Happy 2014! Might as well have a good year as a bad one - that's our motto around here. We try hard to stay positive, although our frequencies have been tested several times in recent months. But it is so important to always look for the silver lining, and there is always someone worse off. Always.
You might remember me mentioning a few times that we had a hard fall (as in autumn). Let me tell you what happened in the short span of three months, and then you decide for yourself if you think we handled ourselves okay.
First of all, we had an onslaught of vet bills. They actually started in June, and if you want to get technical about it, we've had a steady stream of them since Alvin broke his coffin bone a few years ago. This year, however, we nearly went through every horse we own! We just got done with Alvin, and bam! First Tex, then Tex again, then Maggie and then Boomer - twice for Boomer, because the first vet wasn't ours and stitched him up wrong. Fingers crossed, everyone is good and well today.
The vet bills weren't exclusive to the equine profession, however. Rosin (pronounced Rozz-in, as in rosin up your bow!), our precious pug, had to have several teeth pulled in July, and then she came down with a collapsed trachea in October. Thankfully she is currently doing well, also. The silver linings? All animals are perfectly healthy today. Their injuries could have been much, much worse. And in the process of it all, we found an awesome horse shoer (Kira Mollers of Kira's Farrier Service) we love, and we learned to trust ourselves more. We knew our previous shoer wasn't doing what we wanted, but it took our best horse coming up lame and thousands (literally!) of dollars for us to learn this little lesson.
In September, our water tank went out. It could have been an easy fix, but no... We like to do things dramatically around here! So first, we had the initial emergency call. Then, less than twelve hours before the pump guy was due to replace the tank, our horses knocked the temporary one down, so another emergency call. Thus, three calls later, we were good to go. The silver lining? The pump didn't burn up and have to be replaced, and we have a lovely new, clean water tank that is more efficient than the old one.
Next, along toward the start of November, our sewer went out. Lovely. Thankfully, it was an easy fix. A simple matter of replacing a broken part in the tank and pumping the tank out. The silver lining here is a great one - if I had run a single load of laundry, as I often do every Monday morning, I would have come home to a flooded house full of sewer water. The damage would have been severe! But thankfully, this all happened on a Sunday, and Brady was able to determine we had a problem, thus no damage was done. Hallelujah!
Then we had the great snow. Wasn't that fun?! It was, in many ways. But here is how it wasn't fun - our pump in the pump house froze, despite the fact that we put a new light bulb inside it at the beginning of October. Guess what? Said, new light bulb burned out. In less than two months! And so what do you know? No water! And then, the pipes in the shop froze. And guess what happened then? The entire shop was flooded with water, and then froze, creating a lovely (not!) ice rink. MESSY! The silver lining, though, is that Brady, bless his heart, was able to fix it himself, and we were able to save most of the stuff on the floor that would have been ruined by the water. We also had to pack water from the bathtub in our house to the horses, because our "freeze-free" water spickets froze. But again, a silver lining - thank the good Lord we only had to survive these conditions for a week! Some people have had much worse winter conditions to deal with than our pitiful bout of cold.
In the midst of all this, it was determined that Brady has to have a tooth pulled, and then an implant procedure - this is coming up soon. He also had to have a colonopscopy and an endoscopy, which both turned out well. Let's just say those medical procedures aren't cheap, and leave it at that. The silver lining is that he is healthy as a (healthy!) horse!
This brings us to the end of December, when I thought to myself that surely we had had our share of bad luck for a while. Wouldn't you think so, if you found yourself going through similar situations as mentioned above, in short succession? Nope - not the case. As we were heading to a full day of work on the Saturday before Christmas, our pickup blew up. Well, not really, but kind of. Our water pump went out, and it sounded and smelled like it blew up. The silver lining here is that it happened at a perfect spot on the road, just off the freeway. And blessedly, we were able to get a ride back home thanks to one of our wonderful friends coming to get us, and the dealership had our Silver Bullet (as we fondly call our pickup) fixed that very day, and it wasn't anything terribly major, just that aforementioned water pump. Now this did cause our heater to go out two days later, but we got that fixed, too, and all is well.
I will admit to almost losing it as this point. Okay - I did lose it. I swore someone had a voodoo doll on us, a hex, and that we were cursed and I needed our priest to come and bless our house and us and to rid us of said curse and that we must not be praying enough, and was everyone praying? Because I was praying. Praying is very important. We must pray! Yes, I can be dramatic. But after a quick (depending on your perspective) rant, I got over myself quickly - I can be dramatic that way, too.
When it comes right down to it, we are so lucky! Lucky, lucky, lucky! We have had so much sadness on the road we live on that it is hard to feel anything other than relieved and blessed. One of our neighbors just passed away from cancer on New Year's Day - he was only in his 60's. His 89 year old dad is now trying to run the family business, and his wife is thinking she will need to sell everything. Another neighbor had to be moved into an Alzheimer's Home in town due to his extreme dementia, leaving his wife on her own to deal with their property. Thankfully, she just sold her place, but her life has changed so much over the past couple of years. Our other neighbor is also dealing with dementia - his wife has recently come down with it. She has emphysema, too. For the time being, he is managing to take care of her.
So as you can see, there is always someone worse off, always worse circumstances. Compared to what our neighbors are going through, literally and figuratively, what we experienced is small potatoes. I can think of many friends who are going through really hard times, dealing with cancer, failed kidneys, broken backs, sores that won't heal. The bottom line is, we are healthy and happy, and that, my friends, is big. Being healthy, mentally and physically, is the biggest blessing. The biggest! Think about that for a moment, won't you? And I'm sure you'll see, you, too, are lucky and blessed. Silver linings - they're everywhere. Almost like the wings of an angel...
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