Riding Horses

Riding horses is like nothing else. It lets you get close to nature. It lets you quietly see things that you’re normally going too fast to enjoy. You smell scents that normally don’t make it past your car window. You hear the small animals building their nests in the forest.

It’s a delight to be that close to things that are so common, but hardly ever heard.

For years I was lucky enough to board my horse at a stable that was located along the shorthills. The shorthills are off Effingham Rd in Pelham. The shorthills have their very own magic.

Today I rode with my niece Erin. It was so special to share our love of horses. I really enjoyed the ride around the big hay field as we talked about horses, riding and deer.

It’s always nice to ride with another person and extra special to ride with the next generation. It’s a sign that I’m aging, but it isn’t one that I mind. Thanks Erin, today was really cool. Want to do it again on Boxing Day??

Happy Amy Birthday

I was born on December 25 at eight in the morning. There is no doubt about the fact that I am a Christmas baby.

Everyone always asks me if I hate having my birthday on Christmas. How could I? How could I hate my birthday? A day where everyone celebrates. A day were few go to work, everyone wants to eat, drink and be merry. It’s not just another passing day.

I remember as a kid being sad that a few people had forgotten my birthday one year. I was about six years old and just plain sad. My mother saw my grief and told me to get in the car.

As we drove around town she told me to look at all the Christmas lights and really see the very beauty of the holiday decorations. I grew sadder as the lights dances in my eyes and the tears welled up and rolled down my cheeks.

My mother laughed and said the following four words: “these are for you.”

I was confused. I was six. What?

She continued… Honey, these are Amy Birthday lights, trees and decorations. The whole world celebrates your birthday, so don’t be sad. Be happy. It is a special day and you are a special girl.

Who could argue with that logic? Plus, she is my mom and mom’s aren’t allowed to lie to their children. Especially their special children born on Christmas day.

Since that moment I smile when I see the lights and decorations. I think of that wonderful moment in the car with my mom and love Christmas even more.

My new husband corrects everyone about the holidays. You aren’t just celebrating Christmas you’re celebrating Amy Birthday.

My first christmas ornament this year came from my work partner Dave’s kids. They gave me an ornament as a wedding presents. It’s one of my favorite gifts partly because it’s christmas, but mostly because someone put a piece of tape over the Christmas part on the box and replaced it with Amy Birthday. The box then read: Amy Birthday Ornament.

It’s a new trend.

Happy Amy Birthday Everyone!

Christmas Decorating

I started decorating for Christmas today. My sister says it looks like “Santa puked in my house” because of all the sparkles. I like it.

For years I’d buy a new decoration at Ball’s Falls Festival. I had a criteria: it had to be bigger than a ornament and it had to be lit from the inside. I put these decorations on my mantle over my fireplace and I am so grateful to have a fireplace to decorate. I add lights and garland and a Merry Christmas sign spelled out in red, green and white.

I remember each decoration. I remember the smell of fall and if it was raining, sunny or snowing. I remember wearing fall sweaters with fun scarves that would be too hot if the sun was shining. I remember the joy in finding the right one and sorrow at departing with my money to buy it.

It’s been about three years since I’ve been to the festival in Vineland. I’ve got all the excuses: work, life, farm, animals and a new husband. I’m going next year and I’m going to find a christmas decoration that glows from the inside. It brings me joy at least once a year.

I have the same memories as I pulled out childhood ornaments to put on the tree. I found one ball with the date 1988 when I first started saving. I recognize the ones my siblings and I made as children. I hang them with joy.

I came across sparkle balls I bought at The Bay on sale one year when I moved into my first home. I had a purple and silver theme that year wanting a perfect tree, but I couldn’t help myself and had to hang the ball with 1988. It is magic. It’s what makes this old farm house glow with Santa puke.

I can hardly wait for company. I can hardly wait until the house is full of friends and family. I like company. I like the old farm house to be happy.