My favorite niece, Beckie (who also happens to be my ONLY niece), commented on yesterday's post about the horses, saying that it brought back some great memories. That has prompted me to share a couple of additional memories with you.
Here is a picture of Beckie, on Gayranna, taken when Beckie was 10 years old.
A couple of years earlier, Beckie and her brother, Dave, had visited us at the farm; and Beckie wrote me this letter afterward:
I love that she originally had put "The End" before the "Lots of love" and the signatures. She tried to erase it, probably after her mom suggested a more traditional ending; but it was still visible. "Hiida" was their dog, Heidi. And this was written before Beckie changed the spelling of her name from "Becky" to "Beckie." I do want to say that her spelling has improved immensely since she wrote this at age eight.
When Beckie was about 15, a friend told me about a registered American Saddlebred yearling filly that was being offered free to a good home. I had about all I could handle financially with the feed and care of the horses I already had, but an offer like that didn't come along every day.
So I mentioned it to Beckie and her parents. They agreed to let Beckie have the horse; I would provide the care; and they would pay the filly's board and veterinary and farrier bills. Beckie was thrilled to have her own horse.
|Beckie's horse, Liberty Belle|
Having a horse can be an expensive proposition, though. Liberty Belle was just a yearling, so she was going to need some training before she would be a safe saddle horse. My experience didn't qualify me for that job, so a professional trainer would be required. Looking at the long-term financial commitment before Beckie would be able to ride and enjoy her horse, Beckie and her parents decided to find a new home for Libby.
There's one more Beckie story that I just have to share in this post:
My dad's aunt, who was just five years older than my dad and whose mother had raised my dad (so they were more like brother and sister than like nephew and aunt), was a very fastidious lady. Aunt Bea was always dressed to the nines, with hair, nails, and makeup perfectly done. To see her, you'd never know whether she was dressed for a wedding or for washing her windows.
Anyway, Aunt Bea was visiting us one day when Beckie was also there. Beckie, who, at age seven or so, always loved to follow me around on my barn chores, had apparently been mentally comparing her Aunt Bea and her Aunt Linda. She took me aside and said decisively: "I'm not going to be a lady when I grow up. I'm going to be like you."