Rick Santelli is an Idiot

I can’t believe this guy.  I heard him spouting off here about how Americans shouldn’t pay for their neighbor to have one more bathroom.  I wanted to reach into the screen and slap his ugly head.  What an idiot.

Here’s a clue, Mr. Smarty Pants:  People who are in foreclosure are in foreclosure because the system is a mess, not because they are “deadbeats” and want a free ride from the government or their neighbors.  Want to point fingers, idiot?  Point them at the banks that overvalued properties in the first place to get people into questionable loans so brokers could collect bigger fees.  Point those fingers at the lenders for telling consumers that their ARM loan wouldn’t be a problem because they would be able to refinance in three years when the rates change (and hey, rates have been going down forever, so  why shouldn’t this continue? Your payment will be lower!) while simultaneously neglecting to point out there would be no way in hell any traditional lender would refinance property that is mortgaged for more than it is worth.  And oh, be sure to keep it a secret from the borrower that refinancing will not be an option if you lose your job.  How about pointing the fingers at lenders who convinced people to take out that second mortgage or a HELOC to “consolidate their debt” without pointing out that trading unsecured debt for secured debt would make bankruptcy pointless should the need arise?  How about pointing fingers at the pathetic and useless Bush administration who drove us into an economic crisis and higher unemployment than we have seen in decades?  Let’s just blame the victim for losing their job.  They should have known to move to China or India ten years ago so they would be there when there jobs were shipped overseas.

I heard the jerk in an interview claim that buyers should have hired lawyers.  Guess what?  Lawyers aren’t free.  And assuming someone could afford $225 an hour to hire one, a lawyer wouldn’t hire an appraiser to know that the bank overvalued the property.  Plus hiring an attorney when you buy a house is theoretically unnecessary anyway.  Mortgage brokers and lenders have a fiduciary duty of care to their clients.  This means they are held to a higher standard of care in dealing with the public.  They are expected to act EXTRA honest because it is expected that they have greater knowledge about the mortgage industry than consumers.  How does this work, Mr. Santelli?  Are the consumers supposed to suddenly educate themselves so they can catch dishonest bankers and brokers?  Would you hold a patient to the same duty before going to a doctor?  Am I supposed to go get an MBA before I go to a financial expert to ensure they are upholding their fiduciary duty?  Should I get an MD before going to the doctor?

I can’t stand the mentality that we are not obligated to help one another.  Guess what?  We are all in this together.  We can sit in our foreclosed bunkers with our guns aimed at our neighbors and barbed wire wrapped around our hearts to protect us from the enemy, ensuring we keep that property because, hell, it belongs to us, right?  We don’t need to share.  Or we can grow up and realize that society at its heart means social.  It means taking responsibility for one another.  It means what we do for each other we do for ourselves. It means we care for and protect one another and when someone is down, we offer them a hand up.  Taking care of one another is the stuff life is made of.  The alternate choice is to live like Rick Santelli, cold and alone with his gun pointed at everyone, dragging his loot into the afterlife.  Good luck with that, Buddy.

P.S. Being a stock-broker might be a high risk financially, but it is not hard work.

Violence, Murder, and Hatred of Homosexuals

Homophobia needs a new name, a good and ugly name to describe what is really going on when someone hates a gay person.  Homophobia is too sanitized.  It’s just a phobia, like arachnophobia (fear of spiders) and claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces).  No.  Hatred of gays needs to speak for what it really is–hate, intolerance, cruelty, VIOLENCE.  It needs a word that encompasses the fear, but also everything gays have suffered because of who they are.

Too many people think homosexuality is a lifestyle choice, like a person would volunteer for exclusion, violence, and pain, as if they could become heterosexual if they really wanted to.  Such “reasoning” is taken a step further to conclude that if a person chose their “lifestyle,” everyone’s hating them for it is okay.  What a load of crap.  Even if it were true that a homosexual made this “choice,” why does that make it okay to beat, kill, exclude, or otherwise bring them harm?  It doesn’t.  No matter how you cut it, homophobia is simple hatred.

So let’s make a new word, one that encompasses what is really going on.  Homo-abhorrence, homo-detestation, homo-disgust, homo-hatred, homo-malevolence, homo-repulsion, homo-revulsion, homo-animus, or homo-repugnance all come to mind.  I’m sure there are others.   Maybe if people who don’t give the issue much thought would consider what is really going on if we called a spade a spade and stopped using an easy, sanitized word like homophobia.  Maybe they would realize it means violence and hatred.  Maybe then they would understand why it has to end.

