Saturday morning started out much like most every other Saturday morning when the kids are at my house. By 6 am one or the other of them is at my bedroom door asking whose turn it is to get on the computer. I randomly choose one of them and try to sleep for a few more minutes through the cacophony of disappointment and victory. I drag myself out of bed, search for my eyeglasses and stub my toe walking down the hall to make coffee.
Fall has finally hit us here in the interior of Washington State, and this weekend had a forecast that called for staying home in ones' PJ's. The arrival of fall also means that the available hours of daylight to get on my horse are dwindling. So, despite the dire weather reports, I made plans to go to my friend's place. She has a lovely covered arena and we decided that if it rained we could practice for the schooling show this weekend, and if it didn't rain, we could go out on the trails that lead from her place out along the Oregon side of the Columbia River. SG and her partner get along quite well so we packed lunch items and some wine and decided to make a good half-day of it.
Getting horses fed and the trailer hooked up and loaded is always the easy part. Getting my kids out of the house requires earplugs, a cattle prod and kevlar protective wear.
"I don't WANT to go!" my daughter cried, stamping her feet. "I want to stay home and play Animal Jam!" "NOOOOOOOO!" my son screams as I instruct him to end his Wii game.
Their protests, though heartfelt, don't move me. There are going to be plenty of inclement weather days this winter for them to turn into screen-watching slugs. Bugs is already starting to grow his winter coat which leads me to believe we are in for a cold, icy November. For now, I intend for my children to be outside as much as possible, even if I have to force them.
Once we got to Julie's, they forgot all about their games at home. Ted had a burn pile going over by the pig pens and they couldn't get out of the truck fast enough. They scrambled like puppies down to watch the flames, and for the next couple of hours I didn't hear one single whine, complaint or "I have nothing to DOOOOOOO".
They got to see the big 700 pound sow and her piglets and touch the noses of the weaner pigs. They "helped" Ted do chores and played with the 6 year old son of the lovely young lady who trains horses at Julie's. They got dirty and wet and generally had a wonderful time.
SG got to hang out with Ted and make plans for butchering a pig next week (hel-LO Bacon!). I not only got to ride my horse in the arena but on the trail as well when the rain gave us a nice intermission and we scurried out to the trailhead. Just about the time we got back the wind started to pick up and big raindrops splattered my back.
I guess we all got to unplug a little bit. It was nice.