in her element

In an unexpected turn of events, my older daughter has landed her dream job: volunteering at a horse farm in exchange for riding lessons.

It happened this way. Close to our house is a camp for mentally and physically handicapped people. One of our neighbors volunteers there and asked my daughter if she’d be willing to help out during the Wednesday night equestrian therapy sessions. A couple weeks into her work at the camp, one of the other volunteers suggested that my daughter might want to improve her riding and invited her to come work at her horse farm in exchange for lessons.

The farm is three miles down the road. A couple years ago, we stopped to inquire about lessons, but the cost was so prohibitive that I completely dismissed the idea. But now my daughter is spending her days there, mucking stalls, fetching horses, cleaning hooves, and riding.

She wakes early to care for her chickens and sheep, works all day, comes home and immediately packs her lunch for the next day (she’s labeled a shelf in the refrigerator with her name so her father doesn’t “accidentally” steal her lunch), does evening chores and some household jobs, eats supper, showers, and sleeps.

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen her more happy.

This same time, years previous: spicy cabbage, the race we saw, a bunch of stuff, on the subject of grade level, showtime!, the saturation point, down to the river to chill, barbecued pork ribs, rhubarb tea and rhubarb tart, and fresh strawberry cream pie.      

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