Jun 13, 2008

Holiday Road

“This is no longer a vacation. It’s a quest. It’s a quest for fun. I’m gonna have fun and you’re gonna have fun. We’re all gonna have so much (beeping) fun we’ll need plastic surgery to remove our (beeping) smiles. You’ll be whistling ‘Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah’ out of you’re (beeps)!” --Clark Griswold from the movie Vacation.

I’m a planner. When the Horsetales group decided last fall that our spring group ride would be at Ft. Robinson, I started planning. Not just the Ft. Rob trip, but extending the vacation to include the Black Hills. Started putting some money aside to cover what then I thought would be $3.50 diesel. As the price ticked past $3.50, I started saving more. I wasn’t going to let the blood sucking oil company ruin what will probably be our last long distance horse trip because of the price of fuel!

I started conditioning horses. My family isn’t all that keen on riding at home. So I tried to put time on all four. And when one of the travel team about bucked me off, I started riding his replacement. Not in the plan, but a definite advantage of having seven horses! If one doesn’t work out, try another! Then the rains came and my conditioning plans went kaput!

And I just can't seem to leave well enough alone. A few weeks ago I learned we had some wood flooring left from our bathroom remodel. Just enough to do the floor of the living quarters in our horse trailer! So John and I spent an afternoon installing a new floor. It looked great, but the rest of the trailer then shouted for an upgrade. So between repairing fence from the “every other day flood” we seem to have lately, baseball games, farrier visits, and the pesky thing called a “full time job”, we painted trailer walls, replaced trim and refinished cupboards. Not in the plan, but it sure compliments that new floor!

And while spending so much time in the trailer, we found out our batteries weren’t holding the charge any longer. We had them checked out and sure enough, they need replacing. Both of them! In addition, the truck needed a new headlight and 2 new windshield wipers along with the obligatory oil change. More unplanned expenses. So we are now 3 days away from departure & John decides perhaps he should check the brakes on the trailer. Now being the planner, I suggested he do this like back IN MARCH! (Big sigh). Yep, you guessed it. Time to install new brakes!

The budget is shot and we haven’t even left the driveway yet! I haven't been out to the pasture in 24 hours, but am hoping there are still 16 shoes on the travel team! I am thinking of all the clichés: “Whatever can go wrong, will”. “Expect the unexpected.” “One step forward and two steps back”. And “for everything else, there is MasterCard”. I can see Chevy Chase with that forced smile, white knuckling the steering wheel… “this is no longer a vacation, it is a quest!” It’s going to be quite a ride!

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