My Response to a Comment

I received a comment from a reader of my post yesterday.  I have posted the writer’s comment here and responded individually to specifics.

“You might think that the fact that you use words as “vilify” makes you an authority on something which you obviously know nothing about.”

By phrasing your opening line with the words that I “might think” something, you limit logical denial.  However, while I “might think” using the word vilify makes me an authority on something, I don’t.  My use of the word is as a verb to describe behavior of certain people.  How is it you prove I have no “obvious” knowledge, because I did not give a history of religious bigotry in an opinion piece?  I need not give such a history; your own letter proves my point in its last line.

“You vilify Christians in the same breath you claim we vilify you.”

Show me where I say anything about Christians and show me where I vilify anything.  I am making a valid criticism of organized religion.  You jump to conclusions and take it further, ascribing my criticism to Christianity, then claim I am vilifying, all in the same breath.

“You don’t understand us, but yet we are supposed to understand you.”

Again, this comes from nowhere.  My fundamental thesis requests that we look hard at religion, that we seek understanding.  You miss this point entirely and as you do in your entire letter, making assumptions and jumping to unjustified conclusions.  You state I want “you” to understand me; does this mean you think I am in a minority and want religions to understand me?  Is it something else?  I offered an opinion, I did not ask for religious tolerance of what I had to say.

“It seems that whenever any group of people creates a movement with the same rhetoric you espouse, you want to play with a different set of rules and on a different playing field.  Your attitude and language mirrors that which you abhor in Christians.”

What rhetoric is it that I espouse, that we should look at religion’s place in furthering intolerance and bigotry?  I suppose you are right that I want to play with a different set of rules on a different playing field because I am not arguing we use intolerance and bigotry in making this examination.  And again, where in anything do I specifically mention Christians?  Where do I show abhorrence?  In asking we stop intolerance and bigotry?  Is that abhorrence?  It seems you are the one with the attitude, as well the one who is jumping to conclusions and making assumptions.

“Have you thought about that?”

Why yes.  See my previous response.

“You make leaps and bounds and speak with hyperbole, and use circular reasoning to prove your point.”

Ironic, considering this exactly what you have done through this entire diatribe. Making leaps and bounds?  You have done so by assuming I speak only of Christians.  I said religion.  Does this mean only Christianity qualifies in your narrow mind?  And where exactly is my hyperbole, in claiming religion is used as an excuse in most bigotry?  This is not overstatement; it is truth.

“I don’t think you’re going see people give up on religion.”

Did I make such a request?  No.  I said we need to look at religion honestly to see its place in bigotry.  I did not say do away with it.  Read my words, don’t jump “leaps and bounds.”

“After all, religion is a word that people don’t understand.  What we really focus on is a relationship with Jesus Christ.”

As is typical with those of your ilk, you think the only religion is yours.  There is no response to your narrow-mindedness.

“You don’t have to understand us or believe the way we believe, especially with regard to sin and our own sinfulness.  But, then again, we don’t have to understand you or believe the way you believe, either–even if you don’t want to believe that there is such a thing as sin.”

Again, as with this entire pointless rant, you make assumptions based on your own beliefs, not based on anything I have said.  And again, there really isn’t much one can do to respond to your own imaginings.

“So, I will respect you and let you live the life you want to live; but, please, respect me and let me live the life I want to live without the name-calling and generalizations.”

Name calling?  Where in what I said did I call anyone any names?  You are deluded.  And if this entire letter is your being respectful, I would hate to see what you consider disrespect.

“The proposition was voted, and unfortunately for you, you are in the minority.”

Yes, thanks to religion and the hatefulness of most people like you, bigotry is alive and well.  Thank you for proving my point.

I Have Been Sick

I have not been writing.  I have not been reading.  I have not been doing much of anything except lying in bed like a lump wishing I would feel better.  I try to do things.  I get up and go about for a bit, then I’m so sorry because of the overwhelming fatigue, nausea, and coughing.  It’s a travesty. I even got a fever, and that is extremely rare for me.  The last time I had a fever was fifteen years ago, and it put me in the hospital.  This time I just laid there like a dry stick, sucking on lozenges, popping Tylenol, dextromethorphan, and antihistamines, completely catatonic.  Yuck.

