Posts Tagged With: horse racing

Random Five Friday – June

It’s Friday! (whoo hoo) It’s Random!  Let’s go!

friday cat

1.  Tuesday I waited around all day for an appointment that got pushed back four times. By the time the two young men arrived to work on the pool, I had conceded the day.  They were overbooked, stressed yet polite, apologizing over and over and  I just didn’t have it in me to pile a layer of anger onto their day.   Hanging around, being at home yet attentive to work, made me feel a bit like this turtle.

google.images.com

google.images.com

2. Later that night I attended our grandson’s baseball game.  I’ve been sick and so this was the first game we were able to get to — chatting with some of the moms, I could sense they were trying to figure out who I belonged to. I pointed to the tall fellow in the bullpen and said, “Well that’s my boy.”  I saw the confusion when they realized none of the wee ones on the team were mine but I was claiming the man.  Then I explained that #2 at bat was our Grandson  — ahh — funny — and a reminder that even though he’s grown, oldest one remains a boy in a Mother’s heart.

Oldest boy herding the cats at baseball

What the Father did, the son does:  oldest boy herding the cats at baseball.  An Emjayandthem(C) photo

3. Weather.   A cool front came through Monday and we’ve had the most luscious weather possible — mild, sunny, and low humidity.  Days like these feel like a reward for the endurance test of this past winter.

Amen! google images

Amen! google images

4. The Belmont Stakes race is tomorrow and a group of us are planning to watch it together.  Reading the Racing Form takes me back to my childhood, being at the track with my parents, and feeling the excitement and the grandeur of it all.  Hoping California Chrome can pull a Triple Crown win — but even if he doesn’t — what a story!

Hello ladies! Aren't I something?  Source: www.dailyrepublic.com

Hello ladies! Aren’t I something?
Source: http://www.dailyrepublic.com

5.  In a world of e-invites and virtual everything, I really love getting a hand-written thank you card.  First of all, it’s polite and second, it’s timeless.  When someone acknowledges a gesture of mine, it makes me want to repeat the gesture all over again! And I always say a silent prayer of thanks to the Mom who taught the importance of doing so.

What’s your random 5 for today?  Are you watching horse racing tomorrow?

 

 

Categories: Animals, Faith, Forgiveness, Growth, Home, Opinion, Personal, Random observations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Kitchen songs

Growing up, the kitchen was (and still is) the heart of our home.

It’s where we cooked, cleaned up, finished school projects, ironed, held meetings, played board games, practiced 4-H speeches and always … always sang along to the radio.

There are songs from that time that stick in my memory as “kitchen songs” – ones I first heard on Mom’s a.m. radio (we lived too far in the country to pick up an f.m. signal).

Songs by Ray Price and Conway Twitty,  Gordon Lightfoot and Don Williams.  Tammy Wynette, Kenny Rogers, Ann Murray and always a dose of Willie Nelson thrown in for good measure.

I’ve written before that I grew up at the racetrack, and I’ve written of the friends I’ve lost from there.  But what I didn’t connect until recently was how our kitchen and that world were bridged by music.

In the winner's circle with my parents

In the winner’s circle with my parents; an Emjayandthem (C) photo

You see, one summer, a highly winning mare we’d raised went to stay at a neighboring farm for breeding purposes.  Well, it seems another owner came to pick up his mare and took ours by mistake.  Unbeknownst to us, that sweet filly took a road trip, cross country and ended up in the mountains of British Columbia.  Was Dad ever surprised when he went to load her into the trailer and found the black beauty waiting for him was not his racing champion.

Thankfully, we found her, and she was brought back to us safely.

The summer this occurred, Willie had a hit song playing on our kitchen radio, and every time I hear it, I’m transported back to the family farm, a Formica table and a mare who went … “On the road again.”

Did your family home have a kitchen radio? What was it playing? 

*Hubbs and I saw Willie Nelson at the Circle Theater in Houston, Texas and yes I sang along to every song.  🙂

Categories: Animals, Faith, Family, Friendship, Growth, Home, Life, music, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

We take our own chances and pay our own dues

photo courtesy of thestarphoenix.com

“…The Silver Tongued Devil and I.” Kris Kristofferson

This weekend, I learned of a friend’s unexpected passing.

Bryan Juckes – aka “Juckesy” – was a professional jockey who rode for my parents’ thoroughbred stable back in the day.  I met him as a teen when he came out to the farm to “break” two year-olds one spring. I was the gawky teenager hanging around the barn, hoping to talk with the trainers and riders, and maybe even tag along with them on my pony.

Bryan was lanky, tough, good looking and hilarious.  He wasn’t just the life of the party, he was the party.  He loved hard, fought harder, and partied with the best of them.  His skills as a rider were well documented but it was his zest for life and his Pied-Piper-like ability to lead everyone down a path of fun that drew us in.

The racetrack is an exciting and exhilarating place to be … but it’s also a rough place to spend your time, especially as a young girl. Juckesy nicknamed me “kid” and took on a brotherly approach, doing his best to steer me away from the harsh realities of the backstretch.  Away from the fights, the drinking, the drugs and the divorces.

For a time, because of my love for horses and general proximity to the track, I seriously considered a career there. Taking me aside one day, he whispered, “Kid … I know you love it here but you are meant for more than what this rough life can offer you. Take your smarts and go.”  And even though my parents had already said pretty much the same thing, it was his words I listened to.

We re-connected via Facebook about 8 months ago. We hadn’t seen each other in at least 25 years and I knew we probably never would; but he still called me “kid” and we had an easy rapport, as old friends do.  He was just as full of crazy quips as ever and clearly enjoying himself; it made me happy to know he’d retired from racing and started a business.

And then, he passed away this weekend at the age of 53.   And since I heard the news, I’ve found myself thinking about this rough & tumble character, someone who didn’t just march to his own drummer, he wrote his own tune.   And it was unlike any tune I’d ever heard then or since! I have often thought about how, as we go along through life, we meet people who leave their mark on us and probably never even know it.

But, in spite of my sadness, I can’t help myself but smile when I think of him.  This is a man who took his own chances and paid his own dues, and more than anything else, lived while he was alive.

I know it wasn’t always easy and I know there was heartache.  But, when I think of Jucksey, I smile because what I remember most is the laughter, the incessant one-liners, the crazy stories and most of all … his ferocious love for life and all it offers us.

Jucksey you did it your way.  You, more than anyone I’ve ever known, lived while you were here. And I have learned so much from you – about friendship, about taking chances, and how to just get out in the world and embrace it.  I just wish I had told you so.

RIP sweet friend.

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Blogging, Determination, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Gratitude, Grief, Humor, Joy, Life, Men, Personal, Relationships, Share, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

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Happily After Retirement

- Loving where I am right now!

A Little Wild Farm

Planting roots on our little wild farm.

Connie Rosser Riddle

Connecting with People in My Path

Atypical 60

A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With An Atypical Twist!

A New Day Dawns

Arise, shine, for your light has come...Isaiah 60

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by four opinionated cats

Renee Johnson Writes

Novelist, Traveler, and More

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

My Journey From Merchant Mariner to Mother, And Spiritual Being.

notquiteold

Nancy Roman

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

these days of mine

Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...