Cue wavy lines and piano music: Way back in the summer of 1996 I was a horse-crazy teenager. Funny, because when I was little I was afraid of horses. But I always liked animals and somehow the magic wheel of love landed on horses. I wanted one so bad. Maybe because we leased property from our neighbor and his daughter had this ancient nag they called Frisbee and we called Old Gray. A gentler horse has never graced the earth. I wallered all over that mare with a saddle and without. But she was ancient and it took way too much energy to get her to trot. So I begged for a horse of my own. And I just knew for 8th grade graduation I was getting horse because my paternal grandma had given me enough money to buy a saddle.
Yes, I was supposed to have gotten one. But the guy apparently got a better offer. The summer started with me horseless. No matter, because we always spent two weeks at the lake in May and I wouldn't have been home to ride anyway. June rolled around, I was still horseless, but my trusty cowboy hat and lace-up boots went everywhere with me. Enter my birthday. No horse in sight. As a special treat my mom and maternal grandma were taking me on the Showboat Branson Belle, a paddle wheeler that cruises along scenic Table Rock Lake. At the time, they had a Vaudeville-style show and lunch or dinner. We got up early to go down to my grandma's house (she used to live right down the hill from us). My dad was already up and down there, mowing her lawn. My mom is the type of person who is always late, but that day it seemed like everyone was taking forever (you know how teenagers are) to get ready.
Along comes a guy on a pinto horse. Lucky, I thought. It was a beautiful morning for a ride. I was sitting on the deck, waiting for Mom and my grandma to hurry up when the horse pulled into the driveway. I mean, technically they don't pull in like a car, but you get what I mean. My dad was off the lawn mower by then. The guy, beer in one hand, cigarette in the other, asked if he could have a drink of water. Bizarre, right? My dad instructed me to go inside and get it. Inside, Mom and Grandma were asking what I was doing. I explained. We all headed back outside. The guy asked if we knew anyone looking to buy a horse. I looked to my dad. He had his wallet in hand. "I don't know how much I have in my wallet."
Me, dumb as a box of rocks, immediately doubted there was enough money in his wallet to cover the price of a horse. Imagine my surprise when he started handing me $100 bills. Especially when there were enough hundreds to pay for the horse. Like a little girl, I started blubbering. We have this on video. It's another one of those I'd like to burn because it's not flattering in any way, shape, or form. And my dad asked why I was crying. Well, it's really because I am a cry baby, but it was a total surprise.
Her name was Jill and she was a bay and white foxtrotter who was 100% left-handed and couldn't turn a sharp right to save her life, but she was a great trail horse. Although she did kind of have an attitude. By the way, we did go to the Branson Belle after that. That wasn't just a ploy to get me down to my grandma's. All in all, it was a pretty awesome day. I rode Jill for about two years before Mom and Dad bought me a quarter horse named Tuff, but that's a whole other story.
So, now that you're bored out of your mind by my rambling story, I'm offering you a chance to win a pair of very summery earrings. Think of how stunningly spectacular these dangle earrings will look, swaying in a summer breeze as you toss your head like a model at a photo shoot. Leave a comment and preferably a way to get a hold of you when the hop is over. Be sure to comment if you want to win a chance at that Kindle Touch and the gift card too.
Oh! Also, I'm host a blog hop on April 27-29th, so if you're an author or blog host and you wan to participate, you can find out more here.