Jennifer

I posted a while ago something about working hard but with nothing to show for it. Well that was then, people! And this is now. Now we do more than keep our minds busy. We get our hands dirty. We don’t just think things through, we work them out. Bringing ideas alive in the real world is about the most satisfying work there is. Probably because we finally have something to show for it.

We’ve been working hard every day since we moved onto the Horse Haven property, but today felt different. I think it was the nature of the work. That, and being part of the BEST TEAM EVER. Donnell, David, Alison, Nate and I, kicked it hard today. Alison and Nate started inside the barn, while Donnell and I worked on the outside riding area. As Al and Nate were wrapping up the every-day-without-fail barn chores, Donnell and I were finishing taking down the electric fencing material that divided our future open space into its previous six paddocks. Just as we were rolling up the last of the lines of electric tape, David joined us by pulling up the posts from the first of the paddocks. He worked on that back breaking task until Nate was done enough that they could go pick up the materials to build a railing around the observation platform in the covered arena. With Nate and David out getting supplies, and Alison and me returning a saddle that didn’t work out, Donnell single-handedly pulled up nearly all the remaining fence posts. By the time the four of us returned from our various errands, Donnell was all the way to the last row of posts. Hercules could not have made more progress in that time than she did. Alison and I got back in time to help finish the posts, and then the three of us started the never ending task of picking rocks. Meanwhile, the railing continued to take shape.

By about 4pm, Donnell was driving the Kubota around the back of the barn to dump our massive rock collection, and David and Nate were putting the finishing touches on the railing. All of that AND stalls cleaned, paddocks picked, water changed, horses fed and turned out, barn aisle swept. Our horses were swishing their tails in the tall grass. And we were tired. Time for iced coffee and a survey of all we had to show for our efforts. Tomorrow we go back to work on the outdoor riding area, and all the other projects that await us, but for today we are satisfied with jobs well done.

A special shout out to our friends Jane and Janis who spent an entire day with us earlier this week showing us what a strong work ethic really looks like. We are so grateful to everyone who has pitched in to help us get this far.

AN ADDENDUM FROM ALISON:

You know what smells sweeter and feels finer than a beautifully clean house? A beautifully clean house that you cleaned yourself. (I’m pretty sure that’s what Nate was thinking when he looked at the stalls I cleaned compared his 🙂 I used to be a professional house cleaner. There is something deeply satisfying about bleaching grout or vacuuming baseboards. Today, the team started work on the outdoor arena, which involved a lot of rock harvesting. This activity is similar in feel to any meditative chore. It’s cleansing and satisfying on many levels. I’ve never been so pleased with a near empty field.

One of my daily reminders to myself is, “the one thing you can count on is that everything changes”. Reciting this produces a sense of either anxiety or relief, depending on the day. Today it was a blessing. Today everything at the barn was a blessing.

AN ADDENDUM FROM DONNELL:

Okay – I fess – I did not single-handedly pull all those posts.  Brian came home for a 15 minute break and pulled quite a few himself before heading back to work.  And… not sure Alison and Jennifer know this, but… in the dark of night… rock breeding and hatching takes place in the span of 10 hours as they will see when they return tomorrow.

The common house fly has nothing on paddock rocks.