I’ve gotten some ideas.  Really, I have.  It’s possible to come up with some pretty interesting things to write about when one wakes up from coughing after the drugs have worn off at 3 in the morning.  But the thought of being upright to actually type some of these clever things into the computer is seriously more than I can manage.  I have to get up frequently to go to the bathroom because I’m trying to drown this thing (it’s not working).  Going to the bathroom is the extent of my energetic abilities.  It’s getting old, I can assure you.

I told Boyfriend today that I want him to buy some oranges because I’m going to try and kill it with vitamin C.  And some grapefruit.  Maybe if I eat a bunch of them every day I’ll kill the bad little viruses.  Plus I’ll eliminate any possibility of scurvy, and help keep the orange growers in business.  And grapefruit growers.  I’ll be doing my part.

I think it is evident from this post what my mind is capable of.  Today I took a couple dozen quizzes on facebook.  That also gives some indication of my potential mental capacity.  It’s like I’ve been working hard all week and my brain is fried.  I get the fried part, but it has not been because I have been working.  I did do some fun activities because Milla is home this week.  I went to the zoo, then came home and collapsed for 3 hours.  I went to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, then came home and collapsed for 4 hours.  I went to the Union Square Farmer’s Market and almost threw up right there in front of all of the farmers.  Not fun.  Maybe all that running around is kind of like hard work and that is why I feel like I’ve been busting my ass all week.  I don’t know.  In any case, I hope I get over this soon.  I am sick of being sick.

Have We Overcome?

This piece can be seen here on Huffington Post. If you like it, buzz me up.

Isn’t it ironic that as we’re congratulating ourselves on our ability to elect a black president we are simultaneously lamenting the passage of Proposition 8? We Americans have been quite pleased with ourselves because we were able to elect a black man to the highest office in the land. I would argue that we may have overcome something, but it is not bigotry. The day we will really know we have overcome bigotry is the day we elect a black, Atheist, lesbian–THAT would be a feat.

Inherent in the post-election discussions of race and politics is the conclusion that because large segments of our population have moved away from open racism, we are beyond bigotry. Nothing could be further from the truth; we have simply traded one for another, or several others, as the case may be. And these latest forms of intolerance and discrimination are often made more palatable through religion, as open racism against blacks used to be.

Because of religion and its ever-encroaching move into the political spectrum, Americans were forced to live through an administration that would not allow medical research on single cells to help find cures for diseases in people who are alive right now. Because of religion, pro-life politicians gain support from citizens whose actual interests are ignored in favor of policies that benefit the extremely wealthy. Because of religion, all over the country laws like Proposition 8 proliferate.

In spite of Obama’s election, what America has not given up and seems loathe to give up, regardless how far backward we move socially, morally, and legally, is religion. Why should it? Religion allows people to vilify those they don’t understand. Simply claim that anything different from you is against your religion and you are protected by your God-given, inalienable right to believe.

It is truly a significant step in the right direction that a black man will be our president. It is evidence that progress is possible and that society is able to make changes that seemed impossible only decades earlier. Yet is seems to me that if we are ever able to really end bigotry, if we are ever able to end all forms of discrimination, we are going to have to take a cold, hard, honest look at religion and its role in the promulgation of hate and intolerance. Only then will we truly overcome.

My Ideas for Presidents’ Day Celebrations

I saw this funny blog headline.  It said, How to observe Presidents’ Day.  Don’t work.  Other than that, I don’t know.  That is hilarious.  But I know one way.  Dress up like your favorite president!  If you have one of those jobs where they didn’t give you the day off, like so many, you’ll really impress them with your verve and spirit!

Last night I went to listen to music at this place and I swear, a man channeling John Wilkes Booth was there!  He looked EXACTLY like him!  He even had a similar haircut.  My girlfriend pointed out that he also slightly resembled Sean Penn and you know what?  He did!  So I went out on the web and googled images of John Wilkes Booth and Sean Penn to compare.  Man, I wish I was blog literate enough to post the photos here because they have to be related.  They look exactly alike!  At least they have very similar long pointy noses.  I think actually that JWB was more handsome than Sean Penn is.  Just a bit.  Except for the fact JWB murdered a president, they also have in common that they are both actors.  Perhaps they are related.  Wouldn’t that be weird?

Another way to celebrate Presidents’ Day would be to memorize famous presidential speeches.  Then if someone says something to you, answer with the speech.  That could be cool.  If everyone went around one day spouting presidential speeches, perhaps we would all learn to be a bit more oratory.  We could also renact days off from the times of Washington and Lincoln whereby everyone goes on picnics and races in potato sack races or pie bake offs.  Could be fun!  Another possibility is to celebrate the byproducts of the Presidents’ Day holiday.  For instance, we could celebrate not having to check the mail or go to the bank.

