Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Practicing My Coping Skills

I am usually one of those people who just goes out and gets it done, whatever “it” may be. Yet, for some illusive, mysterious reason, I have been stymied over and over for the last few years in my attempts at getting the flooding and drainage fixed in the barn, corral, and recently, the pasture.  

Anyone who has known me for long has heard me lament about sump pumps and stalls full of mucky water and now, ice and more ice.  It’s not fun to listen to me complain. I don’t even like to hear myself doing it. And most people have given me very good advice about what they would do to fix it.  The sad truth is that it is going to cost quite a lot of money to make things right.  I diligently save and save, and just as I get to the point where I can afford to go ahead and get it done, Fates always seem to conspire to come up with a more urgent problem or emergency that requires my carefully hoarded cash.

Since December, I have protected my little secret stockpile while I anxiously attempted to get my friend, Sam, who is an expert at grading and drainage, to bring his excavator over and make things right.  The ground had not frozen before Christmas, and even though it was a muddy mess in the corral, I could just feel how relaxed and happy I would be once the new footing and French drains were in place. When I close my eyes, I can see it so dry and unmuddy. Except Sam’s schedule is backed up, so he can’t get here, and now the ground is horribly frozen, and we had two inches of rain on Sunday. Yes, two inches on top of ice makes for skating rinks everywhere. 

There was really nothing I could do to make a difference on Sunday, watching my world get frozen solid.  I woke up yesterday to find that miraculously, the barn did not flood. Still, the poor horses have been trapped inside for almost a week since I didn’t want them to slip and fall on the ice.  Come hell or frozen pastures, I was determined to do something to make things better.  So, I found a guy who knew a guy who was able to bring a pickup truck full of stone dust over this morning, and we spread it on the ice.  We were both pretty amazed by how well it worked.

The horses went out and stood around, which was psychologically and emotionally just what they needed. I hovered nearby, just in case anyone slipped or got stuck somewhere dangerous. Siete did walk out on some ice and get scared.  I had to show her that she would be okay if she just backed up.  After that, I put some treats in their buckets in the stalls to encourage them to come back inside. Siete did not hesitate, but Silk wasn’t ready.  I went out and explained to her that my fingers and toes were numb, and I couldn’t go in until she did. Then, I turned, and she just followed me right into the barn, sweet girl.

It may all ice up again tonight. What matters with all this is that the big change is in me, even though no one would notice. Before, when the horses had to stay inside, I would feel agitated  thinking that they were upset, that it was harmful for them not to move around more, that once they did get out, they would run around like crazy and hurt themselves. And like an electric current, the horses would get zapped by all my anxiety, which made them get fired up.  This winter, I have remained unusually relaxed and accepting of all the weather challenges that Mother Nature is throwing at me.  Spring will come and so will Sam with his excavator.  The horses are not upset. They have some delicious hay with clover and a bit of alfalfa to keep them happy.

For the first time, deep in my bones, I can feel que sera, sera – what will be, will be. And as February approaches, when it snows ten inches while my husband is out of town, and I’m facing a blizzard all on my own, I’ll let you know how sanguine I can be about all of it.


Lori Skoog said...

Staying calm and relaxed is good Victoria! I'm sure you are on the road to some improvements that will make things better for the girls. The stone dust was a good idea. Can't imagine 2 inches of water on top of ice. When it gets like that around here, we throw old hay on the water so there is texture there when it freezes. Ice is such a pain to deal with. Hang in there.

C-ingspots said...

You know, I'm learning to accept what "is", much better than I used to as well. It's a nice feeling! Maybe this is one of those benefits of growing older with grace...you think? :) Whatever the reason, peace of mind is a real blessing. It may not happen today, but it will happen. Happy for you Victoria!

NQB said...

You need to move to Ireland, where it is just wet! Your lassies are so lucky to have you looking out for them so carefully.