February 10, 2017

The saga of the mild winter continues.

What? I thought harsh winters were the stuff of sagas. But our weather this winter has been so easy it’s made little tribulations seem big. Like when not even one person came to the Georgetown farm for a tour last Saturday.

dan-and-fighting-city-hall

Danthebluegrassman and Fighting City Hall wait for something to happen at Old Friends

Admittedly, January and February have always been our slowest months for visits, but with the weather so mild we’ve had an active winter this year. So, imagine. Saturday, and no entertainment for the horses. No adulation.

fabulous-strike

“Do I not deserve adulation?” Fabulous Strike

And – what, no carrots?!?

Sarava gave up waiting for a tour and took a disgruntled nap. So did Genuine Reward. Rapid Redux put his nose to Amazombie’s, and did I hear the whispered words, “Let’s go on strike”?

Oh-oh. What’s to be done? How to make the day fun for the horses?

alphabet-soup-170204

Alphabet Soup: “Come on, entertain me.”

There was only one answer.

The Bucket!

Yes, I mean that plastic bucket full of chopped carrots the guide hauls out on the tours so everyone can hand-feed carrots to the horses. But I mean more than that.

It’s like the difference between when a friend takes a bonbon out of the candy box and gives it to you, and when they hand you the whole luscious box with an invitation to choose several of the pieces you want the most.

On tours, carrot pieces are forthcoming but The Bucket is the Plastic Grail. It is coveted, yearned for, but almost never in reach. Except for those rare and special times when a horse gets to stick his or her nose in and choose!

archie

Archie’s Echo loves his carrots shredded.

Not everybody on the farm gets the uncensored Bucket. Silver Ray, Geri and Archie’s Echo don’t have the teeth to chew carrots. We shred carrots for them. And Alphabet Soup, Swan’s Way, Dinard and some others of our older residents have trouble with the thicker, harder to chew carrot pieces. We try to select easier pieces for them to chew (Afternoon Deelites, this means you, too.)

afternoon-deelites

Afternoon Deelites. “Old age is a state of mind, not a state of mine.”

But for those of fewer years and better teeth, The Bucket is an incomparable event. Oh, the freedom of choice! This carrot must be sweeter than that one. Oh, what a fun Saturday! The Bucket is on the loose!

little-mike-bucket

Little Mike

popcorn-bucket

Popcorn Deelites

special-ring-bucket

Special Ring

As Laura and I headed toward Touch Gold, who should we meet but one Michael Blowen, on a Bucket walk from the opposite direction. Doubles!

touch-gold-bucket

Touch Gold

kudos-bucket

Kudos

war-emblem-bucket

War Emblem

charismatic-bucket

Charismatic

So last Saturday turned out deliciously. Even so, it was a little short on entertainment for the horses. I think they look forward to their visitors. Our same old faces probably get boring after awhile. I hope they’ll be meeting some new friends and enjoying reunions with old friends tomorrow, and on into the week, and picking up pace as spring approaches and retirement at Old Friends just gets more and more delicious.

Beth

photos by Laura

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “February 10, 2017

  1. Amy Gulbrandson

    Do you have any idea how much enjoyment your blog brings after a long day at work? SO much!!! This was a great visit and when we visit in May I will add shredded carrot treats to our “bucket list”….thank you again!

  2. Betsy McGrath

    What love and respect you show these wonderful fellows! I wish I lived closer (NYC) so that I could rev up winter visiting days!

  3. tbdancer

    I cannot imagine that these senior citizens mind seeing “your same old faces” every day, anymore than you mind seeing theirs! Add that wonderful bucket and you’ve got instant forgiveness. Love this blog. Wish I lived close enough to visit.

  4. Susan A

    I loved this one Beth! Dang, I wish I didn’t live so far away….that would have been an awesome day to come! I would give anything for that one an one time with the boys….can’t wait to get back! Not a day passes without thought of Old Friends and wondering how everyone is doing. So glad the weather has been milder this year and easier on everybody. BTW…who held the bucket for War Emblem? 😉 Hope to see you in the Spring!

    • oldfriendsblog

      Looking forward to your next visit, Susan! That bucket walk was a two-woman project, Laura with the camera, me with the bucket.

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