Since stores have already appropriated every major holiday for mass consumerism and commercial gain, and since Presidents’ Day primarily serves as an excuse for stores to claim a sale and some jobs to give folks the day off, I propose the stores get more into the act and start selling outfits and decorations for Presidents’ Day. We could all go buy lights shaped like Lincoln standing tall, his hand on his lapel, his top hat high on his head.  Or little Washingtons holding cherry tree axes (truth of the fable be damned).  They could sell Washington and horse figurines to pretend to cross the Potomac.  They could make giant blow up dolls for the front yard wearing festive red, white, and blue clothing.  It could take American yard decor to a new level of tackiness.

I have a friend who is a buyer of holiday goods for a major store in the area.  I ought to talk to her about getting her store in on the act.  This could be the next big holiday thing, with decor coming out at the same time as Valentine’s goods, a week and a half before Christmas.  Could be fun!  Or the lucky few could just keep getting the day off.

I Hate Windows

I’ve switched to mac. However I still own a pretty decent PC that I keep because of WordPerfect, the best and only word processing program, a program that makes stupid, counterintuitive Word look like the mangled piece of shit that it is. If only Corel would make a WordPerfect for mac, things truly would be perfect.  Anyway, I digress.

I have not had the PC out for about 7 months.  It’s been packed away in Oregon.  I used it yesterday to work on some documents in WordPerfect.  I forgot just how hideously obnoxious windows is.  I hate the constant updates.  I hate the stupid little messages telling me stuff I already got 4000 times ago without the stupid little message.  I hate that I have to give “Supervisor Permission” to do anything, even though I’m the only one using the damn thing, and even though I told it I was the only one using the damn thing.

Windows-based computers are called PCs, for “personal computers,” but the truth is they are anything but.  They are completely designed for work in an office with some IP nazi who wants total control of everything you do.  There should be some way to shut that shit off, but there isn’t.  I called HP when I got the thing new and nope, can’t do it.  Annoying.

Just now I came into my office after taking a shower.  The PC had turned itself on and was sitting there wondering if it could install updates.  Um, no.  Go away. I don’t want to have to sit and wait and give you permisssion and then hang out while you reboot and do all your foolish things. Leave me alone.  I’m going to go use my mac.

Let’s Just Change History

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell stood on the senate floor and basically just made up a new history.  The New Deal didn’t work, he said.  Unemployment was at 15% in 1940.  The programs couldn’t have worked.

Um.  Considering unemployment was at 25% in 1933, a 15% unemployment rate seven years later is a significant reduction.  If one examines an economic graph, improvements and growth are seen throughout the 1930s (except for one small blip in 1937 when President Roosevelt took Republican advice and started cutting rather than spending, causing a downturn in economic growth.  Thank goodness he paid attention and ignored their clamoring a year later).

We as American citizens need to start taking responsibility for what is going on in this country.  We can blame government all we want, but we get the government we deserve.  If we do not know history, if we cannot argue against outright changes to history because we don’t know what happened, and we can be manipulated and controlled in any manner by those in power.   Mitch McConnell wants to claim the New Deal didn’t work, even though it has been accepted history for nearly 8 decades that it did?  If we don’t know any better because we aren’t educated, than how can we refute him?

Democracy requires responsiblity.  It requires an effort on the part of citizens, an effort beyond watching screaming heads on Fox News, or anywhere else for that matter.  If we don’t start taking this responsibility, it doesn’t matter who is President, the United States as we know it will be over.  History is clear on that.


I am really at the point where I can’t stand all the judgments in this world.  Everyone seems to know what everyone else should have done.  I’m not a Bible person, but there are adages in there (and other religious texts) that would be useful for us to consider.  One of these is the quote about the sawdust in another’s eye while ignoring the plank in one’s own.

I’m certainly not immune to this.  When I heard about the woman who birthed 8 children, even though I was telling anyone who would listen to stop carrying on about her parent’s bankruptcy and other choices she made, I was still asking aloud why she had IVF in the first place.

I do try, though, to accept that each person has their own journey, their own lessons to learn, and sometimes what may be easier for one with certain life experiences may seem impossible to another with a different set of circumstances.  It is so easy to judge from afar when we really have no concept of another’s life, even if we’ve lived with them.  It is so easy to state what someone “should have done,” especially with the benefit of hindsight and our own experiences.  People are so unwilling to consider things from another’s perspective, as if in judgment one is able to deflect attention away from the self.  There is also the group mentality at play in many cases; it feels better to sit in judgment against one with many than to be the lone voice of distinction.

