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What’s New with the McGraths?

It truly is amazing how life can get away from you at times! It feels like just a couple months since we returned from our journey, yet it has been a full year!!! It just doesn’t seem possible.

We knew that coming home after being gone for 2 years would have plenty of challenges, but knowing and experiencing them are two entirely different things. Emotionally, it was a bit rough for a couple months. We had adapted to constant change, so sleeping in the same

bed every night was a bit unnerving. And honestly, while it was often exhausting, we had also grown accustomed to being in the center of attention, so the quiet and suddenly not telling our stories several times a day felt disheartening until we got used to ‘normal’ life again. It has also been quite a challenge getting back on our feet financially after 2 years without an income. We had a lot of bills to pay right away that we no longer had a working budget for. Horse hay, for example, was something we saved all year for, but we did not have that luxury this year. And after two years of sitting, both our vehicles needed quite a few repairs. It amazed me that they fall apart so much faster when NOT in use! Every paycheck went to a large bill like that, and we are only just now starting to catch up! Moving was an additional strain we weren’t exactly expecting. It took several months to move a ranch worth of stuff, unpack, organize, fix the new place to meet our needs, etc. Even just redeveloping our connections of where to find the best, cheapest, and closest stuff was- be it horse hay, lumber, food, or anything- was extremely time consuming. All that asking around and research to get reconnected to the local knowledge was quite a chore and I no longer take thatknowledge for granted! Our summer went by so fast and was mostly filled with work, work, work!

But through all that, God took amazing care of us. The month of horse hay that we had left in our barn for our use when we got homesomehow stretched to last 3 months to bide us time to afford hay. How does this happen other than God????!!!! Our cars ran, albeit rough, and didn’t die on us until we had the paycheck to fix them with! Even our tires were rotten with metal showing through from sitting but they managed not to explode until we could buy replacements! As you read in the newsletter, we had quite a few health issues from pure exhaustion and adrenal burn-out when wegot back, yet God provided a chiropractor/health practitioner who wanted to trade horse training for health care! Our God is so creative when it comes to providing that you just never know how the blessings are going to come!


Additionally, we were so blessed that Richard got a job right away when we got back, but after struggling for 3 months at night shift, he found that he was just too worn out from the ride for him to physically handle that schedule. He had

spent so much time at the coffee shop next to his job just to get through, that he landed a daytime job there instead where he worked until he found full time employment at Silver Star Communications where he works as a Customer Service Agent (something he is no stranger to!). I continue to enjoy and succeed at my job as Supervisor at Happy Tails Pet Resort where we board cats and dogs while their owners are away. The position has definitely stretched my comfort zone and made me grow and learn quite a bit.

 

We continue to thoroughly love where we live and are developing a rich and wonderful connection with our community- more so than we have ever had in the past. Through the coffee shop and other connections, Richard is developing a side business called Precision Gunsmithing, which is really being received well locally. Also, an amazing local church developed while we were away, so we no longer have to drive over an hour to go to a good church. The pastor has been tutoring Richard and developing his skillsand knowledge as he works toward becoming a spiritual leader. He is currently leading the teenage youth group and I am sooo proud of him! In addition to my job, I have been developing a Barefoot Hoof Trimming business as a professional farrier! I never in a million years wouldhave guessed I would become a farrier, but I developed a passion for barefoot horses on our ride after seeing how well our horses did, and I love it!  My business is called Coast to Coast

Barefoot, and I have been excited about its success thus far.

The highlight of our summer was celebrating our 10th anniversary (I got to wear my wedding dress again)!!!! …. and getting to see our long term Kentucky hosts- the Basham family- when they

 

came out to visit us in July.

We showed them what we do for fun out here in the Rockies and had a blast! It is so fun to have a guest room now! We have also enjoyed getting to know our new neighbors- who we totally love- as well as rekindling old friendships and developing some special new ones.

And now that we are finally starting to feel settled, it is so wonderful to start getting back in touch with all our friends across America!

So, I guess that’s about a year in nutshell! Sorry for such a long wait, but I hope you understand the tornado that our life has been this year. I am so excited that life is settling down and I can commit time to communicating again. Blessings and hugs- Richard and Jeannette



One comment

  1. Wow, best of luck to both of you seeing your dream come to fruition. I always wanted to be part of a ride across America, I have loved horses since I was old enough to walk (55 now).

    I also have been down the path of family dysfunction and addiction. I know how it feels to be unwanted, to feel awkward socially, to just “not fit in”. In 1993 I entered a recovery program which began a 7-year journey to lead me to the higher power, God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit.

    I came across your web site this morning, just googling horseback across America and your website popped up. I am at a crossroads in my life….one door has shut, and I am in the hallway waiting, so to speak. Do you need any ranch hands? I have my own saddle!

    Truly, best wishes for your endeavor. “If God is for it, then who can be against it?”

    Another favorite quote of mine: There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of man.”


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