I'm shaking my head that July is behind us! On the other hand, when I think of all that we have done this summer, its kind of amazing that we still have a month to do more of it! Hee hee! :)
We just did another horse show, and while it was more of a rollercoaster ride than the last one, we all had a lot of fun.
Chena was warming Whisper up in the warm-up arena, and had done several jumps, and was humming along when her horse tripped a bit, just as she was approaching a jump, and kind of fell through the wooden jump. Chena tumbled over her head, and fell, but she was not hurt. She waited for her first class, and went in the arena..but as she was riding, we could both tell Whisper was favoring her front left, and our eyes met several times as she passed by the bleachers. We both knew she was done for the day.
So Chena came out, took off her tack, and went to scratch her other seven or eight classes. I was SOOOOO PROUD of my girl. She could have argued, or tried to get me to let her ride in her trail class, or make excuses, etc. Instead, she immediately did what was best for her horse, no questions asked. Horses certainly build character in kids! Its not the first time I have seen it. As she put Whisper in a stall, and got her hay bag and water trough, I could see how determined she was not to cry or feel sorry for herself. I got so teary watching her inner strength show on the outside, I had to turn away and busy myself at the trailer.
Later, she was talking and laughing with some friends, and she asked if she could borrow a horse, just to mess around and play a bit in the warm-up arena. The friend didn't have her extra horse, but another girl heard Chena and said she could use her gelding. So Chena rode him a bit, was having some fun and I was pretty happy that she could smile and relax and play a bit. Then, her riding instructor came up to her and suggested she enter back into a few classes...just Western as the English were just about finished. Chena asked me if she could, we cleared it with the owners, and off she went! They said he was a bit stubborn, and wouldn't do well, but she could go ahead with him.
So she jumped right in there, with a strange horse she had never ridden before, and she WON second place. Wow. I know a mama's prayers were a big part of the judging, because I sat on the bleachers and asked the Lord to just let her have a bright spot in her day, so that her sacrifices would not be her only memory of the show that day. We were so excited when she came out of the ring with that beautiful ribbon, I think it will be my favorite for all time. She went on to another class, and won fourth place on him! What a fun day it turned out to be.
Chena on Whisper in her first class:
Chena on "TJ" in Western classes:
IN other news.....we are about to start our guide business field season, so Michael will basically be gone from now until the middle/end of October, with two short visits home in that time. The girls and I are used to it, but really you just can't ever truly get used to that kind of separation. We stay very busy, and I tend to just go go go as a way of coping until we are together as a family again. The last few days have been spent putting up the last of our hay, taking the Super Cub off of floats and lifting it out of the lake, and making plans for his long absence. I felt sad as I saw the Cub sitting in the lake on its last night on floats. The fireweed is getting tall too.
It means Michael will be gone soon. We try not to think about it! Tonight we are all going out for a VERY special dinner, (that story next!) and bowling/mini golf.
A few nights ago, we were sitting at the table after a late dinner, just talking. We heard a motorcycle in the driveway, but we thought it was a four-wheeler and it was friends of ours stopping by. But then we heard running footsteps, and then loud pounding on the door. We all jumped up and opened the door and there was a young man, in his twenties, and he gasped out "Please help, I'll pay you anything to help us, my girlfrend just crashed her motorcycle in the woods on the trail. I think she broke her ankle or her leg! Help please!" We all sprang into action, I grabbed blankets and pillows and was in our van and headed down our runway to the trail in just minutes, following him as he raced ahead to show me the way. I was shocked to hear her screaming all the way from our house! (its a long way)
I parked and ran down the trail, Penelope following me close behind. I could see her crumpled up in an awkward ball, but as I got close she begged me not to move her. I slipped down in the mud and bushes next to her, with my body kind of under her (she was on a slope) and I put blankets under and around her, and pillows under her head. She moaned and cried and tried to sit up but I told her to relax, and I held her hand, and got her to lay her head on me, with the pillows supporting her. She had no helmet, so I was concerned about her neck, especially. She was white as a sheet, and in shock, and she gripped my hand so tight it hurt me a bit. Then she said she was "so dizzy" and she suddenly went limp and her hand slipped out of mine, and I knew she had passed out from pain and shock. She came to screaming again. Michael had called 911 back at our house, and he rode HIS motorcycle to the end of our road to direct the ambulance in so there would be no wasted time. I told "Casey" she would be okay, I prayed with her, I stroked her hair and tried to comfort her. She was in agony, and pretty terrified as well. She told me she had heard her leg snap, and she knew it was broken. I then told her to breathe in and out slowly, and as she exhaled, she should listen for the sirens and she did as I told her....and soon we heard the sirens and the emergency vehicles started arriving.
They raced down the trail to us, and after checking her out, one of them mouthed to me over her head "Its broken", and I could see it was really bad. Her boyfriend, who had been absolutely frantic when he first came to us for help, had completely relaxed and handed her over to me, so I reminded him to get in there and hold her hand, and I climbed off the slope and we all helped take her on the stretcher to the ambulance. They had a C-collar on her by then, and stabalized her body for shock, and we could see the very bad break.
We took their two motorcycles to our house, and told her boyfriend to ride with her in the ambulance, and he could come get the bikes at anytime.
So last night, we were gone, and when we came home the bikes were gone. I was really wishing I knew how she was doing, but the hospital would not give me any information, since I was not a relative. But as we walked up to our door, I saw an envelope there. Inside was a gift certificate to our nicest restaurant here in town, and it was for $100! We were shocked. The note said thank you, but that was all. I loved the thoughtfulness of the two of them, but really we would have all preferred a note telling us she was doing okay, and how she was feeling.
Well, I'm just glad we could be there when we were needed, and that she was not hurt any worse than she was.
Tonight we are all going out for a very special dinner, compliments of "Casey" and her boyfriend. It will be a great opportunity to talk to our girls about motorcycle safety, huh?