Horse and Cart – Guest Post

Wooden horse and cart, made in Japan. Belonged to Mary’s grandmother.

This isn’t exactly a guest post, because Mary is my sister. On the other hand, the object isn’t in my house, so I decided to label her as a guest. (She’s welcome as my guest any time, with or without the horse and cart!)

This little tchotchke was in our Grandmother’s house. Mary loved it and was allowed to play with it, very special to her because from the time she was seven she wanted a pony. Every Christmas she knew this was the year – she’d check the carport and the backyard – but no. Finally my mother told her if she wanted a horse, she’d have to pay for it herself. By the time she was sixteen she’d saved 625 bucks and bought her first horse – Silky!

I want to make a detour here – how she ever came to name the horse such a boring name is beyond me. Maybe it came with it. But when Mary named her cars (oh, we all name our cars – mine was the Wonder Bug, but that’s another story), she did so with elan. Roaring Judy, Babe Blue Ox, Hot Lips (red, of course), Moose the Mustang, Benson, and finally Harvey. I imagine you can guess the make and color of that one.

Anyway, horses were her big deal and my parents were happy. She was busy at the barn and riding in shows, no chance to get into trouble. But it backfired when it came time for her to go to college. Horses were all that mattered and she didn’t want anything more to do with school. She tells the following story:

Daddy was watering the flowers in the backyard. I told him I didn’t want to go to college. I wanted to train horses.
Daddy said, “Will that afford you the lifestyle to which you are accustomed?”
“No.”
“Will it make you happy?”
“Yes.”
“Okay.”
I was always grateful he didn’t just turn the hose on me!

Mary went on to work in Hawaii and to be a trainer at Hope Ranch in Santa Barbara. Every once in a while she’d be thrown. A worker would run over and say, “Shall I call an ambulance?” Her answer was always no, until the last time she bit the dust. Her neck was fractured and she went to the hospital.

Now Mary is an extrovert and she was left alone a lot in the ICU unit. She says when she got so bored she couldn’t stand it, she’d pound on her own chest and make her heart go crazy so a nurse would run in. They finally put her into a private room with a TV. Wonder why? In any case, although there was no lasting damage from her fall, she decided it was time to move on.

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