Monday, February 3, 2014

Feb 2014: Beware, it's long!

Yes, it's the Year of the Horse.
Just the word, 


As a girl I was a great fan of
Roy Rogers and his ever-present Trigger.

Oh, how crushed was I when I overhead
Aunt Mary saying to Aunt Florence,
"I don't know what she sees in that Roy Rogers.
"His eyes are too small and he's
"Not handsome at all."
So I didn't talk to her about him any more.
But I did still talk about Trigger!
After all horses were the
Main reason I liked cowboys.

As an adult I learned that my mother
Never liked cowboy movies,
But when I was little…
And my father travelled...
She took me every week
To see Roy and Trigger.

And Dale and Buttermilk.
And Gene and Champion.
And Hop-A-Long and Silver.
She even named her little
Willys Jeep car Nellie Belle
In honour of my enjoyment
Of these western forays.

Driving with my parents
We would seek white horses.
I learned to lick my thumb and
Place its wet spot on the palm
Of my other hand, then make
A fist and slap it quickly and loudly
Onto that same wet spot.
It was called "stamping white horses."
Do you know of this game?
There was no score kept…
Just spotting and stamping.

Once visiting my grandparents'
Little gas-station-cum-general-store
In Van Alstyne, Texas, I fell in love
With a clock in a horseshoe
Next to which stood a golden Trigger.
It was some kind of painted cast metal.
I don't know if the Horse Clock was
One of the items for sale or a vague
Attempt at décor, but I was totally smitten.
And my grandparents, in the
Great tradition of all grandparents,
Gave. It. To. Me.
Again, the adult me knows
How this Horse Clock
Must have offended my mother's taste.
But I looooved it with all my heart.
Whenever we moved (which was often)
This same mother ensured
My Horse Clock took pride of position
Next to my bed where I could easily touch it
From my pillow.
Yes, I did learn to tell time
With the Horse Clock.

Other horses came over time.
On our frequent trips to Matamoros
And Nueva Laredo my mother
Helped me find the photographer
In the zocolo who always had a
Wooden Horse for posing upon.
My childhood scrapbook is spattered
With these images showing me
As I grew. There are even a few
From my late teen years
In happy counterpoint.
My blind almost Godmother, Sammie,
Even prevailed upon my mother
One time to help her climb aboard
One such steed so she could
Send me her picture like mine of yore.

During fourth and sixth grades
We lived in tiny Bartonville, Texas,
And there pastured an aging
And gentle Sadie for a neighbour.
Sadie let me lead her to our fence
So I could climb from fence to her back
And explore our vast four acres
I fed her carrot sticks that she
Delicately bit as I held them
And sugar cubes that she
Lipped from my open palm.
My mother, the city girl, later
Confessed her fears at the time.
I'm glad I didn't know.

When I was preggers with Peter
His dad and I visited friends
Who lived on a very remote ranch
In the mountains of northern Mexico.
One day, we rode our horses
For so many hours
Our hosts sent out cowboy
Search parties to find us
And ensure my baby's safety.
Later Peter and I rode horses
On bridle path at Lake Louise.
He remembers the horses' names

Of course, Little Peter and Little Kate
Each had their own horse on springs.
I painted them white, because,
Like my mother, the aesthetic
Has always been more important to me
Than the commercial.
Peter called his horse "Wrong"
And Kate called her's "Mine."
They know why.

What's that other little horse
On the calendar?
The one in the middle?
I discovered it while looking
For something else
And kept it because
It's sweet.

Have a very happy
Year of the Wood Horse,
My friends.


In China it's known as a time for victories, unexpected adventure and surprising romance! The horse is associated with fire and therefore always ready to race on… during the year of horse, we must be careful not to let that fire consume the wood. The lesson this year is to run, but to plan and to pace ourselves, to ensure we reach our ultimate goals.

In western astrology, Mercury is about to go retrograde again from Feb 5th to 27th. Back up everything. Double-check all your documents. Try to avoid entering into any new contract, but if you must, be prepared for delays. If you have an on-going contract negotiation, revisit areas you thought were settled… they might have come unstuck.