Where in the World is Girlbert?
Here I am! Not writing has been killing me, with so little space in my head for remembering!
Boyfriend had sailing work in Southern California and Mexico for most of February. My oncologist almost fell out of his chair laughing when I asked. "Mexico? That would be a NO." I sort of need a babysitter, so we decided I would go stay with friends and family while he was working.
So off the midwest I went. My first stop was St. Louis, to visit my friend Kari.
Kari is one of my oldest horse friends. And I'm not talking about her age, because we're only a year apart. But I've known Kari since the fourth grade, that would be twenty-four years, which is a long time in horse years. We took lessons at the same riding stable in North Aurora, Illinois. We grew up riding and showing Saddlebred horses together in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. She came to my graduation from William Woods University in Fulton, MO. We were in each other's weddings.
Then I was out of touch. Recently, her old horse Bubba passed away and we got back in touch. When Kari suggested that I make St. Louis the first leg of my three-week tour, I jumped at the chance. I had yet to meet her daughter, Ella (she's six already!), and her new horses, Rooty and Thumper.
Kari and I didn't miss a beat, riding horses, talking horses, breathing horses. (Thanks for putting up with us, Dave!) The only thing that has changed is the addition of the fascinating, profound combination of Kari and Dave that is their daughter, Ella. Nice to meet you, young lady.
We even took a road trip (sans the 80s music - damn broken iPod!) to Farmington, MO to see another couple of dear friends - Andy Amsden and my old horse, Amy. She looks fabulous and happy, and clearly remembered me. I can still see her expression as she touched my arm gently with her nose (Mom!... touch...You're... touch...here!... touch....), just like she always did. I love you, too, girlie. Thank you, Andy, for taking such great care of my girl!
We finished up our five days of good 'ol equine-saturated bliss with a drive up north into Illinois, meeting my parents halfway. We had lunch, tearful goodbyes, then my parents took me the rest of the way to their house in Aurora, IL. On Kari's birthday, no less. Thanks for sharing your day with me, Kari. Thanks for everything.
Let's do it again soon, 'kay?