I wish I had pictures for this blog- cuz they would have been good! Unfortunately, our camera is being fixed, so you’ll just have to use your imagination.
I believe I already wrote something about this, but I have never been this tired- ever. For the first week and a half of being stopped, a full time day was literally eating meals, doctoring horses, taking a nap, and maybe watching a movie. That’s it. And it took us all day. Half the time we sat and stared at the walls. We literally could have watched grass grow or paint dry and not been bored. Karen and Tom have a full career military background and she even told us that we had that blank, far away look of guys getting back from a military training operation- full and complete exhaustion. I learned something too- exhaustion that happens quickly recuperates quickly while a slow wear-down takes a long time to bounce back from.
Our time at the Browns was very low key to say the least. We requested anonymity so as to get rest from telling our stories too. They whole family did a stellar job keeping the secret. When we weren’t sleeping, well, we weren’t doing much else. We read alot, watched a few movies, and enjoyed a little family time with the Browns. We took a couple dips in their pool, played with their pet baby raccoon, and exercised Bella with the four wheeler. Richard and Jordan, the 16 yr. old daughter, enjoyed their mutual culinary interests and cooked several tasty meals for everyone. Kayla, their new graduate, showed us her tricks on her horse, and Jordan, Kayla, and I even went on a night time bareback ride through their trails just for giggles. (I rode one of their gentle ponies so it would be an easy ride.) Beka, their adopted daughter, showed us her way cool duct tape prom dress and shared her excitement about her upcoming two week hike of the Appalachian Trail. Dawn, their resident helper took us to church. And Richard and I borrowed a vehicle for a date night made possible by my parents’ care package.
We had a few very special days when a very dear friend of ours in California, Judy, offered to use up her last free plane ticket on a visit to come see us. It’d been over a year since we saw her last and we were recuperated enough to enjoy the visit, so we were very excited when her plane came in! We talked and talked until wee hours of the night getting as much visiting in as we could during her short visit. We spent a pleasant couple hours wading through the farm’s creek where there are tons and tons of fossils to be found. It was pretty fascinating!
Then I think we gave Judy a real taste of southern culture. It just so happened that she was there the night we, Rick- Wild Rose’s other resident employee, Kayla, and her boyfriend Tyler all planned to go frog gigging. We didn’t figure it would be right to ride through the south and never get to try this local past-time. It’s kinda like having a fish fry in Missouri- you can’t miss it! So it was our first time as well as Judy’s. We all held our poles with spears on the end excitedly as we tried to tip-toe around a large pond while Tyler and Rick shone flashlights trying to locate our prey. Apparently we weren’t professionals because we heard several loud splashes as the frogs jumped into the safety of the water, but didn’t actually ever see a one! We wandered over to a swampy area of pasture and Richard actually got the first frog! It was a little guy, so he put him back. Little did we know it would be the largest one of the night! We continued to slosh around in the water barefoot…. until somebody stepped on a rather large snapping turtle. The southern guys decided the turtle needed to die, so they shot it until it did. The girls decided the turtle needed to be eaten so the guys were pestered until it was carried back up to the truck. (Sadly, it never was eaten.) We finished our evening going around the last side of the pond. We started getting desperate to catch something so we stabbed at anything that croaked. We saw later in the light that they were just little tiny guys with big mouths – I never got a thing- perhaps due to the amount of noise in the form of laughter that was going on. There was a lot more giggling than gigging happening that night! And I think Judy went home with some very um, non-Californian type stories!