I get it that this is a shitty little blurb, not backed up by anything other than ranting, and not well articulated, but I’m sick.  I have a horrible upper chest cold.  I am sick to my stomach and on the verge of vomiting most of the time.  I don’t have it in me to write something perfectly articulate and original.  I just wanted to say what I said.

Settling In To Our New Home

I live in an apartment where the previous occupants must never have cleaned.  It is easy to draw this conclusion based on the grime covering nearly everything, the sort of grime that requires years to accumulate.  Now, I completely accept that I am tidier than a lot of people.  I have higher standards than others when it comes to dust and whatnot.  I do not say this with any sense of superiority, but only to point out that I know I am pickier than a lot of people.  But seriously, the filth in this apartment takes the cake.  Even Boyfriend, who probably dusts twice a year, has been appalled at just how disgustingly filthy this place is.

Getting the apartment clean, and getting us unpacked and settled has been slow going.  As we have moved in, we have had to clean each place before putting anything away.  We left the rugs for each room for last.  The floors were so grimy the mop would catch on the goo in the first couple of runs over it.  Vacuum, then mop, rinse, mop, rinse, mop, rinse, sometimes six or seven times before we would get to clean wood.  Needless to say it has been slow going.

The windows easily qualify as the most dirty part of the apartment.  The outsides were so unclean, it was difficult to see through them near the edges.  The sills inside were so black with grime and filth that rags used to wipe them would be completely black.  I don’t mean a bit of dirt, but actually black as if they had been wiped through soot.

The other day I set out to try and clean these windows.  We had wiped down the inside in an effort to allow some natural light, but the outsides were so disgustingly filthy, with streaks of black grime, that every day appeared to be cloudy, even in bright sun.

We live on the fourth floor.  The windows in our bedroom are next to a fire escape, so I figured I could climb out there, although the prospect was not exactly appealing.  The living room windows, however, were another matter.  There is nothing between them and the cement below except air.  I decided I would reach outside with a mop and keep at it.  I did this, bringing the mop in every few seconds to rinse the soot-like blackness from the mop’s edge.  Then I reached out and up as far as I could in an effort to remove some of the streakiness.  The result was far from perfect, but a vast improvement.

In the meantime, Boyfriend had gone down to the basement to dump some recycling, then to the mailbox to pick up our mail.  He was gone a bit longer than I would have expected, but I was busy and did not really pay much attention.  A few minutes later, he came into the apartment, walked into the living room, and popped the bottom window down, exposing the outer face.  He then clicked some buttons on the top pane and lowered it.  Voilà!  Access to the outside of the windows!

It turns out he met a neighbor while checking the mail, a nice man who had welcomed us to the building the day we were moving in.  He saw Boyfriend and asked him how we were settling in.  Boyfriend mentioned the windows and wondered aloud whether the management company ever cleaned the outside, and the neighbor showed him how we could do it ourselves.

We are finally settlling in for real.  The windows in the living room and our bedroom are so clean, you can’t tell there is glass there.  Milla’s room and the kitchen are on slate for this week.  Curtains are up in the living room and our bedroom as well.  The rugs are on the floor.  There are only three boxes left, two of which are full of donation items we’re trying to figure out how to get rid of.  Overall, it seems our little home is coming together.

Goodbye Lady

When I was about three years old, my mom took me to visit her sister, then age twelve.  Her sister had an originally named pony named Patches, an old pinto with large patches of brown and black covering her white body.  My aunt took me riding and I was hooked for life.  From the day of that first ride, I begged my mom for a horse.  Finally after listening to my ceaseless cajoling, she promised I could get a horse when I was twelve, never imagining for a moment her tiny child would remember the promise.  Ah, such simple logic.

From that moment I read, slept, breathed horses.  I took riding lessons when I could, went on trail rides at farms that rented horses, attended horse camps.  When my twelfth birthday came and went, I knew a horse was on the horizon, and not long after, the promise was fulfilled and Rosie came home to me.  She was too small for my long legs, but I adored her and she quickly became a part of the family.

Riding was fun and my sister started saying she wanted a horse too.  My parents relented and took a trip north of Salem to the horse auction.  They came home with a larger, seven-year-old pony mare.   She was a perfect bay, shiny and red, with black points and a rambunctiously thick mane and tail.  She was dainty and pretty, quite ladylike, and so we named her Lady.

