to the farm until noonish. All the girls came over to the fence to check out who was pulling in on their trailer. I missed them all lined up on the fence like a photo shoot.

Fly right off the trailer

This photo doesn't do her justice but she is ALL legs! Tina Turner like legs!

After getting Fly settled in the boss lady had to teach a lesson. Being the good groom I am i helped set jumps and mucked a few stalls. When the lesson was done we untacked CeCe in the arena and let her lose with Fly. They ran around a bit and then Fly decided she would like to be a jumper. Instead of going around the jumps like a normal horse she jumped them like a pretty little hunter. Very neat and tidy. Tonns of scope. No pictures of that... No one expected that.

After we finnished up the barn we troted over to the neighbors annual Christmas party at his bar. Alway a fun time, and great food!!! I headed home on the bus around 10 and was home by 12:30 am. Well worth the lack of sleep.

Over the Christmas holidays the boss lady and family took the RV down to Florida. From what she told me I'm glad I stayed in the cold!

I did the family thing on Friday in Toronto with my sister, her BF and their son, my mom and my BF. It was fun but I'm glad it's only a few times a year we are all togther!

Worlds cutest red head playing with his new ball.

I wanna sit with mom!

Happyier... Kinda

Nap time in his new Buzz LightYear couch.

I spent Christmas day at the farm pretty much by myself. It was GREAT! The weather was good cold but sunny and I got a turkey dinner with one of the boarders and her family.

Lots of sanding to do...

I got to work on my project for Mel at Boots and saddle

Monsters Brother Moo

Sunday I kept the horses in. It was sunny and clear but the wind was horrid. I had awoken up to a freezing house...49 degrees F inside. Can we say burrr!! The house runs on propane and I thought the furnace had broken. Turns out all 3 tanks were empty. I did not want to deal with a frozen barn to so the ponys stayed in for the day. I was playing it paranoid safe.

CeCe was not impressed she wanted out!

I worked my normal job Monday to Thursday. After spending some time with the love of my life Thursday after work I headed back to the farm around midnight.

Love being himself...I must be crazy!

Over the new years weekend the boss lady and I got a lot done. We made 3 baby jumps,

worked 5 horses

and did some general clean up. Mr boss lady played in the tractor added dirt to the paddocks. We fixed the hallway mats, a feed bowl, a stall wall and 2 outside doorways. We even had time to make 2 trips to home depot! And play dress up.

Poor miss is not impressed

Roo was much more cooperative and actually walked around with everything staying on for quite awhile.

Roo stole my hat when we were done playing... I think he wanted to keep it on!?

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year. I can't wait to see what 2011 brings!!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone