I missed my horse. I always feel bad when I don't get to spend time with him. There is nothing I would rather do, really.
I did sneak out to attend my friend's surprise 40th birthday party. While there, I started talking to a friend of a friend, whom I had not seen in a few years. It is always interesting to broach the "I'm a cowgirl now" conversation. It goes something like this:
"So how are you, what have you been up to?"
"Hmm, well, I'm still teaching. Living in the same place. Oh, did you know I have a horse?"
"A horse? Really? Where do you keep it?"
"I got back into riding a few years ago and ended up leasing a horse. Then, with the help of my family I bought him a year later. I keep him at my sister's place, they have acreage and a plethora of animals of their own. I spend a lot of time up there!"
"That's cool. Are you dating anyone?"
"Oh, you know, I'm dating. But I suppose how I want to live my life has changed in these past few years, too. So I'm kind of being particular, hoping for a cowboy, or at least someone who is comfortable with me being a cowgirl, and maybe living out of the city."
"Well, it's good that you know what you want. You'll find it. You just have to put yourself in the places to find the kind of person you're looking for."
I've had this conversation so many times that it feels almost rehearsed. I wonder if people think I'm a little nuts. Like what happened to her, good golly, she's gone country. The funny thing is, most of them never knew me when I was country to begin with. They never knew that I spent half of my childhood sleeping outside in the yard under the stars (by choice.) That collecting tadpoles and raising them into frogs was one of my favorite spring past times. That for my ponies, I made halter nose band covers out of old tube socks and blankets out of old floral flannel sheets. That I nailed half of the boards on their lean-tos myself. That one of my first jobs was cleaning stalls at a local barn. That I am not afraid of a little horse dirt and in fact blow it out of my nose on a regular basis.
I guess I shouldn't expect them to know, just because I don cowboy boots once in while. It's more of state of mind, a way of being. I just have to live it my way and hope they get me. And well, someday, they'll get to visit me at the ranch. We'll sit out on the front porch, drinking cosmopolitans out of my Pottery Barn martini glasses, laughing and talking girl stuff as the sun sets and the horses (My Boy and his cousins) eat their hay and the crickets began to chirp.
And if they want, I'll gladly loan them a pair of my cowboy boots.