Sunday, 1 August 2010

Phennie's turtle pie

There used to be a time, when we arrived at a new posting and I would have all the boxes unpacked and furniture in place within a couple of days. I must be getting old, because the furniture and household goods arrived on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday - and I am still unpacking, moving, re-packing and generally making total chaos in the house and barns.

We got to spend Sunday relaxing, which was fantastic. A lovely lady took us on a tour of local gardens. We drove over our first covered bridge (very Madison County). The last property was stunning, a stone built house with amazing farm buildings, pigs, turkey, sheep and a giant Pyrenees Mountain dog which lived in the barn to protect all the before mentioned animals. His name was ‘Bear’ and when he came flying out of the barn barking at us, I could see he would be quite the guard dog to have. There was also a huge pond, well, really a lake and a swimming pool, a fire pit that was actually dug into the ground with two almighty stone slab benches (imagine Narnia). The gardens were pretty impressive too. The owners were very welcoming and supplied delicious cookies and drinks.

A gentleman from Georgia came & shod the Pie, both were well behaved and we are ready now for his final trek home. He has rather fallen head over hoof with a sassy Dun Mare who has been keeping him company, Tomo is going to ride her on Wednesday, he is stoked about riding full stop and now in a western saddle too, he is just besides himself!

Humming birds - now seriously, would you expect to see them in up state NY? I didn’t, but they are here in abundance and just stunning. Turkey vultures, bald eagles, wild turkey are a few of our latest sightings.

Visa Biometrics (for my green card) all done, now we just wait ’for up to six months’ for it to be processed and delivered. Now I am legal to work, joy. Driving licence stage one and two done, now just have the driven test... yes, I know. August 26th...

The people who looked after Pie for us, have also purchased an old farm, that also needs huge amounts of time (money) and more time to get back into shape (but they do have an AMAZING horse barn) - so we have such empathy for each other and an understanding that only people in this situation, can understand. We had an amazing ride out together, Thomas in tow on the dun. Allison rode home to Bain with me, on a stunning skewbald four year old (my God they teach their horses manners here), she found a Painted Turtle on her ride home from us, which Tom later took to the stream while I put the Pie in his ‘paddock’ (I use this term lightly), then we released them and watched with anticipation to see what would happen next…

not much, thankfully.

It has been two weeks since (maybe three) and all is good. Horse has settled, turtle disappeared, dogs still here - just. We had a fantastic week when Phennie came to stay with us en-route to North Carolina. We collected her from Albany Airport and drove home through yet another almighty thunderstorm. It was so good to have her at home. I did something crazy, for those of you that know me, will know I would never do this, but I saw a car, then the number plate and then I went up to the lady driving it and said “hello….” Yup, I know, anyone would think this place is making me sociable but I am so glad that I did. We have since become friends and were lucky enough to be invited out for the day with them, to a waterfall not far from here. We were expecting a small falls of some sort, so when we heard the roar of water from quite some distance, it became apparent that this was not what we had expected at all…

… then finished up with a delicious ice cream from an iconic type diner which had a duke box and enamel signs covering the walls. I can not wait to take Steve there and for him to meet some really great people. Their son will be off to London next week and Phennie back to Norfolk. We wish them both all the luck in their new exploits and for a safe trip back to England. I drove Phennie to an airport in Vermont down a long narrow (almost dirt) road. The was a small modern building with a viewing area to die for. We drank coffees and awaited the flight, looking out to what was the most beautiful view I have ever seen from any airport, anywhere. Just mountains, hills, trees and not a building in sight. We deliberately tried not to talk or think about the fact that it may be a very long time until we see each other again, and said good bye in a typical British manner - then we hugged, burst into tears and I cried all the way home to New York.

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