I had outgrown Rosie by the time I got her and a year and a half later, my feet touched the ground.  It broke my heart, but I had to find a bigger horse.  This story continued for the next several years.  After I sold Rosie I bought a larger pony, sold her and bought a horse.  As time progressed I became rather horsily proficient and started doing some training work.  For one such job, I traded training work in exchange for stud service to Lady.  Eleven months later, Lady had her first and only baby, Prize.

We had many horses live with us during those years.  We experienced many different horse personalities, some pleasant, some obnoxious.  Lady always lived up to her name.  Where many of our other horses were difficult to catch, Lady would always come wait at the gate, eager for human contact.  She was a smart girl.  She seemed to know the capacity of the rider.  If the person was skilled, she was right in front of the leg, willing and capable.  If the rider was timid or really young, she responded in kind, taking gentle, gingerly steps and walking very slowly.  My mom was terrified of riding.  Her young sister had jokingly put her on a horse with much too much spunk for her abilities or willingness, scaring the daylights out her in the process.  But she rode Lady a few times, the only horse who made her feel safe.  My brother would ride Lady like a wild hellion up and down our mile-long driveway, his whoops filling the air as Lady’s feet clattered on the gravel.

Time progressed and I grew up and moved out.  I kept riding in various capacities, but when I left, my sister’s desire to ride left as well.  My brother only seemed to like riding because horses went fast.  Once he moved on to cars and motorbikes, horses lost any appeal.  My parent’s horse farm dwindled and eventually Lady and Prize were the only horses remaining.  After a few more years they sold Prize to some horsey acquaintances of mine.

For a few years, Lady did not get much attention, but she enjoyed hanging out with my parent’s cows.  They would band together to eat and block the wind.  Then my sister started having babies, I had a baby, Derek had a baby.  All these babies grew into small children who liked to ride the pony at Grandma’s house.  When Milla was two, we rented an old farmhouse in West Linn, Oregon.  It sat on two acres of land right in the suburbs with a grandfather clause allowing livestock.  We decided to have Lady come and live with us.  I was riding at a large hunter jumper barn and Milla had been begging to ride.  I did not feel confident putting her on a tall Thoroughbred, but Lady was just right.

Milla would go out the back door to spend time with Lady.  Lady would lower her head and allow Milla to put on her halter.  She would then lead her around the yard or out into the fenced paddock.  Milla used an old log to clamber onto Lady’s back so she could walk and trot the perimeter of the field.  Friends would bring their children over for a ride.  Our suburban neighbors were thrilled.  They would stop by the fence and offer Lady bits of carrots and apple.

We eventually bought a house and moved on from there, so Lady headed back to my parent’s farm.  My sister had four children and between them and Milla, Lady got pretty regular rides.  My sister bought a farm and Lady came to live there for a while until the place got too muddy, then back she went to the farm.

Lady was long in tooth and pretty swaybacked, her eyes cloudy with cataracts, but she would always come to our whistle, eager to see if we had any special treats in our pocket for her.  Last winter her weight dropped dramatically.  The year was bitterly cold, far below the average, and we worried Lady might not make it through the season.  My parents bought her a warmer blanket and started bringing her up to the house to eat her grain separately from the cows who were hoggy and pushed poor Lady to the back of the line.  Her weight improved and it seemed she would get to see another summer.

The last time I was in Oregon, in late December, I went to visit my parent’s farm.  Like an old fixture there stood Lady out in the pasture among the cows, grazing on the stubby grass.  She was so familiar, such a part of the landscape.  I pointed her out to Boyfriend, who had not been yet to my family’s farm.  “That’s Lady.  She’s got to be in her thirties by now.”  Little did I realize or even think to consider it would be the last time I saw her graying face.   My mom called this morning to let me know that Lady died on Martin Luther King’s birthday.  I had been driving the death truck across country on the day of her death, and my mom had not wanted to add further stress to our blisteringly stressful trip.  Apparently Lady was lying down in the pasture as if asleep.  My dad saw her and realized she was gone.  They buried her on the hill below the house in the place were as children we always rode.

Over the years, Lady patiently allowed little hands to braid her mane and tail, and stood untied while they brushed her, bathed her, and picked her feet.  She would carefully nibble treats from outstretched palms, making certain to leave fingers behind.  In her easy manner, she helped us learn how to care for horses.  She was a part of my life for so long, carrying three generations of our family on her back.  So many children rode, played with, and cared for Lady.  In turn, she cared for us.  I will miss her.