The last time I posted on this blog it was 2012.
So much has happened since then.... I feel like a totally different person than I was then.
I recently decided to start posting again, as a kind of "therapy". As I start to feel "normal" again. As I embark on this brand new, exciting, scary adventure I find myself on.
One thing I have seen as I look back on my life: there is a thread throughout all major life changing, life shattering events - and the thread is horses.
My family probably thinks I am nuts; they've probably expected me to "outgrow' my horse obsession years ago; but I don't outgrow it. I don't out run it, and I never quit; it's like horses are key to my existence on this planet. And I don't know why.... I thought I'd try giving it up; but I couldn't escape it.
Since my last post in 2012, my job changed drastically, suddenly. My husband's job ended suddenly.
We lost Pippin suddenly; alive one evening and eating happily in his stall; the next morning dead.
We gained a horse, via our local volunteer fire department and the local animal control (Long story, to follow.)
And we lost our barn.
We only rented the place; so staying was never a guarantee. Sharing the property with a lying, sneaking, undermining second tenant became stressful, and I was no longer enjoying the place. I didn't even feel like staying around long enough to do much besides do chores and feed the horses; so I ended up feeling like a visitor, who dropped in to visit with my horses and then left them. Leaving them with the other house tenant who would go in the pastures in the middle of the night; trashed our riding trails, leaving gates open, using the landlord's things, loosing, stealing or breaking them and blaming my husband, and generally being a nasty, sneaking, lying usurper who eventually succeeded in convincing the landlord to sympathize with and believe his lying, sneaking, shady side of things; and proceeded to push us out....
The final straw was swearing out a warrant for my husband's arrest for allegedly "running them off the driveway" with our truck (lies). The final straw was seeing my husband arrested for this nonsensical, false, depraved lie; and the landlord siding with the lying, jackass tenant - without listening to one word of our defense.
The day after my husband was arrested for something he didn't do, we decided it was time to go. But where?
Our only option was to bring the horses home to our farm in Virginia. All we had was hay fields - no fences, no barn; nothing to accommodate horses at all. But we began to make a plan.
I never thought I'd be so happy to give up such a lovely farm as we had in North Carolina. But I was. I had to get out; I had to escape the place. It had become a curse to me. The negativity there was like a cloud. I felt like I was always being watched. There was no peace, and I started to hate it - in spite of all it's outward loveliness.
Because of the terms of his arrest and upon the advice of our excellent attorney, Kevin stayed far away from the farm. Meanwhile, I was left to move everything alone. I started packing stuff out - you have no idea how much stuff can be accumulated in a barn in 8 years! Tons of stuff.... in addition to this, I had a list of repairs from the landlord that he insisted I complete in 30 days - alone. Stuff I had no clue how to do - high tinsle fencing, gutter repairs, post and rail fencing. The landlord - who had in previous years been very friendly to us, even calling us "family" and always saying how much he "loved" us like family, turned into a real jackass and was nasty to me, despite the fact that he was the reason, and he knew it!, that I was doing all this work on my own. In the end, my Dad came to my rescue and we got the work done - along with help from other family members and close friends. Much of the work was damage caused by the lying, rotten tenant - who on one occasion "blacked out" on the tractor while mowing in my riding arena (which he was not asked to do) and ran into the gate post; breaking the gate off with the gatepost and taking two sections of fence boards along with it. The truth is, he was ignorant and careless while operating the tractor and miscalculated the width of the mower. He never offered to fix it; so the landlord ended up yelling at me about this. And my Dad and I fixed it. And on another occasion, the tenant was again on the tractor (he was not asked to mow our horse pastures) and bush hogged over a loose strand of high tensle fence wire that had come loose in a recent flood. (The pasture is right next to a large creek; and every time the creek floods it totally covers the pasture and fence.) The fence was wrecked, but of course he never did anything about it. The landlord yelled at me about it, and blamed my horses; even though the fence wire was left tangled in the blades of the bush hog for all to see plainly. Nevertheless, my Dad and I fixed that, too. And other things that were caused by my horses, admittedly. I've never had someone who called me "friend" and claimed to think of me as "family" turn on me like this guy did. He is a hateful, mean, and hypocritical person, obviously. And I can't believe I wasted so many good years putting up with him and wasting time keeping up his place for him.
We put up a temporary paddock on a chunk of our back yard and hayfield, and I brought my horses home.
Where I can look out my kitchen window and see them graze. Where I can step out to the back yard and holler at them and wave and they look up and nicker at me. Home.
After the months of negative, hateful, deceitful, conniving, malicious behavior that added up to pushing us out, I was finally able to breathe again; think again; plan, hope, dream, and feel somewhat normal - instead of judged, demonized, hated, smeared, and cheapened.
We had our day in court, and our excellent attorney was able to get the charge against Kevin totally dropped - because it was an utter misconstrued lie. We didn't even pay any fines or court costs. It was totally erased.
So here was are at home with our horses - not as grand as the Milton barn, but 100 times better because it's home and it's ours and nobody can spy on us, or push us around anymore.
I will share more in the coming days. Getting everything "out" and off my chest helps me get it behind me. Thank you for reading. But even if nobody reads this; it's mainly about me being able to get it out. Readers are a bonus. So if you're still here - thank you. :)
Photos: Leveling the spot for the new equipment shed, putting in fence posts, and my babies at home in their new "temporary" paddock. All of this was August 2015.